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Lopetegui responds to Zidane’s ominous message

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French manager Zinedine Zidane made his first public appearance since he resigned from Real Madrid, he gave Lopetegui some “advice” and the boss responded.

Now that a new Real Madrid season has started without Zinedine Zidane, people may think that newcomer Julen Lopetegui has an incredibly difficult job of filling the Frenchman’s shoes. Since he decided to step down as Los Blancos boss, Zinedine Zidane hadn’t appeared in any public medium to discuss his exit from Real Madrid or the details of his record-breaking spell for the Spanish giants. But the French manager had scheduled an interview with the UEFA website in which he spoke about many topics, he gave details about his football philosophy and also sent Lopetegui a direct message. ‘Zizou’ is convinced that being the manager at Real Madrid means that you always have to live with pressure, you have to understand that winning is the only way of succeeding at the club and he never shied away from that challenge. But it’s quite evident that even a man like Zinedine Zidane got tired of the pressure that brings you being the Real Madrid manager.

Lopetegui has been making rounds with many Spanish media outlets this week given that many of his players are off on international duty, he recently spoke to Onda Cero about his problems in the Spanish National team but Zidane’s interview hadn’t been published yet. This Wednesday, Julen Lopetegui gave another interview to Cadena Ser and he was questioned about the Frenchman’s words as well as the style he prefers using to manage the players outside the pitch. From only three official La Liga matches and what we’ve been able to see from Loptetegui so far, we can already tell what kind of style he has to manage the players inside the squad. The Spaniard actually has a very similar style to Zidane’s, he tries to be more relaxed in many aspects but very disciplined in the most important issues with his squad. Julen’s experience in the national team where he always had to deal with world-class players, prepared him very well for this new challenge at Real Madrid and he knows his boundaries perfectly.

When asked about Zidane’s words about Real Madrid always aspiring to win every trophy, Lopetegui got a bit cheeky with his response and then he continued to describe his approach to the players which is very similar to the Frenchman’s: “Well that’s obvious, isn’t it? Real Madrid is a club that should always aspire to win every single trophy, this historic obligation is the perfect starting point that I took as reference. I don’t know if there has been much change since Zidane left because I wasn’t around during his tenure, all I can do at this point is to recognize the fantastic job he did around here. It would be absurd not to acknowledge his contribution to Real Madrid. The way I go about managing the players is with as much finesse as possible, I always have to respect the player because they are the main protagonists of this club. I always try to stay in constant communication with each and every one of them, but that doesn’t mean the players can do whatever they want. The manager is the one in charge, always,” said Julen to Cadena Ser.

Despite the great start, Julen won’t stop being under pressure.

We really wouldn’t recommend this good start from Real Madrid fool you, because even Julen Lopetegui himself knows perfectly that he has some very large shoes to fill. But he is well-prepared for the challenge and so far it appears like the transition from one manager to the next is going smoothly, the big matches are another story because that’s the real moment in which we will see if this squad has the capacity to overcome Zidane and Ronaldo’s exit from the squad. But even then, one must recognize that Florentino Perez keeps doing his job increasingly better. The club’s president appears to have found a suitable replacement for Zinedine Zidane in the most complicated moment, proving that Real Madrid is one of those clubs that even when they appear to do things wrong, they always end up going in their favor regardless of how difficult times get. These results are a direct consequence of those winning genes that only clubs like Real Madrid have in football.

How well do you think Julen Lopetegui will do at Real Madrid during his first season? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.