Lopetegui to lead Spain

MADRID • Spain have appointed the former Porto manager Julen Lopetegui as their new coach to replace Vicente del Bosque.

The former goalkeeper, who was recently linked with a move to England to replace Kenny Jackett at Wolverhampton Wanderers, has coached Spain at youth level extensively, having led the national Under-19, U-20 and U-21 sides.

He led Spain to the title at the 2012 European Under-19 Championship in Estonia and the following year steered them to the U-21 European Championship in Nyon, Switzerland.

The 49-year-old, who hails from Asteasu in the Basque region, had been a free agent since being dismissed by Porto in January.

He faces a tough ask to live up to the achievements of del Bosque, who will always be remembered in football history as the man who ended Spain's World Cup wait in 2010 when they triumphed in South Africa.

He added the European Championship trophy two years later as Spain retained the title that they claimed in 2008 under the late Luis Aragones.

Lopetegui's first match will be a friendly against Belgium on Sept 1.

THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2016, with the headline 'Lopetegui to lead Spain'. Print Edition | Subscribe