Real Madrid announce Spain coach Julen Lopetegui as new manager

Morata Fabregas Herrera and more in Spain's World Cup rejects XI

Morata Fabregas Herrera and more in Spain's World Cup rejects XI

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

Lopetegui, who has coached the Spanish national team for the past two seasons, will coach Real for the next three seasons, the statement added.

Madrid had been looking for a replacement since Zinedine Zidane stepped down from the position last month, just days after winning a third consecutive Champions League trophy.

However, they have now made a decision to appoint Lopetegui, who signed a new two-year extension with the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) last month.

However, Lopetegui's appointment is another surprise from Los Blancos, particularly as he only signed a new deal to remain in charge of Spain until 2020 in May, per BBC Sport.

But following the conclusion of the tournament in Russian Federation, which La Roja are considered one of the favourites to win, Lopetegui will transition into the role at Santiago Bernabeu. Lopetegui spent part of his footballing career at Real Madrid, but only managed one senior appearance for the club. They also play Morocco and Iran in the group stages.

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.

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.

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