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Isco set to be a pivotal player under Julen Lopetegui

Rikky Luiz
ANALYST
Feature
1.14K   //    15 Jun 2018, 03:05 IST

Spain v Tunisia - International Friendly
Julen Lopetegui - succeeds Zidane

This week Real Madrid announced that Julen Lopetegui will replace Zinedine Zidane as their manager. Zidane surprisingly stepped down just few days after they won their third straight Champions League title.

Julen Lopetegui has been fired as Spanish national coach on the eve of the World Cup, one day after agreeing to take over at Real Madrid.

In his playing career, Lopetegui played as a goalkeeper and made only one appearance in three years at Real Madrid. He started his coaching career in 2003 as an assistant for the Spain U17 national team.

Real Madrid Press Conference
Zizou - stepped down after a sensational time in charge

From 2010 to 2014 he coached Spanish youth teams, winning the 2012 U19 Euro Championship and the 2013 U21 Euro Championship.

Then he went to Porto in 2014 and immediately signed 7 Spanish players. In 2014 he made it to the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

Lopetegui took charge of the Spanish national team on July 21 2016, after La Roja World Cup 2014 and EURO 2016 disappointments.

Lopetegui has improved the Spanish team significantly. In 20 matches under him, they have a record of 14 wins and 6 draws with 61 goals scored, 13 goals conceded and 11 clean sheets. 

Spain v Tunisia - International Friendly
Expect Isco to play a bigger role at Real Madrid next season

Definitely he is a superb appointment for Real Madrid. He’s proved to be able to work and manage big Spanish players and youth teams. It will be an interesting next few weeks at Real Madrid.

Lopetegui has ample time to settle down and make plans for next season. The most interesting aspect of next season is going to be Real's midfield.    

Lopetegui is a manager who prefers to play a midfield heavy side. Just look at Spain’s line up with Isco,Thiago, Silva, Iniesta, Busquets all starting with Rodrigo upfront. Real has one of the best midfields in the world.

His appointment as coach means Isco can finally be fully integrated. He is definitely going to build his squad around him. Isco will be particularly optimistic, given Lopetegui's reliance on him with Spain, not to mention his regular praise for the talented playmaker.

FBL-FRIENDLY-ESP-ARG
The dawn of the Isco era?

What’s even better about Lopetegui being appointed is that Spain’s Isco is way more dominant than Real Madrid’s Isco. All down to Julen having the tactical tools to make Isco excel in brilliant fashion.

Isco has been playing under Julen Lopetegui since the U21's and was Spain's main man under him in the senior side. He is Lopetegui’s jewel. 

In 14 games for Spain under Julen Lopetegui, Isco scored 9 goals including his first senior hat-trick, and also provided 2 assists.

Lopetegui will probably turn Isco into the world's best midfielder that he's always been destined to become. He will make Isco play like never before. We can safely say that the Isco era begins.

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Rikky Luiz
ANALYST
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