Sports Monks

Real Madrid sack Julen Lopetegui, Santiago Solari appointed interim manager

Spanish giants, Real Madrid, have sacked head coach Julen Lopetegui just four and a half months after the 52-year-old was named as Zinedine Zidane’s successor. The Los Blancos have endured a poor start to the season under the former Spain national team coach and the 5-1 El Clasico defeat against Barcelona ensured Lopetegui’s time at the Santiago Bernabeu came to an end. This is the second time this year, Lopetegui has been sacked from his job having earlier been dismissed by the Spain national team just two days before the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Real Madrid who were a dominant force under Zidane, won the Champions League for the last three years, but under Lopetegui the Galacticos are placed ninth in the La Liga, enduring their worst start to a season since 2001-02. The loss against Barcelona on Sunday was the 5th defeat in six games. The Galacticos have secured just 14 out of the possible 30 points and trail league leaders Barcelona by 7 points.

The club has named ex-player and B team Castilla coach Santiago Solari as the temporary replacement for the outgoing manager. Solari who has been entrusted with the task of holding fort till a new manager is appointed has a favourable run of fixtures during the start of his tenure. His first game in charge will be the Spanish Cup against Segunda Division B side Melila on Wednesday. Post that; they play sixth place Valladolid in the La Liga on Saturday and Champions League Group G’s side Viktoria Plzen on the 7th of November.

If the European papers are to be believed, former Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte is the favourite to succeed Lopetegui at the Bernabeu. However, reports are even doing the rounds that the negotiations with the Italian tactician have been stalled, and Solari will be given an opportunity to prove his mettle. Tottenham Hotspurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is also among the contenders for the top job.

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