The FC crew react to Real Madrid’s appointment of Julen Lopetegui as manager, questioning the timing as he prepares to lead Spain at the World Cup.
ESPN FC’s Gab Marcotti discusses the tricky situation Julen Lopetegui finds himself in as he coaches Spain before taking over at Real Madrid.

Germany midfielder Toni Kroos said he does not believe Spain’s chances at the World Cup have been hurt by Julen Lopetegui’s dismissal two days before their opener against Portugal.

Lopetegui was hired by Real Madrid on Tuesday to replace Zinedine Zidane, and the Spanish football federation responded to his decision to leave the team following the World Cup by sacking him and replacing him with Fernando Hierro.

Kroos said that he has not spoken to his Madrid teammates since Lopetegui was hired but that he will get to know him shortly.

“I really don’t think it will be much of a disadvantage for [Spain],” Kroos said. “Sure, there are better things than losing your coach two days before your first match, but the automatisms, what you learned in training, will still be there.

“And I know Hierro pretty well. He was part of [Carlo] Ancelotti’s staff at Real [in 2014-15]. I really don’t think it will be much of a disadvantage.”


World Cup 2018 must-reads

Welcome to the Alternative 2018 World Cup Fans’ Guide
ESPN FC’s experts make their picks
Marvel’s amazing World Cup spoilers
Revealed: World Cup 2018 Ultimate XI
Fixtures, results and full coverage
Team-by-team previews of all 32 nations


Kroos, speaking at a news conference at Germany’s training base in Moscow, said he remains hungry for additional success at the World Cup despite winning three consecutive Champions League medals.

He compared his state of mind to what Madrid players went through last season, acknowledging that the pressure dropped immediately after winning but players soon found the motivation required to come back and win again.

“You always work toward a big goal,” said Kroos, who won the World Cup with Germany in 2014. “Once you achieved it, it’s not that easy. You need a few days. Like winning the Champions League — season over, goal achieved. The pressure drops.

“But to play at a World Cup, even more so with a great team like we have, that’s not the worst motivation. The hunger is there. Do it like in 2014. If you have won trophies, you want to do it all over again. By now, I am really looking forward to playing football again.”

Meanwhile, Kroos dismissed reports that midfielder Luka Modric would leave Madrid this summer.

“I did not hear that Luka must leave Real,” he said. “And I really can’t imagine this, and I don’t want to. With Casemiro, we’ve formed a pretty successful trio over the last couple of years.”

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan


Source link

http://scugo.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/r348542_1296x729_16-9.jpg&site=espnfc-1024x576.jpg&site=espnfchttp://scugo.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/r348542_1296x729_16-9.jpg&site=espnfc-150x150.jpg&site=espnfcadminLa Liga
The FC crew react to Real Madrid's appointment of Julen Lopetegui as manager, questioning the timing as he prepares to lead Spain at the World Cup. ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti discusses the tricky situation Julen Lopetegui finds himself in as he coaches Spain before taking over at Real...