After Zinedine Zidane’s surprise move to leave Real Madrid after claiming a third consecutive Champions League, the club has announced that Julen Lopetegui will take over as manager on their website.
The current Spanish National Team coach, Lopetegui will take over los Blancos at the conclusion of this summer’s World Cup. Lopetegui took over Spain in July 2016, and has made them into a World Cup favorite this summer going 14-0-6 in his first 20 games in charge.
Prior to coaching his home country’s national team, the Spanish manager led Porto to a Champions League semi-final during his year and a half in charge of the Portuguese club. From 2010-2014, he coached Spanish youth national teams to much success, winning the 2012 European Under-19 Championship and 2013 European Under-23 Championship.
Lopetegui has big shoes to fill in Madrid, though. Former boss Zinedine Zidane led Madrid to one of the greatest three season runs in the history of club football, winning three Champions League titles and a La Liga title.
While at Porto, Lopetegui brought in seven Spanish players during his first transfer window. Current Madrid players Gareth Bale, Toni Kroos, and other foreign players’ futures may be in flux should Lopetegui continue his trend of ‘Spanish-ing’ his squads.
Madrid reportedly broke the news earlier than they hoped to.
According to Radio Marca the six Real Madrid players in Spain squad knew the news about Lopetegui and then one non-Madrid player got wind of it so Lopetegui was worried news was spread, he told Madrid and so they made it public immediately to prevent unrest.
— Richard Martin (@Rich9908) June 12, 2018
Much of Lopetegui’s initial reception at the Bernabeu may depend on how his Spanish squad performs in Russia. A poor performance could see the Madristas out for blood.
Is Lopetegui the right man to follow Zidane? Let us know by commenting below or tweeting us at @AllOutFootball_ using the hashtag #AOF.