Lopetegui was dumped: Real Madrid now hopes for the “Zidane effect

Julen Lopetegui has retired after only 139 days. The kickers at the crisis-ridden Champions-League winner Madrid have to get by with an interim coach for the time being. Santiago Solari will only take over for a short time. Or is there a surprise?

Madrid – Pep Guardiola felt with his buddy. “I’m sorry for Julen, because he’s my friend,” the star coach from Manchester City commented on the expulsion of Julen Lopetegui from Real Madrid. But the former coach of FC Bayern and FC Barcelona also knew: “If you have bad results, you don’t go on in big places like Barcelona or Madrid”.

Lopetegui, a coach with a glorious future who was still trading in the summer, fell hard in 139 days: It was only on 13 June that he was dismissed as coach of the Spanish national team, and on Monday evening he was dismissed from the Real team. The Champions League winner, who is going through a severe crisis, is now to be judged by an inexperienced Nobody.

Santiago Hernan Solari was appointed interim coach of the stars around Luka Modric and captain Sergio Ramos. The 42-year-old coach of the B team led his first training on Tuesday with a view to the cup match on Wednesday at the third division team UD Melilla.

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Will the interim coach be promoted to head coach?

Meanwhile, real boss Florentino Perez is looking for a permanent solution. He doesn’t have much time: In Spain, an interim coach can only coach for a maximum of two weeks. Will Solari perhaps even be promoted to boss in the end? In Madrid quite a few people are hoping for the “Zidane effect”, as the sports newspaper “Marca” called it on Tuesday.

Zinedine Zidane gave up his post as coach of the second team at the beginning of 2016 in a similar situation and succeeded Rafa Benitez. The 1998 World Champion was as inexperienced as Solari as he was as a coach, but led the team to three consecutive Champions League triumphs and other titles. “What happens when Solari knows the magic potion of Zidane and can “get the Real pros out of the grave” in the next games, asks Marca.

At first, however, Pérez continues the search. Even on Sunday evening after the 1-5 debacle with archrival Barça, the commitment of the currently jobless Italian Antonio Conte was considered certain. But it may have been none other than Captain Ramos who put a spoke in the wheel for his president. Conte, who last season had many problems with his charges at Chelsea, was uncertain about his statement that a coach had to “earn respect first and not force himself on”, the sports newspaper “AS” wrote.

President Perez comes under fire

The 49-year-old is still the favourite, but there are other rumours as well. Perez is also on Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho, who coached Real with more problems than success between 2010 and 2013. Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino is also highly regarded in the English media. In Spain, Belgium’s selection coach Roberto Martinez has many supporters. The list can be continued almost at will. See here to know more about Cashmio‘s review!

The only fact is that it’s Solari’s turn first. He takes over a team that recently scored only one point out of five games in the league and slipped to ninth place. In Spain we know that Lopetegui is “not the only culprit” of the misery, as “Marca” called it. Club boss Perez, in particular, is increasingly the target of criticism because he has been refraining from mega-transfers for years. He would not have adequately replaced top-class departures, such as that of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. “My son had 50 goals stolen per season,” commented Lopetegui’s father Ronaldo.

The fact that he also criticized Lopetegui’s work in the communiqué on the dismissal (he spoke of a “great discrepancy” between the players’ material and the results) is also taken aback by Perez. “AS” spoke of a “kick in the ass”, “Marca” of a “shameful style”. But one showed character in a difficult hour: Lopetegui thanked the club “for the chance”.