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Real Madrid confirm Lopetegui as new manager

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Julen Lopetegui

Image credit: Getty Images

ByMichael Hincks
12/06/2018 at 13:51 | Updated 12/06/2018 at 19:59
@MichaelHincks

Real Madrid have confirmed Spain boss Julen Lopetegui will become their new manager on a three-year deal after the World Cup is over.

The 51-year-old took charge of Spain after Euro 2016 - and signed a new extension until 2020 just last month - but the appointment means the impending World Cup in Russia will be his only major tournament in charge of the national team.

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The former Porto boss, who also coached a trio of Spain's youth teams, featured just once for Real Madrid during his playing career, which also involved stints at Castilla, Las Palmas, Logrones, Rayo Vallecano and rivals Barcelona.

Julen Lopetegui took charge of Spain after Euro 2016

Image credit: Getty Images

The search to replace Zinedine Zidane, who left after guiding Real to a third-straight Champions League title, lasted almost two weeks, with Mauricio Pochettino, Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp among the names reportedly in the frame.

However, with Real opting for Lopetegui, Spurs and Liverpool fans will be buoyed by the news that Pochettino and Klopp will remain in the Premier League beyond the summer - while the future of Conte at Chelsea remains unclear.

Managerigal experience

After retiring from football, Lopetegui became an assistant for Spain's U17 team in 2003, before swiftly taking charge of Liga B side Rayo Vallecano.

He was sacked after just 10 games in charge, and after a spell away from management, he took up a coaching role with Real Madrid Castilla.

Work with the Spanish youth teams followed. He coached the U19s to Euro 2012 glory, and after managing the U20s, he led the U21 side to victory at Euro 2013.

Lopetegui returned to club management with Porto in 2014, but he was sacked midway through his second season after failing to deliver silverware, leaving the club in January 2016 with the club third in the league, and out of the Champions League.

He then took charge of Spain after Vicente del Bosque's retirement following Euro 2016. The national side are yet to lose under his guidance, as they reached the World Cup with ease, recording nine wins and a draw to finish ahead of Italy in Group G.

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