Lopetegui returns to management at Sevilla after Real Madrid flop

The former Spain boss was relieved of his duties at the Santiago Bernabeu in October 2018, but has now agreed a three-year deal with Liga rivals

Julen Lopetegui is back in management at Sevilla, with the former Real Madrid boss penning a three-year deal with the Liga outfit.

The 52-year-old has been out of work since October 2018 when an ill-fated spell at the Santiago Bernabeu came to a close.

Lopetegui had only been appointed by the Blancos in controversial circumstances over the summer leading into the 2018-19 campaign.

A deal was struck while he was still in charge of the Spain national side, with his contract there torn up ahead of the World Cup finals in Russia.

He was charged with the task of succeeding Zinedine Zidane in Madrid, but struggled to make any kind of impact and was relieved of his duties on the back of a 5-1 Clasico defeat to Barcelona.

A painful period of reflection has been taken in since leaving the Bernabeu, but Lopetegui has now returned to coaching.

He has only previously filled three senior club positions and two of those have been short-lived stints in La Liga.

Some 15 years prior to taking the reins at Real, Lopetegui spent 10 games in charge of Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish second tier.

He then went on to spend time with Madrid’s B side and various youth teams within the Spain set-up before taking charge of Porto in 2014.

Two years were spent in Portugal before accepting a call from La Roja to succeed Vicente del Bosque.

An unbeaten record through qualification saw him guide Spain to the 2018 World Cup, but he never got the chance to take in an outing at a major international tournament.

A former goalkeeper from his playing days, Lopetegui will be hoping to right the wrongs of his recent struggles when taking to the dugout with Sevilla.

He inherits a side that finished sixth in the 2018-19 campaign.

Joaquin Caparros saw things through to the end of the season at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on a caretaker basis.

He had filled in following the dismissal of Pablo Machin after just 10 months at the helm.

Lopetegui will have Europa League competition to take in next term, but will be expected to push Sevilla back into La Liga’s top four and secure Champions League qualification.

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