Champions League winners Real Madrid have named Spain’s national team manager Julen Lopetegui as their new head coach following the departure of Zinedine Zidane.
The Los Blancos announced Lopetegui will be taking over after the World Cup in Russia is over by releasing the following statement on the clubs official website: “Julen Lopetegui will be the Real Madrid coach after the celebration of the 2018 World Cup.”
“Real Madrid C. F. announced that Julen Lopetegui will be the coach of the first team during the next three seasons.
“Julen Lopetegui will join the club after Spain’s participation in the World Cup, after two years leading the national team.”
The move came as a surprise as many experts and bookies made former players Raul and Guti favourites to land the first team head coach role. The national team manager was not even in the reckoning and his name just appeared out of nowhere today as the new head coach of Los Blancos.
The 51-year-old who was a former goalkeeper at Real played only one senior game for the club.
He has managed the Spanish national teams from Under-17 level, Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21. In 2006 he was made first team coach of the senior national team where he has gone unbeaten over the two-years in charge.
He is a man with a strong relationship with players in the national side, which will be a boost for the likes of Sergio Ramos, Isco, Nacho and Vazquez who will all welcome the Spaniard with open arms.
He now has a tough act to follow in Zinedine Zidane who won nine major trophies in his three-years as head coach of Real Madrid.
He will become the first Spanish coach of the club since the sacking of Rafa Benitez back in 2016.