MADRID (Reuters) - Real Madrid defender Dani Carvajal says sacked coach Julen Lopetegui is the best manager he has worked under.
Lopetegui was dismissed last week after less than five months in charge of Real, following a hefty Clasico defeat by Barcelona and a dire run of form in which they sunk to ninth in La Liga.
The coach has endured a nightmare year after being sacked by Spain on the eve of the World Cup after agreeing to take the Real Madrid job.
However, Carvajal, who won three Champions League titles with Real under Zinedine Zidane, is standing by Lopetegui.
“For me, he’s the best coach that I have had,” Carvajal told TVE. “Unfortunately, he lacked the bit of luck necessary to continue with us. His way of seeing football, his way of managing the group, of being with the players, is something I share.
“I said it before he arrived at Real Madrid, I’m still saying it now he´s gone, and I will keep saying it until I have a coach that’s better than him.”
Lopetegui’s replacement, interim coach Santiago Solari, has two wins from his two matches in charge, although Carvajal has not featured due to a calf injury.
The right back is not available for Real’s trip to the Czech Republic to face Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Reporting by Rik Sharma, editing by Ed Osmond