Julen Loptegui to become Real Madrid's head coach after World Cup
Spain head coach, Julen Loptegui is set to become the head coach of Spanish giants, Real Madrid after the FIFA World Cup 2018. Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez announced it on Tuesday.
The decision came as a surprise to the football world. Loptegui was not in the rumoured list after Zinedine Zidane stepped down.
The 51-year old has been in charge of the national team for the past two years. Loptegui agreed on to a three-year contract at the Bernabeu. The former goalkeeper made a sole league appearance for Madrid as a player. Later, he turned out for rivals, Barcelona.
Lopetegui previously coached Castilla in 2008/09 before taking charge of Spain’s youth teams. He won the U-19 European Championship in 2012. He repeated the feat as a U-21 boss in 2013.
However, Lopetegui’s forays into club management have been less successful. He got sacked from a brief spell in charge of Rayo Vallecano in Spain’s second division in 2003. He also left Portuguese club, Porto, after failing to win any silverware from 2014-16.
The Spanish coach has a contract with the national team until 2020. But Loptegui couldn’t turned down the offer of Madrid as soon as it came.
Zidane’s shock departure came after he had guided Madrid to a third straight Champions League title. But they finished a distant third, as Barcelona took the honours in La Liga.
After being announced as a coach, a rumour is flowing that Loptegui doesn’t like Gareth Bale. Although, the first task of him will be resolving the future of Bale.
Bale is currently unhappy with his limited playing time. He also came as a substitute in the UCL final but turned out to be the hero of the night. He will want to be the regular starter in the next season. And, it will be all down to Loptegui now.
Lopetegui succeeded Vicente del Bosque as Spain coach in 2016. Real Madrid will be having a close look on him in the FIFA World Cup 2018.