Zinedine Zidane Reflects on Ernesto Valverde and Julen Lopetegui Sackings

Zinedine Zidane has reflected on the short Real Madrid tenure of Julen Lopetegui, who replaced him as Los Blancos’ manager in 2018 only to be sacked within a few months – the former Spain coach coming back to the Bernabeu this weekend as manager of Sevilla. 

Lopetegui’s short tenure in the capital was just a hair short of being absolutely disastrous, instead settling on merely ‘really bad’, but Zidane has encouraged fans to give him a good reception on Saturday. 

Quoted on the ​club’s website, he said: “Every moment you have to live it and do what you have to do. He’s wanted to do it big, he’s a great coach and he’s always shown it. I don’t want to talk about his time here at Real Madrid, but what I can say about this coach is that he is very good. He has always proved it and he is proving it now.

“I hope, that he will get a good reception, because Lopetegui is from the house. He played here and people here always receive their people well. I hope, that will happen.”

On the topic of sackings, Zidane also talked about last week’s departure of Ernesto Valverde from rivals ​Barcelona, admitting that the position of any manager at a giant club is precarious. 

Ernesto Valverde

“I feel sorry for him because it’s not a good feeling. He’s a very good coach and I have enormous respect for him. For the coaching position, we know where we stand. ​Madrid, Barcelona are big clubs and nothing is going to change. 

“I know that if we lose two matches they will criticise me in the same way as two months ago. I know where I am. What we want to do I know it’s complicated, we can’t always play well. What we’re trying to do is give 100%. Then it’s up to you to talk about whether it’s been done right or wrong.”

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