Real Madrid name Julen Lopetegui as new boss

Tanya Simon
June 13, 2018

The short statement also added that the Basque will take up his role after the World Cup, which starts on Thursday and finishes on July 15, with Spain among the favourites to reach the final in Moscow.

Lopetegui will join Real Madrid after Spain's World Cup campaign is over, the club have confirmed.

The French manager's leaving has thrown a significant spanner into Real Madrid's transfer plans, with the club now having to put their player recruitment on hold while they search for a new on-pitch leader.

They face a World Cup group containing Iberian rivals Portugal, as well as Morocco and Iran.

Zidane quit Real on May 31, saying he had made a decision to leave at the top and that it was time for a change for himself and the club, as well as admitting he was unsure of his ability to maintain his winning record at Real.

As for Ronaldo's future with Real Madrid, it's possible he never plays for Lopetegui at all.

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However, Lopetegui's appointment is another surprise from Los Blancos, particularly as he only signed a new deal to remain in charge of Spain until 2020 in May, per BBC Sport.

A trusted youth coach, he has also managed Spain at Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 level, though he failed to win any silverware at FC Porto and was sacked.

He will have a tough act to follow, after Zinedine Zidane won an unprecedented three Champions League titles in a row, as well as a La Liga title, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA World Club Cups during his two years in charge.

While it remains to be seen how Lopetegui's decision will affect his team and the players in the build-up to the competition, the timing of the announcement means that there will be an unwanted distraction throughout their time in Russian Federation.

"But if you look at it from the point of view of Real Madrid, there weren't really many alternatives out there, and you are talking about somebody who has a brilliant record with the national side".

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