Madrid released a statement to confirm Lopetegui’s exit, in which they appeared to criticise the former Spain boss for failing to make the most of a talented squad, saying “there is a great disproportion between the quality of the squad, which has eight players nominated for the Ballon d’Or, and the results obtained so far [this season]”.
However, Lopetegui refused to hit back at the Madrid board and instead thanked everyone associated with the club.
“After the decision taken by the Real Madrid board of directors, I want to thank the club for the opportunity they gave me.
“Thank you to the players for their effort and their work, as well as to each and every one of the club’s employees, for their good treatment during this time.
“And, of course my gratitude to the fans for their backing. I send them my best wishes for the rest of the season,” he said in a brief statement provided to EFE.