Real Madrid Appoint Surprise Choice As New Manager

A club statement said: "Real Madrid CF announces that Julen Lopetegui will coach the first team for the next three seasons".

A statement from the club says: "Julen Lopetegui will be the coach of Real Madrid after the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation".

But with three days before Spain's World Cup opener against Portugal in Sochi, Madrid announced that the Basque tactician will leave that position after agreeing a three-year contract with the La Liga giants. Lopetegui is now in Russian Federation preparing the Spanish squad for the World Cup.

The Spain boss will take over at Santiago Bernabeu after the 2018 World Cup.

Zidane's resignation came as a big shock, as he had just led Real Madrid to a third consecutive UEFA Champions League triumph.

Gareth Bale will wait until Zinedine Zidane's successor has been named at Real Madrid before deciding on his future, according to reports. They head into the World Cup as among the favorites to win a title they claimed in 2010, and are on a 20-game unbeaten run.

Instead, that hard work will take place in Madrid with the three-time reigning European champions, while Spain is left looking for a new manager between the World Cup and Euro 2020.

"I didn't stop to want to take the team of France".

With Spain, he has won 14 and drawn six since succeeding Vicente del Bosque in 2016.

Lopetegui is a surprise appointment as he was not one of the names widely touted to be Zidane's replacement.

Whatever did happen, the timing is unfortunate for La Roja as they aim for World Cup glory and also for Los Blancos in their building for the 2018-19 season, while question marks over the coach's suitability for such a top job also persist.