Real Madrid have appointed Spain manager Julen Lopetegui

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Julen Lopetogui

Real Madrid have appointed Spain manager Julen Lopetegui as their new head coach on a three-year deal.

The Champions League winners had been without a boss since Zinedine Zidane revealed that he was stepping down from his role last month, but the Spanish giants have acted quickly to secure the Frenchman’s replacement.

Zinedine Zidane, who led the club to three successive Champions League titles, stepped down in May, saying the club needs “a different voice”.

The 51-year-old will take up the position after the World Cup, which begins on 14 June.

Lopetegui has signed a three-year deal with Madrid after two years with the national side, who he has guided to the World Cup in impressive fashion.

The timing of the announcement is unexpected, given that Spain kick off their tournament on Friday when they face Portugal in Sochi.

Lopetegui, 51, played for Real between 1988 and 1991 as a goalkeeper, making one league appearance, and later turned out for rivals Barcelona a handful of times.

He also coached the B team, Castilla, in 2008-09 before joining the national setup as Spain Under-19 coach.

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