Real Madrid announce Zidane's replacement

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid boss after the World Cup, the Spanish giants have announced.

The move comes as a surprise, with Lopetegui not featuring prominently among the host of managers linked with the role since the departure of Zinedine Zidane days after Madrid's 3-1 victory over Liverpool in the Champions League final.

Lopetegui, who has been in charge of the national team for the past two years, has agreed a three-year contract at the Bernabeu.

A club statement said: "Real Madrid CF announces that Julen Lopetegui will coach the first team for the next three seasons.

Lopetegui will follow in the enormous footsteps of Zidane at Madrid. Pic: Getty

"Julen Lopetegui will join the club after the participation of the Spanish team in the World Cup, after two years leading the national team."

Former goalkeeper Lopetegui, 51, made a sole league appearance for Madrid as a player, and later turned out for rivals Barcelona a handful of times. He coached Madrid's feeder club Castilla in 2008/09 before taking charge of Spain's youth teams.

In May, he signed a two-year extension to remain as Spain coach until 2020 but the call of Madrid has proved stronger.