Julen Lopetegui has decided to leave his coaching role with Spain Under-21s, bringing to an end a four-year association with the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
At the helm for La Rojita's 2013 UEFA European U21 Championship success in Israel, the 47-year-old also guided Spain U19s to glory in 2012. He steps down from his post with the U21s on course to reach next year's final tournament .
"It's hard to express in so few words my gratitude to the Royal Spanish Football Federation and to everyone who has worked by my side over these past years," Lopetegui said at RFEF headquarters. "Another professional opportunity in my life has opened up in which all I have lived over these past four years will help me. I wish the future coaches and players all the best."
The RFEF also issued a statement: "The Royal Spanish Football Federation would like to express its gratitude to Julen Lopetegui for the splendid work both he and his technical staff have carried out with us. It was not just for winning the 2013 UEFA European U21 Championship in Israel – where Spain triumphed playing in a style that was praised the world over – but also for his contributions in ensuring we have a very bright future."
Lopetegui, a former Real Madrid CF, CD Logroñes, FC Barcelona and Rayo Vallecano goalkeeper, joined the RFEF in 2010 following coaching roles with Real Madrid Castilla and Rayo. Along with his previous successes at U21 and U19 level, he also guided Spain to the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia last summer.
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