Real Madrid Hire Spain’s Julen Lopetegui

Julen Lopetegui
KRASNODAR, RUSSIA - JUNE 09: Head coach Julen Lopetegui of Spain gestures during the friendly match between Spain and Tunisia at Krasnodar's stadium on June 9, 2018 in Krasnodar, Russia. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

In a fairly surprising turn of events, Real Madrid have announced Julian Lopetegui will take over as manager. The current Spanish national team manager will take over at Madrid after the World Cup. The appointment comes just three weeks after Lopetegui signed an extension with the National team.

Julen Lopetegui Appointed New Real Madrid Manager

Lopotegui was born in the Basque country and began his youth career as a goalkeeper at Real Sociedad. He eventually moved to Real Madrid, playing for Real Madrid Castilla for three seasons and making one senior appearance before moving on in search of playing time. His professional career lasted from 1985 to 2002 and included 317 appearances for six clubs.

Coaching Career

After his playing career, he went into coaching, first as an assistant with the Spanish youth national team, followed by a ten game stint at Rayo Vallecano before being sacked. After a few years off and work in broadcasting, he went back to coach Real Madrid Castilla in 2008. After two seasons there he began working his way up the Spanish youth national team ranks.

From 2010-2014 he coached at U19, U20, & U21 before taking the job at Porto. A few solid seasons there landed him the keys to the Spanish national team, with World Cup 2018 the destination. Now not only will it be the destination, but it will be the swansong as well.

Lopetegui had been undefeated as Spain manager, 14-6-0 in twenty games in charge. He has also coached a few Real Madrid players with the national team. Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Isco and Marco Asensio, just to name a few. Lopetegui at least has experience taking over for a manager/deity figure like Zidane. Taking over for World Cup winner Vicente del Bosque was quite the challenge.

And much like when he took the Spain job, nobody knows how Lopetegui’s Real Madrid will play. An early guess would say they wouldn’t change much, but that’s because they don’t need to change much. Either way, the spotlight is on him now like it has never been before.

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