Real Madrid's Florentino Perez calls Spain firing Julen Lopetegui an 'absurd reaction'

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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.

Spain's football team has been plunged into chaos just over 24 hours out from the start of the FIFA World Cup, with the Spanish football federation firing manager Julen Lopetegui.

"The negotiation occurred without the RFEF having any information".

"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".

We have to chose to fire the national coach.

But that's exactly what Spain has done by firing manager Julen Lopetegui on Wednesday, the day before the massively important tournament was scheduled to kick-off in Russian Federation.

"I don't want to get into how Real Madrid should go about things". I admire Julen very much, I respect him very much. They will also have to try and negotiate their way out of a group containing Iran and Morocco if they are to reach the knockout stages of the competition.

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"We have three great finals, the first one is tomorrow and then two more after that", he added.

"But, after five minutes, I saw it in the press and we had to react".

Lopetegui and Perez informed Rubiales just five minutes before Real's announcement, only three days before their first World Cup game, and the RFEF felt it was "unacceptable".

Lopetegui had recently signed a new deal with Spain on May 22 extending his contract until 2020. "It may look like a weakness now, but with time this will make us stronger".

But in a staunch defence of their conduct, Pérez insisted that Madrid had acted clearly and transparently and expressed his surprise that Rubiales had taken such drastic action.

"I know there's going to be criticism whatever I do", said Rubiales. "I've been present in all the training sessions, I have been here on a day to day basis We can't change anything in two days", he continued.

Former goalkeeper Lopetegui spent a season as coach of Real's B-team Castilla from 2008-09 before taking over as Spain Under-19 manager in 2010.