Real Madrid Appoint Surprise Choice As New Manager

Tuesday, 12 Jun, 2018

He coached Madrid's feeder club Castilla in 2008/09 before taking charge of Spain's youth teams.

Lopetegui will have his work cut out at Real Madrid, where standards are high and patience tends to be short with managers unless they deliver instant success.

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

However, Real finished third in La Liga in the season just finished, 17 points behind champions Barcelona, and Zidane had admitted that he was unsure of his ability to oversee more success in the future.

The timing is also unexpected as Spain kick off their World Cup campaign on Friday when they take on Portugal at the Fisht Olympic Stadium in Sochi, Russia.

The 28-year-old cast a shadow of doubt over his stay in the Spanish capital following Los Blancos' Champions League success, stating he needed regular first team football while hinting at a summer exit from the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Real Madrid have announced that Julen Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid manager after the World Cup.

The France legend subsequently took the decision to step down, and a replacement has now been found, though expectations are unlikely to be any lower.

It is hard to believe Lopetegui is not being consulted about such matters - with the futures of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale to be resolved - and if he is, then the World Cup and his current position will not have his full focus.

In addition, he remains something of an unknown quantity as a coach. That run includes a 3-0 victory at home to Italy (and a 1-1 draw away) in qualifying, plus a 6-1 thrashing of an Argentina side without Lionel Messi in March.

United star, De Gea has been vocal on his future in recent weeks, with the Spain global revealing he's fully focused on the World Cup in Russian Federation. They also play Morocco and Iran in the group stages.