Xavi backs decision to sack Julen Lopetegui on eve of World Cup

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first_img Watch every goal England scored at the 2018 World Cup NO JOY Lopetegui was axed on Wednesday, just TWO DAYS before Spain’s World Cup campaign begins against Portugal, with former captain Fernando Hierro taking his place.The move has stunned the footballing world, but Barcelona legend and World Cup winner Xavi believes the head of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, was left with little choice but to dispense with Lopetegui’s services following the way in which he handled his post-tournament deal with Real Madrid.Rubiales was furious at being told Lopetegui had agreed to take the Real job only five minutes before it was made public on Tuesday afternoon, two days before the World Cup kicks off.“It was not the right moment for Lopetegui to do what he did,”  said Xavi.“It was hasty, untimely and unnecessary.” Paul Pogba buys France World Cup winners specially designed rings Why does Luis Suarez kiss his wrist when he celebrates a goal? “I believe Luis Rubiales did the right thing and was looking out on behalf of the FA.“The FA and the national team should be above any one person and whilst this was not the easy decision to make, it was the right one.“All these players will have been through similar situations to this before but I do not believe it will stop them from enjoying a strong World Cup.”Rubiales has fumed at Real Madrid’s underhand ­tactics when he announced Lopetegui’s departure in a press conference on Wednesday, saying their actions have jeopardised Spain’s chances of winning a second World Cup. diamond geezer Learn the words for England’s catchy Gareth Southgate song LU BEAUTY Fallon d’Floor World Cup latest on talkSPORT.com ‘It could have been me’ – Allardyce admits World Cup was tough to watch Xavi has slammed Real Madrid and Julen Lopetegui Arsenal star Laurent Koscielny admits he didn’t want France to win World Cup 2 2 misery SUPERSTITION A reminder to Liverpool fans about the very comical threat Neymar offers You’re the one Dele Alli reveals pre-match rituals and lucky charms he has before matches Xavi has BACKED the remarkable decision to sack Julen Lopetegui as Spain manager on the eve of the World Cup, and has taken a swipe at Real Madrid for throwing the national team’s preparations into disarray. Good times Julen Lopetegui left Spain just 24 hours before the start of the World Cup Lopetegui, unbeaten in 20 games as Spain boss, had signed a new contract with the national side just three weeks ago.“There are decisions we had to make, based on how you behave and on ethics,” Spain FA chief Rubiales said.“The national team belongs to everyone and we have to send a clear message to all employees that there is a way to behave and a way not to.“If it had been up to Julen I wouldn’t have found out five minutes beforehand.“You can’t do things this way, two days before the World Cup. We have been compelled to make this decision.”last_img read more