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Sergio Ramos tipped the balance in Lopetegui's favour

Real Madrid's captain, Sergio Ramos, played a key role in Lopetegui's appointment at Real Madrid due to his close relationship with the Spanish coach and Florentino Perez

Lopetegui, charlando hoy con Sergio Ramos e Isco
Lopetegui, charlando hoy con Sergio Ramos e Isco | EFE

Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos, played a key role in his club's decision to choose Julen Lopetegui as their successor to Zinedine Zidane. The final decision was taken by Real Madrid president Florentino Perez but it was heavily influenced by Ramos' backing of the current Spain coach.

Francesc J. Gimeno

Ramos has a direct line to Perez and for this reason it comes as no surprise that the defender had some say in who would replace Zidane. Ramos, who has a fantastic relationship with Lopetegui, was clear that he felt the coach fit the profile of someone who could take the reigns of the current Champions League holders.

Ramos felt it was incredibly important that they maintained the formula which worked under Zidane. This was to create a connection between the coach and the dressing room which has been key in the last two and a half years under the Frenchman. Perez understood that it was logical to pick a coach who was a good talker and could create a close relationship with the players, as well as being talented. It wasn't difficult for Ramos to convince Real Madrid that Lopetegui was the ideal candidate.

Loyalty

Sergio Ramos protected Zidane throughout his time at Real Madrid and would reprise that role with Lopetegui. The good 'feeling' between Ramos and the Spanish coach was decisive when Perez made his decision.

The arrival of Lopetegui at Real Madrid will also be excellent news for Isco. The Spain coach has picked him unconditionally since he took over from Vicente Del Bosque in 2016. Lopetegui has always considered Isco a certain starter, even when the Madrid man wasn't playing regularly for his club.

Lopetegui has also paid close attention to emerging talent such as Marco Asensio, as well as picking Lucas Vazquez, Dani Carvajal and Nacho. He took Jesus Vallejo with him to Krasnodar as cover in case of a late withdrawal from his squad. In fact, Carvajal, Vallejo and Nacho have all played under Lopetegui during his stints as Spain's U19, U20 and U21 coach.

As well as putting Lopetegui's name forward for the job, Ramos also gave his backing to Fernando Hierro, the current director of football for the Spanish FA.

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