Why Lopetegui appointment is risky for Madrid and Spain

Why Lopetegui appointment is risky for Madrid and Spain

UEFA Champions League winners Real Madrid have announced their new manager, following the departure of Zinedine Zidane.

Real Madrid on Tuesday (Jun 12) announced the appointment of Spain's Julen Lopetegui as their coach from next season, stunning the national team ahead of the start of the World Cup.

But he said no other club was involved in his decision to part ways with Real and although experts have linked him to the French national team coaching job, Zidane insisted he is eyeing no other position at this time.

He has agreed a three-year deal with the European champions and will officially take charge after the World Cup in Russian Federation.

He coached Madrid's feeder club Castilla in 2008/09 before taking charge of Spain's youth teams. They also scored 36 goals, and their form means they are one of the favourites ahead of the tournament in Russian Federation.

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That's according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague who admits he was surprised by the news.

However, they finished third in La Liga - 17 points behind champions Barcelona - and were eliminated at home by modest neighbours Leganes in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.

Tottenham Hotspur's Mauricio Pochettino was initially labelled as the frontrunner, although Spurs have since stated that they will not negotiate a release for the Argentine - who recently put pen to paper on a new deal with the club.

As a player, Basque-born Lopetegui was a goalkeeper on Real's books early in his career, and he returned for a spell in charge of their second team a decade ago.

He is said to have signed a three-year contract with the Los Blancos.

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