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- The incoming Real Madrid coach has previously stated that he believes Leo Messi is the greatest soccer player in history.
- This could add tension to the coach’s relationship with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo at a time when Ronaldo’s future at Madrid is already in doubt.
Real Madrid has announced its new head coach after, Julen Lopetegui, currently the head coach of the Spanish National Team, and it’s a decision which could lead to an awkward dynamic in the locker room with star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lopetegui, who takes over after Zinedine Zidane surprisingly stepped down, has consistently favored Lionel Messi in the ongoing “Messi or Ronaldo” debate among soccer fans.
In 2016 Lopetegui voted Messi for The Best FIFA Men’s Player of 2016 award and said of the Barcelona and Argentina player, “I’ve never met a player like Leo Messi. I don’t like to compare eras. I’ve never seen and nor do I think I will ever see someone with Messi’s consistency,” per Cadena Cope, translation courtesy of ESPN.
And just last November, he reiterated his belief that Messi is the best player in history, according to TyC Sports.
That is a decidedly different take from Ronaldo, who has proclaimed himself to be the greatest player in the history of the game, and who may not like his new coach appearing to favor his rival.
Lopetegui is also taking over the Real Madrid job at an awkward time with regards to Cristiano Ronaldo, who has cryptically hinted that he may be leaving the club soon.
Ronaldo may be 33-years-old, but he is still one of the greatest players in the world and the crown jewel of Real Madrid. Making sure he’s happy and willing to stay at Real Madrid is sure to be one of the first things on Lopetegui’s to-do list when he takes on his new job.