MADRID, Spain - Spain coach Julen Lopetegui will replace Zinedine Zidane as Real Madrid coach after the 2018 World Cup, the Spanish giants said Tuesday.
"Julen Lopetegui will be the Real Madrid coach after the celebration of the 2018 World Cup. Real Madrid C. F. announce that Julen Lopetegui will be the coach of the first team during the next three seasons. Julen Lopetegui will join the club after Spain’s participation in the World Cup, after two years leading the national team." Real said in a statement on the club website.
The announcement comes shortly after Lopetegui extended his contract as Spain coach until 2020 in a pre-World Cup boost for one of the tournament favourites. 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.
Lopetegui succeeded Vicente del Bosque, who had overseen Spain's triumphs at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012, but had also been in charge for the disappointing group stage exit at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Zidane quit Real on May 31, saying he had decided to leave at the top and that it was time for a change for himself and the club, as well as admitting he was unsure of his ability to maintain his winning record at Real.