Julen Lopetegui took a risk to join European giants Real Madrid in the summer of 2018. Alas, it turned out to be a very unfortunate decision for the Spaniard. Lopetegui was leading the Spanish national team before he agreed on terms with Real Madrid just days before the FIFA World Cup 2018. The 53-year-old was sacked from the Spanish-job as soon as the news of him joining the Los Blancos broke out. Lopetegui had gathered one of the best squads and was all set to enter the World Cup, but his move to sign for Real Madrid turned out to be unfortunate for both the parties - Spain and Lopetegui.
The Sevilla-coach got sacked twice within the span of four months as Real Madrid broke their ties with Julen after their humiliating 5-1 loss against Barcelona on October 28, 2018. Surprisingly, Barcelona's Gerard Pique got to know about the news before the official announcement. According to reports, Pique told Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani after the Barcelona clash that Lopetegui is a good manager but his time at Real Madrid was due.
According to reports, Gerard Pique was informed by Real Madrid players that Lopetegui said goodbye right after the match. Julen Lopetegui was replaced by Santiago Solari as an interim manager. The loss against Barcelona was Real Madrid's third defeat in a row and the fans at Bernabeu were losing their patience with the Spaniard. Julen Lopetegui only spent 138 days as Madrid's manager. Lopetegui's replacement Solari was also axed before the end of the 2018-19 season and Zinedine Zidane took charge of 'the Whites' again. Julen Lopetegui was appointed as Sevilla's manager at the start of the 2019-20 season.