Real Madrid keep Lopetegui for Sundayโ€™s Clasico

Coach Julen Lopetegui has been able to keep his job for the Barcelona clash. However, it is yet to be confirmed how many more games Lopetegui will have with Real Madrid. Reports this week claimed that Lopetegui had been virtually sacked from coaching Real Madrid.

FC Barcelona 1.97 vs

Real Madrid 3.53

In the press box before Real Madridโ€™s game against Viktoria Plzen, a few journalists were discussing Julen Lopeteguiโ€™s future.

โ€œA big win and heโ€™ll be in charge against Barcelona on Sunday,โ€ one said. โ€œBut what if they win 1-0 and are unconvincing?โ€ another asked. โ€œWorse: 2-1! With the other team scoring; hanging on at the endโ€ฆโ€ a third said.

And that is precisely what happened: Madrid did win 2-1, the other team did score, and Real were unconvincing. Marca even made that their headline for Wednesday morning. โ€œNot convincing.โ€ And AS said: โ€œWinning like that does not bring calm.โ€

โ€œIt would be a risk,โ€ one of the journalists had said before the game in that same chat. โ€œIf Real Madrid win against Barcelona, they canโ€™t sack Lopetegui.โ€ Well, at least not for a while.

Lopetegui
Lopetegui

โ€œIโ€™m happy,โ€ Lopetegui said after the game. But he did not look it. In truth, he rarely does and one journalist suggested he was downcast. โ€œI donโ€™t smile much,โ€ the Basque said. But he also objected to the question. โ€œAre you a psychologist?โ€ he asked his inquisitor.

Over in the mixed zone, Marcelo was not smiling either. The Brazilian, who scored one of Madridโ€™s goals (along with Karim Benzema), finished the match with an injury after taking a knock to his ankle and is a doubt for the game against Barcelona. But he was also annoyed at some of the questions from the media and when it was put to him that Madrid had been in crisis, he snapped.

โ€œItโ€™s hard when you donโ€™t win,โ€ he said. โ€œBut you talk about a crisis. You journalists all try to harm us. Maybe itโ€™s envy because you donโ€™t know how to play football.โ€

Lopetegui will need to improve his tactics as Real Madrid kick off Sundayโ€™s Clasico against Barcelona. The fact that Lopetegui will be leading Madrid on Sunday does not confirm his presence long-term. He will be in the dugout in Camp Nou, and his future is still in limbo it seems.

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