Julen Lopetegui gave an interview on Spanish television on Monday night during which he discussed Iker Casillas and Gerard Piqué’s decision to retire from international football after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Lopetegui said he had spoken to Casillas, with whom he worked at Porto before taking over the Spain national team from Vicente del Bosque in 2016, shortly after assuming the reins at Las Rozas and that at no stage had he suggested the door to the national team was closed to the most-capped player in the country’s history.
“It’s true that we had a conversation between two friends. He was a player of mine [at Porto] and I understood that I needed to speak to him. I told him my decision [not to call Casillas up] but I haven’t closed the door on him or anyone else.”
Casillas’ last cap came during Euro 2016, where he acted as back-up to Manchester United keeper David de Gea, and he has yet to feature under Lopetegui. However, his recent form for Porto suggets that may change during the next international break in March.
Speaking about Piqué, Lopetegui said: “Gerard has made it clear that he will call it a day after the World Cup and I think we have to respect that decision. We have to enjoy him and the rest of the players during the time they remain with the national team.