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Real Madrid announce Julen Lopetegui as new head coach

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The search to replace Zinedine Zidane, who left after guiding Real to a third-straight Champions League title, lasted nearly two weeks, with Mauricio Pochettino, Antonio Conte and Jurgen Klopp among the names reportedly in the frame.

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid boss after the World Cup, the La Liga giants have announced.

Lopetegui had a brief stint at Real during his playing career and coached their B team in 2008.

He was appointed to the role in the wake of Spain's poor showing at Euro 2016 in France when they were eliminated in the last 16.

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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Lopetegui will go head-to-head with Cristiano Ronaldo at the tournament, with Spain set to take on Portugal in their opening group game this Friday.

"Julen Lopetegui will join the club after Spain's participation in the World Cup, after two years leading the national team".

A trusted youth coach, he has also managed Spain at Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 level, though he failed to win any silverware at FC Porto and was sacked.

The Champions League holders have been searching for a new head coach ever since Zinedine Zidane took the decision to step down after two-and-a-half trophy-laden years in charge earlier this month.

But Los Blancos struggled domestically, managing only a third-place finish and ending up 17 points behind champions Barcelona.

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