15 June, 2018
Rubiales said the sacking could have been avoided if full discussions had taken place between the club and the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) before the news about Lopetegui's move to Madrid was made public. "Real Madrid aspires to win everything and we will try", he said.
Sergio Ramos isn't exactly an unpopular man at Real Madrid but the Champions League winning captain is going to be even more popular with his new boss at the Bernabeu after he was sacked by Spain.
Madrid on Tuesday shocked everyone by announcing Lopetegui as Zinedine Zidane's replacement on the Bernabeu bench once this summer's tournament was over.
"There is not a single reason to get rid of him by Spain", Perez said. Lopetegui was unbeaten in his 20 matches in charge of the national team. "For me personally, it was a sensitive time, but problems are also opportunities to grow".
At the same time nearly 5,000 kilometres away, Lopetegui was being unveiled as the new Madrid coach.
Asked if he regretted the decision, he replied: "We're completely convinced what we have done is honest and clear".
"We welcome someone who knows this club very well and in the last few years he has shown what a magnificent professional he is. We tried to be transparent, I am very clear that I have been fully loyal, no doubts".
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He cited Chelsea signing then Italy boss Antonio Conte before Euro 2016 and Manchester United confirming Dutch manager Louis van Gaal's appointment before the 2014 World Cup.
"As one more Spaniard I feel part of the national team and are sure they will have a great tournament", he said.
"Yesterday was the saddest day of my life since the death of my mother, but today is the happiest day of my life", he added. "He qualified the national team to the World Cup in Russian Federation in a fantastic way - he did it unbeaten in 20 games as manager".
However, the players were "hurt" when they found out that Lopetegui had been negotiating with a club in the build-up to the finals.
"We can not alter two years of hard work in the coming days - from now until the Portugal match, we don't have the ability to change much".
Hierro and Ramos posed together, smiling for the cameras, at a press conference inside the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, the venue for the Group B clash between the Iberian neighbours. "We know how important he is, he is a constant danger", admitted Ramos of his Real Madrid colleague.