Real Madrid sack Julen Lopetegui as manager

Real Madrid have sacked Julen Lopetegui as manager after four and a half months in charge at the Bernabeu. The Spaniard succeeded Zinedine Zidane  in June but the crushing  5-1 loss to Barcelona in El Clasico on Sunday was their fifth loss in six games. Real, who are now ninth in La Liga, have 14 points from a possible 30, their worst start since 2001-02. The club said he will be “provisionally replaced” by ex-player Santiago Solari, currently coach of B team Castilla.  Lopetegui took a training session on Monday but his fate was confirmed following a board meeting. A club statement said “there is a great disproportion between the quality of the staff of Real Madrid” and “the results obtained to date”. Eight of the current Real squad are on the 30-man shortlist for the 2018 Ballon d’Or. Solari has a favourable run of fixtures for the start of his tenure, beginning with a Spanish Cup match against Segunda Division B Group 4 side Melilla on Wednesday. Real then play Valladolid – sixth in La Liga – on Saturday, Group G’s bottom side Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League on 7 November, and the mid-table Celta Vigo the following Sunday. It is the second time Lopetegui has been sacked this year having been dismissed by Spain two days before the World Cup. Who is to blame for Real Madrid mess? That sacking came after it emerged the Spanish football federation was unaware he was in talks to take the Real job after the tournament. Real have 14 out of a possible 30 points in the league this season and have taken only one from their past five matches – their worst run since they went pointless in the final five games of 2008-09 under Juande Ramos. They are now six points above the Spanish top flight’s relegation places, and seven behind leaders Barcelona.

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Real problems in Madrid Lost four and drawn one of their past five games. Seven points behind La Liga leaders Baecelona after El Clasico – with a goal difference of zero. Lost at CSKA Moscow in Champions League, and narrowly beat a struggling Viktoria Plzen. Source: BBC]]>