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Julen Lopetegui named as Spain coach

Finally, the RFEF named Julen Lopetegui as the man to replace Vicente del Bosque as Spain's national team coach, discarding other candidates, Joaquín Caparrós and Paco Jémez
Russia - Spain

Julen Lopetegui named as Spain coach

Spain name Julen Lopetegui as new coach

In the end the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) opted for a coach they already know and trust to take over the reins from Vicente del Bosque as Spain's national team coach. Julen Lopetegui, who has previously worked at the RFEF as coach of youth categories, will be in charge of leading Spain through the 2018 World Cup qualifying round - and through a difficult group in which the 2010 winners have been pitted against Italy.

Julen Lopetegui pictured coaching Spain's Under-21s
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Julen Lopetegui pictured coaching Spain's Under-21sMarcial GuillénEFE

Lopetegui's first game vs Liechenstein

Lopetegui's first official game in charge will be the Round 1 meeting with Liechenstein at a venue to be announced on 5 September. The 49-year-old was preferred to other candidates including Paco Jémez, Joaquín Caparrós and Michel.

Lopetegui, a former goalkeeper and TV pundit before going into coaching, has held posts at Real Madrid Castilla and Porto as well as his work with Spain's Under-19s, Under-20s and Under-21s.As our colleague Mr Chip reliably points out, he is the first goalkeeper to be handed the Spain job since José Luis Lasplazas Pujolar in 1960.

Lopetegui will be presented at the Ciudad del Fútbol in Las Rozas, Madrid at 18:30 CEST.