Spain manager Julen Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid manager following the conclusion of the World Cup in Russia, the club have confirmed. Spain will face Iran and Morocco in Group B after the challenge of Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in their opener on Friday.
Although Lopetegui has done well with the Spanish national team, amassing their second-longest unbeaten streak of 20 games, he has limited experience at club level.
In the modern era, the media usually has an idea about what clubs are planning, but Madrid's strike for Lopetegui came out of nowhere.
However, during his brief period with La Roja, he's earned plaudits for the impressive style of play - while integrating the likes of Isco and Marco Asensio within a fluid attacking line-up.
No goalkeeper had been named the Sir Matt Busby player of the year before, yet De Gea has won the award in four of the past five seasons, more than any player since it began 30 years ago. Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino had initially emerged as the leading candidate to replace the Frenchman.
"The most important thing is to support the team of France", he told TF1.
Lopetegui was part of the starting eleven along with Julio Llorente, Chendo, Fernando Hierro, Jesus Solana, Esteban Granero, Michel, Adolfo Aldana, Rafael Gordillo, Sebastian Losada and Paco Llorente.
In 1997 he went to Rayo Vallecano, where he ended his career in 2002.
It is worth noting that Belgium are certainly not short of quality in midfield - Kevin de Bryne, Alex Witsel, Mousa Dembele and Marouane Fellaini were all selected ahead of Nainggolan. They run the risk of losing him for free or at a huge discount if they don't sell him soon, as the chances of tying him down to another lengthy contract may be slim.
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