Julen Lopetegui has lamented not being given enough time at Real Madrid earlier this season: “We understood that we still had time with everything.”
Lopetegui has been out of work since being dismissed by Madrid at the end of October following a 5-1 El Clasico loss against Barcelona – leaving the club languishing in ninth place in La Liga after ten matches.
His appointment at the outgoing European champions came in acrimonious circumstances, coming on the eve of the World Cup, where he was set to manage the Spanish national team.
The Spanish FA took the decision to dismiss Lopetegui two days before their opener against Portugal, after his appointment by Madrid was announced without their knowledge.
“We had a very good start and we played some brilliant games, but then we had three weeks of great misfortune in front of the goal in games where we were superior,” Lopetegui told the Coaches Voice, as cited by Marca.
“We understood that we still had time with everything and we had something very important being built: the absolute commitment of the players and a group that had a lot to give.
“The Spanish national team? We had not lost for two years and we played against Germany, France, Belgium, England, Italy…in all the games we dominated.
“Then in the World Cup we do not know what would have happened, but we were prepared, excited and the players felt that and they transmitted this to us.”
Earlier this month, Lopetegui was linked by El Mundo Deportivo with taking over the Bayern Munich job this summer from Niko Kovac.