More details have emerged as to why Real Madrid have appointed the current Spanish national team coach, Julen Lopetegui, as their next coach.
The Spain boss will take over at Santiago Bernabeu after the 2018 World Cup.
He succeeds the Zinedine Zidane who retired after winning an unprecedented three successive Champions League for the club.
According to reports, his history with Madrid played a part as he was a goalkeeper who joined Madrid’s Castilla youth side as a teenager, although during two seasons with the senior squad he made just one appearance (a 3-3 draw at Atletico Madrid late in the 1989-90 season). He also managed the club’s B team between 2008 and 2009.
It was furthered gathered that his relationship with Madrid players in the Spanish team was also a factor in his appointment with captain Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Nacho, Isco, Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez all now with their new club boss in Russia as well as Jesus Vallejo — who has travelled as potential injury cover.
Also, his impressive work rate with the Spanish team after succeeding Vicente del Bosque tilted the Madrid board to consider him. The Basque native did an excellent job of sidelining some veterans and incorporating younger players, while also skillfully managing the tricky political side of the job. Spain have not lost any of his 20 games in charge (W14, D6).
Lopetegui is 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.
It remains to be seen if he will head to Real as a World Cup winner, though Spain’s squad is stocked with exciting talent