Newly appointed Head Coach of Real Madrid CF, Julen Lopetegui Argote almost broke down in tears at his unveiling on Thursday.
The former Spanish goalkeeper was sacked by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, just a day after Real Madrid made the announcement that he will be leading the European champions after the mundial.
Flanked by his wife and three children, erstwhile Real players including Raul González and Alvaro Arbeloa, plus a string of VIPs and president Florentino Perez, Lopetegui was presented after a short speech from the club chief and a video from his time as a player and a coach.
Lopetegui goes emotional:
“Since the death of my mother,” he says, while breaking into tears, “it (Tuesday’s sacking) was (probably) the saddest day of life.” And after a long pause to regain his composure, he adds: “But today is the happiest day of my life.”
Lopetegui would not be the first Real Madrid manager to struggle with tears of joy, as Rafa Benitez too cried openly when he was officially unveiled as Real Madrid’s new manager in 2015.
Benitez would later spend just seven months of a three-year contract.
Lopetegui has a long association with Real Madrid, though he made a single professional appearance as a player. His romance with Real goes back 30 years to when he was a youth team goalkeeper. He also worked for the club as a scout and as coach of the club’s B team, Castilla.
He now face the challenge of refreshing a side that have won the Champions League three times in a row and boasts some of the biggest talents – as well as egos – in world football.
At present, he is tied to the Spanish capital club until 2021.
See video below:
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