Spain boss Lopetegui to take Real reins after World Cup

Lopetegui has previously been in charge Spain's youth sides while his last club job was an unsuccessful spell with Porto.

He will have a tough act to follow, after Zinedine Zidane won an unprecedented three Champions League titles in a row, as well as a La Liga title, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA World Club Cups during his two years in charge.

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

Lopetegui impressed in quickly blending together a new side which won nine of their 10 World Cup qualifiers and is among the favourites for this summer's finals in Russian Federation.

The 51-year-old took charge of Spain after Euro 2016 - and signed a new extension until 2020 just last month - but the appointment means the impending World Cup in Russian Federation will be his only major tournament in charge of the national team.

The Spanish giants broke the news in a Tweet on Tuesday.

Real Madrid were keen on appointing Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, but were put off by the hefty fee they would have had to pay for the Argentine after he recently signed a five year contract.

"I didn't stop to want to take the team of France".

It is hard to believe Lopetegui is not being consulted about such matters - with the futures of both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale to be resolved - and if he is, then the World Cup and his current position will not have his full focus.

Lopetegui took over Spain in July 2016 after Vicente del Bosque retired from the role. At the very highest level, however, he is still somewhat untried.

"Julen Lopetegui will be the Real Madrid coach after the celebration of the 2018 World Cup", the Tweet said. They also play Morocco and Iran in the group stages.

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