Julen Lopetegui Named New Manager of Real Madrid
Current Spain coach, Julen Lopetegui has been confirmed as the new manager of Real Madrid, and will join the club after the World Cup.
The 51-year-old was announced as manger on Tuesday afternoon.
Lopetegui only signed a new deal with the Spanish FA three weeks ago, to extend his stay with the national team until 2020.
A statement read: “Julen Lopetegui will be the coach of Real Madrid after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“Real Madrid CF announces that Julen Lopetegui will coach the first team for the next three seasons.
“Julen Lopetegui will join the club after the participation of the Spanish team in the World Cup, after two years leading the national team.”
The likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp had been touted for the role since Zinedine Zidane left on May 31.
However Lopetegui’s exploits with Spain appear to have won out, given that he remains unbeaten ahead of the tournament in Russia having turned around an aging team into one of the genuine favourites for the crown.
Lopetegui was a player and coach of Real at youth level before also coaching the national team at at Under 19, 20 and 21.
His following success at Porto then saw him become the Spain coach in 2016.
The 51-year-old joined Real as a player in 1988 and spent three seasons with the club, but only managed one appearance before returning to manage their Castilla team in the 2008-09 season.
He was hired as Vincente del Bosque’s replacement following Spain’s underwhelming Euro 2016 campaign despite being strongly linked with then-Championship side Wolves shortly before.
A goalkeeper during his playing day, Lopetegui also played with FC Barcelona as well as Real Sociedad de San Sebastian.
He has managed Spain’s national team U-19, U-20 and U-21 level and won the European Championships with the U-19s and U-21s.
He coached Porto as well as Rayo Vallecano.