Xavi questions Real Madrid’s Lopetegui timing

Spain legend Xavi says Real Madrid’s decision to announce Julen Lopetegui as their new manager days before the World Cup was not ideal timing.

Lopetegui was unceremoniously sacked as Spain boss on Wednesday after Los Merengues announced a day earlier that he would take over from Zinedine Zidane as new head coach in Madrid.

Lopetegui’s shock departure has put La Roja in a difficult situation, who have since announced Fernando Hierro as head coach for the World Cup in Russia, but Xavi was not impressed by how things were handled.

“I am not the person to talk about it [Lopetegui joining Madrid],” the former Barcelona star told Radio Marca.

“It was not the most ideal or opportune moment.”

He added: “You never know, the players have already seen it all and sure, they can play a good role at the World Cup.

“Leadership will not be missing, there is [Sergio] Ramos, [Gerard] Pique, [Andres] Iniesta.”

Xavi was at least hopeful that the situation would bind the players together.

“There are very prepared people and a very good atmosphere. It’s not the best situation but at the same time, it unites them more and they give more of themselves, you never know.”