Julen Lopetegui CRIES next to Florentino Perez during unveiling

The Spanish football federation (RFEF) said it had dismissed Lopetegui because the negotiation to Madrid occurred "without any consultation to the RFEF".

The event started with Perez making a long prepared speech in which he said Rubiales' actions in firing Lopetegui were deliberately aimed at hurting the image of Real Madrid.

"As a captain, sometimes you are a bit more informed of what is going on", said Ramos when asked directly if he knew about Lopetegui's talks with Real Madrid, of which the Spanish FA claimed they had no knowledge.

Spain's tough call to fire Lopetegui so near the tournament has divided opinion, but his new employers, and more specifically Perez, remain staunch in the belief La Furia Roja have made the wrong choice.

Coming into this World Cup, Spain had been seen as one of the outstanding favourites to lift the trophy in Russian Federation after a two-year unbeaten run under Julen Lopetegui.

"But I also understand the position of the federation. We have acted professionally and honestly".

"We are convinced that all we have done is absolutely honest and clear", Lopetegui said.

Sport insist the other 22 players were disappointed with the coach because he had told them all to focus on the national team and not to think about their futures at club level.


"We reached an agreement very quickly, in a few hours, and wanted to make a show of transparency, to avoid all rumours and speculation during the tournament".

"I feel sorry for the manager because he was with the [Spain] team for the last two years and of course he deserves to be with the team".

And as he left Moscow, he added: "We have a magnificent team and hopefully win the World Cup".

For a player with 121 caps and counting, David Silva has only played 241 minutes of World Cup football. "It's not the best situation but at the same time, it unites them more and they give more of themselves, you never know".

"Yesterday was the saddest day of my life, since the death of my mother, but this is the happiest day", he said.

"Julen you will get all support and I want to welcome you to your home, of Real Madrid".

Ramos argued that for sporting reasons the 51 year-old Spaniard should stay in the position that he's held for two years, since Spain lost in the Euros in France, but despite his emphatic pleas the president made a decision to get rid of the manager. "He is clearly the best in the world at Real Madrid".

  • Steve Townsend