FC Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez has slammed sacked Spain coach Julen Lopetegui's decision to strike a deal with Real Madrid so close to the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
On Tuesday, Los Blancos announced that the former La Furia Roja manager would take over at the Santiago Bernabeu after completing his duties with the national side in Russia.
The announcement came as a surprise for the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), and they subsequently sacked Lopetegui on Thursday.
Xavi has now come out in support of the RFEF and its president, Luis Rubiales, saying that the situation was handled correctly.
"The decision of Lopetegui seemed to be untimely, unexpected and hasty, a surprise for everyone," he told MARCA.
"I think that Rubiales has reacted very well, he looked out for the Federation, which must always be above individuals."
The former Spain international also backed the appointment of Fernando Hierro as interim manager of La Furia Roja.
"Hierro is a good person to take over the national team, and he will be very well prepared," Xavi added.
"For me, despite everything that has happened around this episode, Spain remains a strong candidate for the World Cup."
The 2010 World Cup winners have been drawn in Group B alongside Portugal, Iran and Morocco.
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