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29th Oct 2018

Real Madrid sack manager Julen Lopetegui after Clásico defeat

Real Madrid have parted company with manager Julen Lopetegui just 14 matches into his tenure after losing to Barcelona in this afternoon's Clásico

Reuben Pinder

An embarrassing Clásico defeat was the final straw

Real Madrid have parted company with manager Julen Lopetegui after the club suffered its fourth league defeat of the season in Sunday’s Clásico against Barcelona, according to a statement on the club’s website.

Former Los Blancos winger Santiago Solari has been placed in temporary charge.

Solari played for the club between 2000 and 2005 during the original Galactico era, winning the Champions League title in 2001 and playing a part in the build-up to Zinedine Zidane’s famous left-footed volley in the final.

Like his former teammate, he has moved from manager of Real Madrid’s B side to take charge of the first team.

Senior figures at the European champions held a meeting on Monday evening at 6pm local time, where it was decided that Lopetegui would be let go, with Antonio Conte expected to be his eventual longterm replacement in the Madrid dugout.

Lopetegui left his post with the Spanish national team to over at the Santiago Bernabeu after Zidane stepped down at the end of last season, having won three consecutive Champions League titles.

Madrid announced Lopetegui’s announcement prior to the start of the 2018 World Cup, prompting the Spanish FA to let him go just two days before the tournament started.

Fernando Hierro was brought in as a stop-gap before they hired Luis Enrique after the tournament.

Lopetegui lasted just 14 matches in charge of Real Madrid, winning six in total, but left the club lurking in ninth place.

Antonio Conte has been reported as the favourite to take over at Madrid, a decision that would reportedly be popular among the players, except for Thibaut Courtois.