June 14, 2018 / 1:15 PM / 3 months ago

Spain coach Lopetegui sacking will not affect team-Germany's Kroos

VATUTINKI, Russia (Reuters) - Spain’s decision to sack coach Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the World Cup will have little impact on the quality of the 2010 world champions’ game, Germany midfielder Toni Kroos said on Thursday.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Germany Press Conference - Germany Training Camp, Moscow, Russia - June 14, 2018 Germany’s Jerome Boateng and Toni Kroos during the press conference REUTERS/Axel Schmidt

Lopetegui was sensationally sacked on Wednesday, two days before Spain’s opening Group B match against Portugal, after their soccer federation said he failed to inform them he had agreed to join Real Madrid after the tournament.

“Honestly I don’t think it is a big drawback for Spain,” 2014 World Cup winner Kroos, who will work under Lopetegui at Real Madrid, told reporters.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Spain news conference - International Friendly - Petrovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg, Russia - November 13, 2017 - Spain's coach Julen Lopetegui attends a news conference before friendly match against Russia. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

“I will meet him soon. Of course there are more ideal things than losing your coach two days before your World Cup start. But I think that it won’t be too much of a drawback.”

Real unexpectedly announced on Tuesday that Lopetegui, who only recently extended his contract with Spain and was unbeaten in his 20 games in charge, would be the Madrid club’s coach next season.

He was replaced at the helm of the national team by former Real assistant coach Fernando Hierro.

“(Hierro) is a good guy and a good coach,” said Kroos who worked with him at Real. “I think Spain’s systems will work just as fine.”

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris

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