Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Julen Lopetegui to Real Madrid is a surprise, says Guillem Balague

Julen Lopetegui will be the coach of Real Madrid after the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation.

Real Madrid have appointed the current Spanish national team coach, Julen Lopetegui, as their next coach. Zidane, who scored twice in the 3-0 final victory over Brazil in 1998, was talking on the eve of a gala match pitching the World Cup-winning French team, minus then-captain Didier Deschamps who is now in Russian Federation with the France team, against an worldwide XI to mark the 20th anniversary of France's win.

The Spain boss will take over at Santiago Bernabeu after the 2018 World Cup.

Lopetegui will put to pen to paper on a three-year deal at the Bernabéu running until 2021, the club confirmed.

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"You have to be focused on having a good World Cup - we are all good".

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

Zidane resigned as manager following an unprecedented era of success that saw Real win three consecutive Champions League titles, most recently defeating Liverpool 3-1 in Ukraine to complete the treble.

However, it was announced today he would replace Zinedine Zidane in the Real hot seat after the competition.

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"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".

The 51-year-old took over as Spain coach in 2016 following the retirement of Vicente Del Bosque.

Whatever did happen, the timing is unfortunate for La Roja as they aim for World Cup glory and also for Los Blancos in their building for the 2018-19 season, while question marks over the coach's suitability for such a top job also persist.

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