Lopetegui to coach Real Madrid after World Cup

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Before he took over as Spain boss, Lopetegui was Porto manager for two years.

Zinedine Zidane insisted he did not leave his Real Madrid post just so he could take over as France coach.

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.

"It's a similar situation here; he already had the contract signed with the Spain national team for two more years, but Real Madrid, who couldn't get Mauricio Pochettino, chose to go for him, and two days before the beginning of the World Cup they announce it".

"Real Madrid CF announces that Julen Lopetegui will coach the first team for the next three seasons". It is hardly the ideal preparation for a World Cup.

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However, they have now made a decision to appoint Lopetegui, who is currently concentrating on managing Spain in Russian Federation.

"It has taken about two weeks, but it's a recognised name, they know what he's bringing, and I do think the fans will be happy".

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. Again, far from ideal.

Lopetegui has put together a record of 14 wins and six draws from his 20 games in charge of Spain, with the former goalkeeper having previously coached at Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 levels.

In a brief statement to announce the appointment, the Madrid giants said Lopetegui had been appointed on a three-year contract.

The 51-year-old replaced Vicente del Bosque at the helm of La Roja after the defending champions' disastrous 2014 World Cup title defence.

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