Three days before his team plays its first game at the World Cup, Spanish national team coach Julen Lopetegui
has been named the new head coach at Real Madrid, signing a three-year deal.
Lopetegui, who will take over after the World Cup ends for Spain, replaces Zinedine Zidane,
who stepped down after leading Real Madrid to three straight UEFA Champions League titles.
Lopetegui, 51, led Spain to the UEFA U-21 title in 2013 and has been in charge of the Spanish national team since July 2016 with a stop at Portugal's Porto in between.
former goalkeeper has been credited with rebuilding La Roja, which will be one of the favorites in Russia. One of his favorite players is Isco
, who had been in and out of the Real Madrid lineup
under Zidane. Six Real Madrid players in all were picked by Lopetegui for the World Cup.
Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino
had been the name most often mentioned as the likely Zidane