REAL MADRID has confirmed Spain coach Julen Lopetegui as Zinedine Zidane’s successor, the 51-year-old taking over Los Blancos after the World Cup.
The veteran manager has signed a three-year deal at the Bernabeu, just weeks after extending his contract with the Spanish national side to the end of the 2020 European Championships. Lopetegui is one of very few players to feature for both Real Madrid and Barcelona in his club career, and coached Los Blancos’ B team around a decade ago. Speaking just three weeks ago after signing his new Spain contract, the former Porto boss said: “I’m grateful for the confidence placed in me and in my staff.
“I wasn’t losing any sleep regarding a new contract as we all know that football is uncertain. We are very happy with what we have done so far. We’ve worked very hard the past two years and we will continue to do so.”
Lopetegui’s last club job saw him take charge of Porto, being relieved of his duties after just 18 months after falling out of the Champions League group stage and leading the club to just third place in the league at the turn of the year. His only club job before that was a brief stint at Rayo Vallecano in 2003, having spent most of the last decade floating around the Spain setup – currently managing Real stars Isco, Dani Carvajal, Marco Asensio, Nacho, Sergio Ramos and Lucas Vazquez, all of whom are in Spain’s World Cup squad.