Julen Lopetegui Named Real Madrid Head Coach After Zinedine Zidane's Resignation

The 51-year-old took charge of Spain after Euro 2016 - and signed a new extension until 2020 just last month - but the appointment means the impending World Cup in Russian Federation will be his only major tournament in charge of the national team.

"So I think everybody will be happy with it, but mostly because Real were surprised by the departure of Zidane and had to react as soon as possible".

They face a World Cup group containing Iberian rivals Portugal, as well as Morocco and Iran.

The recent Champions League winners have named Spain's national team coach Julen Lopetegui as their new manager, with the 51-year-old to join the club after the upcoming World Cup.

The announcement comes shortly after Lopetegui extended his contract as Spain coach until 2020 in a pre-World Cup boost for one of the tournament favourites.

His name had been briefly mentioned among many others as a possible successor to Zidane, who stepped down on May 31 after leading the club to a third straight Champions League crown, although a move seemed highly unlikely.

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It remains to be seen if he will head to Real as a World Cup victor, though Spain's squad is stocked with exciting talent.

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

Lopetegui was appointed Spain coach in 2016.

As a player, Lopetegui was a goalkeeper on Real's books early in his career, and he returned for a spell in charge of their second team a decade ago. He has previously coached Spain's youth sides and had two years in charge of Porto.

Real Madrid have won La Liga just once in the last six years, which for a club of their stature and spending, is a poor return despite their European success.

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