Real Madrid add Albert Celades to Lopetegui's coaching staff

The former Spain under-21 coach, who played for the club during the first Galáctico era, left the RFEF in July after being snubbed for World Cup head coach post.

Real Madrid add Albert Celades to Lopetegui's coaching staff

Albert Celades has been added to Real Madrid’s coaching staff to act as assistant to Julen Lopetegui, the club announced on Friday.

Celades was among Lopetegui’s assistants at the World Cup and had spent four years as Spain’s under-21 coach before leaving the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) after La Roja’s last-16 exit from the tournament in Russia at the hands of the host nation.

The former Real Madrid player, who shared a dressing room with the Galácticos during two spells at the Bernabéu (2000-03 and 2004-05) during Florentino Pérez’s first tenure and lifted the Champions League in 2002 as well as two Liga titles after joining from Barcelona, where he also enjoyed considerable success.

Celades left his role as under-21 coach after being overlooked for the managerial role in Russia after the RFEF instead decided to parachute in sporting director Fernando Hierro, also a teammate of Celades’ during his playing days, after sacking Lopetegui just two days before the tournament started when it emerged he had agreed to join Real Madrid. Hierro also subsequently left the federation after Spain’s disappointing World Cup campaign.

Real Madrid statement on Celades

Real issued a statement on the club’s official website on Friday: “Albert Celades has joined Real Madrid as assistant coach to Julen Lopetegui. His career as a coach has been aligned with the Spanish junior sides, where he served as under-21 manager between 2014 and 2018. With that age group he led the side to a runners-up place at the 2017 European Championship. Before that, he was in charge of the under-16s. Furthermore, he was also among the senior Spain coaching staff at the last two World Cups in Brazil and Russia as an assistant to the technical staff."