Lopetegui philosophical over Sevilla sacking – 'One has to learn how to dance in the rain'

Julen Lopetegui bid a fond farewell to Sevilla after his sacking and said he departed having earned "respect" for his achievements at the club.

The former Spain boss was dismissed by the LaLiga outfit after their 4-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday, with the decision having been widely expected ahead of the game.

Since he arrived at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Lopetegui had rebuilt his reputation, following an abrupt dismissal from the Spain national team job ahead of the Russia 2018 World Cup and a poor subsequent stint at Real Madrid.

He guided the club to the 2019-20 Europa League title, but poor form this term has seen him pay the price. Argentinian Jorge Sampaoli is widely expected to step in as his successor.

Speaking after his departure, the 56-year-old Lopetegui was philosophical about his three-year tenure.

"One does not choose what happens in life," he said. "There is a saying that one has to learn to dance in the rain, not wait for it to end. I think that's how it is. Things happen and one has to adapt. I think I do my best.

"The feeling that comes to my mind is to wish the best of luck to Sevilla, the club, the players and their wonderful fans. I was lucky [to be here].

"I believe respect is not given away; respect is earned with attitude, with work, and sometimes with or without success. This is life.

"In the end, I think people know how to see the dedication, the responsibility and the success we have had. That respect, we take with us, my staff and I. We take it with us forever."

Lopetegui explained his appreciation for the club's exacting demands on players and coaches, from supporters to the boardroom.

"In the end, life and football, as I told the players, have many similarities, and many times what one takes away from the places where they have been is the love and recognition of what you have done," Lopetegui said.

"I think that is something that personally fills me with pride and makes me happy within the sad situation that I have.

"Obviously, the Sevilla fans are very demanding fans, as we have always said, and I think they are also one of the great assets of this club, because that demand means that everyone is always on their toes from the beginning.

"That means that everyone is hierarchically like this, it means that in the end we have all given the best of ourselves to achieve these historic years."