Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has no regrets on Spain exit

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No regrets: Julen Lopetegui.

Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has no regrets over his departure from the Spain job – and sees no reason why both club and country cannot enjoy a successful future.

The Spanish Football Federation sacked Lopetegui on the eve of the 2018 World Cup following the manner of his announcement as successor to Zinedine Zidane at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Spain were eventually eliminated at the last-16 stage by hosts Russia after a penalty shoot-out, but are preparing for a fresh start under new head coach Luis Enrique in the opening match of their UEFA Nations League campaign against England at Wembley on Saturday.

Lopetegui, meanwhile, has guided Los Blancos to three successive La Liga victories in the new domestic season after seeing his side beaten by rivals Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.

The 52-year-old now hopes everyone can move forwards.

“Simply I took a decision and I would take it again, I did it honestly and I have no regrets,” Lopetegui said to Spanish radio station Onda Cero, as quoted by Marca.

“I am very happy to train Madrid, we have a great challenge, a fantastic objective and I have a lot of hope that it goes great for the national team with Luis Enrique.

“I am a fervent supporter of Spain, now it is period for me in the past and now we are focused on our objective which is a big challenge.

“We are all focused on what we have to do now and the past is in the past. The way it happened cannot be changed.”

The departure of talisman forward Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus has, so far, not had a major impact on Real Madrid’s performances.

Julen Lopetegui was sacked as Spain coach on the eve of the World Cup

Julen Lopetegui was sacked as Spain coach on the eve of the World Cup

Lopetegui has set his squad high expectations as they look to wrestle back domestic dominance from Barcelona and also mount another successful defence of their European crown.

“We have done okay, but it is only the start and we have three weeks ahead with the Champions League,” the Real Madrid boss added.

“We have achieved the aim of nine points and now we need to reflect. The players need to come back fit (after the international break) and we will see what happens.

“Out target is everything this season. With the league you have to always be on form and it rewards consistency, but we want to win everything.”

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Lopetegui reveals he didn't speak to Ronaldo before he left Real Madrid

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Big transfer: Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui has admitted he did not have a chance to speak to Cristiano Ronaldo or convince the Whites icon to stay this summer.

Ronaldo joined Juventus in a €99m deal on July 10 before former Spain manager Lopetegui kicked off pre-season preparations with his new team.

Lopetegui was of course appointed as Real coach ahead of the World Cup following his infamous La Roja sacking but did not get the chance to talk to Ronaldo – and was essentially informed of the Portugueses’s desire to leave the Bernabeu as he signed on the dotted line.

He said: “I did not speak to him, it was a situation where he had already decided to leave and the club went along with this for a player who had been tremendous. They allowed this desire and restlessness that he had.

“I expressed from the start (the players I wanted). I thought the squad was fantastic, the players are very good in all areas of the pitch and capable to compete for titles.”

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Live Real Madrid Blog: Lionel Messi opens up about Cristiano Ronaldo

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Hello Madridistas!

The Sport360 team is in place bringing you all the latest Real Madrid news on Monday.

As ever, get in touch with us throughout the day via Twitter and Facebook.

11.23pm: Lionel Messi opens up about Cristiano Ronaldo

Messi was surprised by Ronaldo's decision to leave Los Blancos

Messi was surprised by Ronaldo’s decision to leave Los Blancos

Lionel Messi has admitted he was surprised by Cristiano Ronaldo‘s decision to leave Real Madrid and join Juventus.

Messi also believes the Serie A giants are now among the clear favourites to win this season’s Champions League.

Ronaldo swapped Spain for Italy in a deal worth €100 million in July, after sealing a third consecutive European crown, and his fourth in five years with Los Blancos.

But Messi, who missed out on a three-man shortlist for FIFA’s world player of the year award on Monday, feels the balance may have shifted following the 33-year-old’s exit.

Read what Lionel had to say HERE.

9.38pm: Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane nominated for FIFA Manager of the Year

France’s World Cup winning manager Didier DeschampsZlatko Dalic and Zinedine Zidane were nominated as the finalists for FIFA’s coach of the year award on Monday.

Deschamps became just the third man to win the World Cup as a player and coach with victory over Dalic’s Croatia in July’s final in Russia.

Zidane was a team-mate of Deschamps when France first won the World Cup in 1998 and is nominated after guiding Real Madrid to a third Champions League in his two-and-a-half year reign at the Bernabeu.

To read more CLICK HERE.

4.55pm – Cristiano Ronaldo in line for record sixth FIFA Player of the Year award

Ronaldo is up against Mohamed Salah for the top award

Ronaldo is up against Mohamed Salah for the top award

Cristiano Ronaldo could claim a record sixth FIFA men’s player of the year prize after Lionel Messi was omitted from the shortlist for the first time since 2006.

Ronaldo and Messi have both won the prize five times, but the Barcelona and Argentina forward was overlooked on this occasion, with Luka Modric and Mohamed Salah in contention.

Barcelona and Argentina forward Messi had featured in the top three for 11 straight years. He was runner-up in 2007 and 2008 before winning the title for the first of five years in 2009.

The shortlists were announced by football’s world governing body on Monday and the award ceremony is scheduled to take place on September 24 at Royal Festival Hall in London.

To read more CLICK HERE.

1pm – Cristiano Ronaldo Jr scores four on Juventus debut

0903 Cristiano Ronaldo Jr

When Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus this summer, his son made the exact same switch at the academy level. While the elder Ronaldo is struggling for goals, Ronaldo Jr. made his debut for the Bianconeri U9s and scored four times.

Read more here.

11am – Vinicius Jr gets bitten in derby

Real Madrid Castilla faced Atletico Madrid B on Sunday, with Vinicius Jr scoring a brace. But the most notable incident involving the young Brazilian wasn’t either of his goals, but a clash with Atleti captain Tachi – who took a chunk of Vinicius’ head!

Aside from that, recap an all-action display from VJ:

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