Lopetegui was chosen by default

Pochettino, Allegri, Klopp and Löw all rejected Florentino Pérez's overtures to take over from Zidane

Julen Lopetegui entrenará al Real Madrid... pero habían antes otros técnicos en la lista
Julen Lopetegui entrenará al Real Madrid... pero habían antes otros técnicos en la lista | sport

The news that Julen Lopetegui will be the new Real Madrid coach was a genuine bombshell in Spain. Although how we got to this point and the various coaches which said 'no' to the job is also something worth considering.


When Zinedine Zidane announced, also by surprise, that he would be stepping down as Real Madrid coach after winning three consecutive Champions League trophies the search began for a new coach. The first name, and favourite for the job, was Mauricio Pochettino.

The Argentinian coach expressed his desire to coach Real Madrid but he'd recently signed a new contract at Tottenham and wants to see through his very ambitious project at the North London club. This was the first negative response for Real Madrid and Florentino Perez but it wouldn't be the last.

Other names kept falling off the list as quickly as they were put on it. This was the case for Massimiliano Allegri who decided, after being contacted by Real Madrid, not to accept the job and instead pointed out that he still had plenty of work to do at Juventus. His dream to lift a Champions League trophy with 'The Old Lady' still hasn't come to fruition.

Jurgen Klopp also decided to stick with his current team, Liverpool, and continue with his project at the English club thanks to the tremendous support he has received there. In fact, Real Madrid's victory in the final of the Champions League against the Reds, made him promise that he'd do everything to bring the biggest title in European football back to Liverpool.

Antonio Conte didn't end up at Real Madrid either. In his case, the Italian wanted to wait for Chelsea to sack him before taking over at the Santiago Bernabeu. Madrid didn't have the patience to wait for him and his strategy failed.

A national team coach who wanted to concentrate fully on the World Cup and not listen to Real Madrid's calls was Joachim Low. The German coach, who won the previous World Cup with Germany, distanced himself from the job available in Madrid.

And this way, one by one, all the candidates on Real Madrid's list fell to the wayside. That was until they got to Julen Lopetegui. His signing comes as a surprise because he only renewed his deal to coach Spain three weeks ago. The decision also runs the risk of destabilising the national team at the World Cup. But, for Real Madrid, they were left with no other choice but Lopetegui.



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