National Team Boss To Take Over At The Bernabeu
Real Madrid have announced the appointment of Julen Lopetegui as their new manager for the next three seasons.
The Spain national team manager will take over after the World Cup. He has been in charge of los rojos since Vicente del Bosque’s retirement in 2016.
Lopetegui is a former coach of Real’s reserve side RM Castilla. The 51-year-old former goalkeeper spent part of his playing career at the Bernabeu, but he made just one senior appearance in La Liga for the first team during the 1989-90 campaign.
Lopetegui was sold to Logrones in 1991 and his performances for the unfancied side earned him a call-up to the Spain squad for the 1994 World Cup in the USA. However, he won just one cap for his country.
He moved to Barcelona in the summer of 1994 where he acted as understudy to Carles Busquets and he made just five La Liga appearances for the Catalan side.
Lopetegui moved back to Madrid with Rayo Vallecano in 1997. He ended his playing career there in 2002 and had a brief spell as head coach in 2003 with the side in Spain’s second division. But he was sacked after 10 games and had a spell out of the game working as a media pundit.
In 2008-09 he returned to Real Madrid to take charge of their B team. But he joined the Spanish FA’s national team set-up in 2010 when he was appointed coach of the under-19 and under-20 sides. He became under-21 coach in 2012 winning the European under-21 championship in 2013.
In 2014 Lopetegui returned to club management with Portugese side FC Porto. He left to take up the Spain job in 2016 and the side remains undefeated in his 20 matches in charge.
Lopetegui replaces Zinedine Zidane who left Real following a third successive Champions League triumph.