That decision to make it public just a few days before Spain's first game in Russian Federation led to the national coach being fired from his position (the Rubiales call that won him this vote), replaced by Fernando Hierro.
The paper said it was "incredible naivety" to think that Lopetegui's abrupt departure did not have an effect.
"I believe I've been lucky to be able to live one of the best eras of Spanish football, with a generation of players who have been and are exceptional in every sense".More news: LeBron James’ free agency: Reports from around the NBA
The Barcelona-based Sport newspaper criticised Real Madrid, the Catalan club's bitter rivals, for "blowing apart the Roja's chances" by approaching Lopetegui when they did.
"I give my whole hearted recognition to one of the greatest players of our history", he said of the 34-year-old who was part of Spain's World Cup-winning team in 2010, apart from the Euro-winning squads in 2008 and 2012. "And the fact that there is interest in us is quite inspiring", he said.
The host started the tournament with a 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia, with Aleksandr Golovin creating trouble with his free roving role, but Russia's biggest triumph came in its 5-4 win over Spain in the last-16.More news: Germany coach Joachim Low ponders over future after defending champions' meek exit
He was named "Man of the Match" in both the World Cup and European Champions final two years later, reaffirming to the world how important he was to Spain's successes.
"What I am clear about is that I'm proud of the way Hierro and his staff have behaved", Rubiales nevertheless declared.
"Like all Spaniards, we had high hopes and dreams and we are sad that we couldn't do it for the millions of people who were following the game back home", he said. We need our personality. This is football. We had more possession, got to their area much more. "I have no reproach whatsoever for this group of players".
Iniesta announced his retirement from the national team immediately after the end of the last-16 meeting v Russia, Goal.com reports.More news: Fortnite is having a special one-time only event on June 30
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