Zidane left Madrid in May after three consecutive Champions League triumphs and was replaced by Julen Lopetegui. The latter was Spain’s coach but was sacked after his announcement as Real Madrid manager just a day before the World Cup started.

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Real Madrid were thrown into crisis when Zinedine Zidane decided to step down as manager after winning the Champions League.

Florentino Perez would have felt like it was the end of the world.

After a few days, they were inflicted with more problem when after announcing Spain’s coach, Julen Lopetegui as manager, they were accused of turning the national team upside down.

And here we take a close look at their choice if it’s a good replacement for the departing legend.


Real Madrid wanted a manager who has been in their system just like Zidane and Julen fits that bill perfectly well.

He was a former player, although he played only once for the first team.

He started out as a player of the second team, Real Madrid Castilla and was then promoted to the first team.

He has also worked with the capital club as a manager in the scouting department after which he was a coach at Real Madrid Castilla.

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Coaching career

Lopetegui has worked in a number of coaching jobs over the years and has garnered experience both as a club manager and as a national team coach.

He started out as an assistant manager at Rayo Vallecano before he was made the manager.

He then moved to Real Madrid to head the scouting department before being installed as the manager of the second team.

After leaving Castilla in 2009, he headed Spain’s U20, U19 and U21 teams respectively, where he won the European Championships with the U19 and U21.

Portuguese team, Porto hired him in 2014 and was there for 2 seasons before joining Spain as head coach.

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Lopetegui’s major achievements so far have come with the Spanish national youth teams where he has won two trophies.

He was as well on a 20 game unbeaten run with the national team before his dismissal.

He has not tasted defeat in his entire stay as Spain’s manager despite playing against teams that include Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, England and Argentina.


Lopetegui is a manager that likes to play with creative players and is already blessed with a load of them in the Real Madrid squad.

With Isco, Asensio, Modric, Kovacic, Kroos and a load of others, Real Madrid has enough creativity in their squad.

The Basque is known for getting the best out of his players due to the confidence he shows in them, something that Zidane is also known for.

Despite not being a regular starter for Los Blancos, Isco was given the luxury of starting for the national team side by Lopetegui.

He also believes in quick and effective counter-attacks.


Just like Zidane, Lopetegui is also an admirer of youngsters.

For example, Oliver Torres was brought up from the youth categories while Ruben Neves was promoted to the first team when he was 17 and both did not disappoint.

He is also experienced in presiding over stormy situations just as Zidane did when he came to Real Madrid.

Lopetegui also did the same in the Spanish national team.

It remains to be seen how he performs at Real Madrid.