Sports

Julen Lopetegui The Real Twist To Spain Campaign

Spain were handed the most sensational news of the week when multiple Champions League winner, Real Madrid, chose to put club before country by announcing La Roja manager Julen Lopetegui as the replacement for Zinedine Zidane from next season. “Lopetegui will join the club once his involvement with the Spanish national squad in the World Cup finals is over, having spent two years in charge of the national side,” Real Madrid said on its website, adding that he would sign for the next three seasons initially. But this is Spain, with its fragile, delicate cultural balance trying to find redemption after a series of poor outings in 2014 and 2016. Regional divides – most notably the Catalan and Castilian one – have been the bane of Spanish squads in the past, often seen as a reason for the historic underachievement prior to the mid-2000s.
Lopetegui had to handle his stars diplomatically and help defuse the issue with kid gloves as his team roared to a tremendous qualifying campaign – with a no-loss record. Now, before anyone could actually begin to see the real effects of the Lopetegui era in Spain, Real Madrid decide it’s time. To think, Spain play their opening game against Portugal. Even if he himself could be on his way out at Real, you couldn’t blame Cristiano Ronaldo stealing a little smile and a smirk at this news.

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