Spain manager to take over at Real Madrid after World Cup

Zidane resigned as manager following an unprecedented era of success that saw Real win three consecutive Champions League titles, most recently defeating Liverpool 3-1 in Ukraine to complete the treble.

If Spain fail to impress at the World Cup, then Lopetegui will head to Real Madrid under a cloud that will make an already difficult job even harder. He replaces Zinedine Zidane, who shockingly and abruptly left the club on the final day of last month.

The French manager's leaving has thrown a significant spanner into Real Madrid's transfer plans, with the club now having to put their player recruitment on hold while they search for a new on-pitch leader.

The Spain coach had a long chat with Barcelona defender Gerard Pique on Tuesday morning as the players became aware his decision to step down after the World Cup.

It remains to be seen if he will head to Real as a World Cup victor, though Spain's squad is stocked with exciting talent.

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The 45-year-old was quickly linked to taking over his nation, who under Didier Deschamps are considered among the World Cup favourites.

In addition, he remains something of an unknown quantity as a coach.

He managed Spain at Under-19, Under-20 and Under-21 level before moving to Porto.

Lopetegui took over Spain in July 2016 after Vicente del Bosque retired from the role.

Time will tell, just as it did with Zidane, but right now, the appointment of Lopetegui looks like a risky one for both Madrid and Spain.

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