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Real Madrid announce Julen Lopetegui as New Head Coach

Real Madrid have announced that the Spain head coach Julen Lopetegui will take over as manager at the Bernabéu after 2018 World Cup in Russia.

The 51-year-old, who has been in charge of Spain national team for the past two years, has agreed on a three-year contract at the Bernabeu.

Julen Lopetegui, New Real Madrid Manager

The shock appointment of Julen Lopetegui, the Spain coach, at Real Madrid three days before his side kick off their World Cup campaign was met with bewilderment and fury as the team’s preparations were thrown into chaos.

The move comes as a surprise, with Lopetegui not featuring prominently among the host of managers linked with the role since the departure of Zinedine Zidane days after Madrid’s 3-1 victory over Liverpool in the Champions League final.

Lopetegui, 51, played for Real between 1988 and 1991 as a goalkeeper, making one league appearance, and later turned out for rivals Barcelona a handful of times. He also coached the B team, Castilla, in 2008-09 before joining the national setup as Spain Under-19 coach.

Club management

Lopetegui started his managerial career at Vallecano in 2003, only one year after he retired from playing for the club.

The Spaniard only managed the La Liga outfit for 11 games, winning just two before his dismissal.

Jump forward 11 years and Lopetegui was to receive just his second job in senior club management.

Porto took a chance on the former player, but their risk certainly didn’t pay off.

Despite winning 53 of his 77 games in charge while in Portugal, Lopetegui finished third in his first season in charge, winning no silverware.

The coach was only to manage six months of his second campaign before Porto chiefs decided to sack him.

The club finished second after bringing in Jose Peseiro.

©THE NATIONAL TIMES NEWS