Just over a day after Real Madrid were thrashed and humiliated 5-1 by arch-rivals Barcelona at Camp Nou, Blancos president Florentino Perez decided to pull the plug on his club's shocking form this season, and sacked Julen Lopetegui as the manager less than five months after he was appointed.
Lopetegui, who had succeeded the famed Zinedine Zidane at the Spanish capital, endured a troubled time with Real, with the club languishing 9th in the La Liga table having amassed just 14 points from the first 10 matches. He will be succeeded for an interim period by former Real striker Santiago Solari.
The club released a statement on the wee hours of Tuesday regarding Lopetegui's his sacking, which read:
The board of directors of Real Madrid CF, after meeting today on October 29, 2018, have agreed to terminate Julen Lopetegui's contract with the club. The decision, taken with the highest level of responsibility, aims to change the dynamics of the first team while all the objectives of this season are still achievable.
The board of directors understands that there is a great disproportion between the quality of the staff of Real Madrid - which has eight players nominated for the next Ballon d'Or, something unprecedented in the history of the club - and the results obtained to date.
The club thanks Julen Lopetegui and all his technical team for their effort and work and wish them the best in their professional career. He will provisionally replaced by Santiago Solari, who will lead the first team starting from Tuesday."
While results had been difficult to come by, the performance of the Blancos was mostly under the scanner during the reign Lopetegui. The former Spanish head coach had made a positive start with his new club, with three wins in the first three La Liga games. But after that, it went downhill for both Lopetegui and Real.
They were shockingly beaten 3-0 by Sevilla in the 6th La Liga fixture, before a goalless draw against neighbors Atletico Madrid the very next match. It was then followed by humiliating 1-0 defeat to CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League, as well as two back to back defeats against Alaves and Levante.