Julen Lopetegui doesn’t want Ronaldo to win FIFA The Best  

Former Spain boss Julen Lopetegui, who now manages Real Madrid, has vouched for Luka Modric to win FIFA The Best award ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Mo Salah. He also responded to Barcelona star Lionel Messi’s claims about Real Madrid becoming weaker in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Argentine spoke about the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo for the very first time, stating that while the Old Lady have become stronger, the Galacticos are now weakened with the Portuguese’s departure. 

Lopetegui, however, is of the opinion that there is no place for doubt regarding his player.

'I wouldn't doubt these Real Madrid players for a second,' Lopetegui said when asked about the Barcelona player's remark.

With the nominations for FIFA’s The Best out, Lopetegui revealed that he wants Luka Modric to win it since the Croat is a Madrid player.

'I would give it to our player, Modric, I'm clear about that.'

Lopetegui was appointed as the coach of Real Madrid and joined the institution right before the World Cup, as he was sacked by the Spanish FA on the eve of the tournament. At the time, Ronaldo was still a Madrid player but Lopetegui affirmed that he didn’t have the chance to speak to the former Manchester United star as he had already decided upon leaving by then.

'I didn't speak to [Ronaldo],' he said. 'It's a situation that when I arrived, he had shown a desire to leave and the club facilitated it. I respected it and the strategy was taken.'

He also spoke about his appointment with the Galacticos, something that led to the Spanish FA chief Luis Rubiales sacking him just a day before the World Cup began. However, Lopetegui has no regrets about the way things turned out, stating that he would do it again if he had the chance to do so.

'Simply I took a decision and I would take it again, I did it honestly and I have no regrets,' he said.

Lopetegui's Madrid have started their La Liga season very well as they have won all of their first three games in a convincing fashion. 

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