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在线翻译:
szdaily -> Sports -> 
Lopetegui to join Madrid as head coach
    2018-06-14  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

REAL Madrid has chosen Julen Lopetegui to be its next manager, with the current head coach of the Spanish national side set to move to the Bernabeu after the World Cup.

Lopetegui, who has signed a three-year-deal at Real, has a long association with the club, though he made a single professional appearance as a player. The 51-year-old will now face the challenge of refreshing a side that has won the Champions League three times in a row and boasts some of the biggest talents — as well as egos — in world soccer.

“Real Madrid announces that Julen Lopetegui will be the coach of the first team during the next three seasons,” the club said in a statement Tuesday. “Julen Lopetegui will join the club after Spain’s participation in the World Cup, after two years leading the national team.”

With the World Cup two days away, the news of Lopetegui’s appointment came somewhat out of the blue and the timing will be questioned in Spain. From Madrid’s point of view, however, it is likely to be seen as a sensible move after the sudden departure of Zinedine Zidane last month. Lopetegui’s association with Real goes back 30 years to when he was a youth team goalkeeper. He also worked for the club as a scout and as coach of the club’s B team, Castilla.

Perhaps just as importantly, the Spaniard was available. It had been widely understood that the president of Real Madrid, Florentino Perez, had made Tottenham’s Mauricio Pocchetino his first-choice candidate to replace Zidane. But the Argentinian had signed a contract extension at White Hart Lane the week before the Frenchman’s departure and attempts to negotiate with Spurs’ notoriously intractable chairman and chief executive, Daniel Levy, got nowhere.

Jurgen Klopp and Antonio Conte were also considered but proved too expensive. Lopetegui, meanwhile, extended his terms with the national side only recently but the compensation clause in his contract was an insubstantial 2 million euros (US$2.35 million), which Real has paid.

Having taken over from Vicente del Bosque as national coach in 2016, following a disappointing European Championships, when they were knocked out by Italy in the round of 16, Spain has gone unbeaten in 20 matches. Lopetegui has revitalized their style and rejuvenated an ageing team. He will be expected to do the same at his new club where as many as five first-team players are no longer wanted by the club.

Lopetegui has a spine of Real Madrid players in his team, with a total of six in the World Cup squad, and has built a particularly strong relationship with the club and national captain, Sergio Ramos. (SD-Agencies)

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