Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola came out in support of Julen Lopetegui, who was sacked by Real Madrid after just 139 days in charge, following a 1-5 defeat to Barcelona at Camp Nou on Sunday.
“Football I know what it is, we are still here because we win games, if we don’t win we will be sacked,” Guardiola said, when asked about Lopetegui’s sacking. Guardiola was addressing a press conference following City’s 1-0 Premier League win over Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley on Monday.
“I’m sorry for Julen because he’s a friend of mine. He’s an exceptional person,” said Guardiola, who played with Lopetegui at Barcelona. “I want to call him in the next few days. It is what it is. It’s football, nobody escapes that. When you have bad results you will not continue in big, big places like Barcelona or Madrid ... I wish him all the best.”
Lopetegui was appointed in June but five defeats in seven games, the last of them a 5-1 thrashing by Barcelona on Sunday, have convinced Madrid to make a change. The decision was announced following a meeting of Madrid’s board of directors on Monday night.
A club statement read: “This decision, adopted from the highest level of responsibility, aims to change the dynamics of the first team, when all the objectives of this season are still achievable.
“The Board of Directors understands that there is a great disproportion between the quality of the staff of Real Madrid, which has eight players nominated for the next Golden Ball, something unprecedented in the history of the club, and the results obtained to date.”
Santiago Solari, the club’s B team coach, has been put in temporary charge. Solari will lead the first team from Tuesday and is expected to be in charge for the Copa del Rey game against Melilla on Wednesday.
With inputs from AFP
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