Real Madrid sack Lopetegui: The Santiago Bernabeu’s worst coaches since 2000

Carlos Queiroz, Jose Antonio Camacho, Rafael Benitez and Julen Lopetegui

Carlos Queiroz, Jose Antonio Camacho, Rafael Benitez and Julen Lopetegui

Julen Lopetegui has departed Real Madrid after just 14 matches in charge, bringing to an end a dismal reign in which the European champions quickly fell off the pace in LaLiga.

Madrid were thrashed 5-1 by Barcelona in Sunday’s Clasico and, ninth in the table, are already seven points off the summit at this early stage in the season.

But Lopetegui is far from the first man to struggle in the spotlight at the Santiago Bernabeu and in fact joins a long list of highly qualified coaches who have not been able to deliver.

We pick out four men who have failed to live up to expectations in the Spanish capital since the turn of the century.

CARLOS QUEIROZ (JUNE 2003 – MAY 2004)

A coach with a glowing reputation, having worked under Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, Queiroz was handed the unenviable task of replacing Vicente del Bosque at the Bernabeu. Queiroz had the original Galacticos at his disposal, yet he could only guide Madrid to fourth in LaLiga and failed to capitalise on an open Champions League draw in his only season in charge.

JOSE ANTONIO CAMACHO (MAY 2004 – SEPTEMBER 2004)

Camacho had already been and swiftly gone from the Madrid dugout – departing in 1998 before a single match – when he arrived back at the club in 2004. His history with Madrid as a player counted for little when he made a poor start, though, quitting after six games (four wins, two defeats) to mark the shortest reign of any permanent Bernabeu coach since 1929.

RAFAEL BENITEZ (JUNE 2015 – JANUARY 2016)

Madrid have not always been an easy club to deal with as a coach and Benitez’s reputation might not have taken quite such a hit had Zinedine Zidane not subsequently taken over and won three consecutive Champions Leagues. The fans never took to the former Liverpool manager’s conservative approach and the writing was on the wall after a 4-0 Clasico reverse.

JULEN LOPETEGUI (JUNE 2018 – OCTOBER 2018)

Lopetegui’s time at Madrid started badly as he was sacked by Spain for agreeing the move and matters arguably got worse from there. His first competitive game was a 4-2 defeat to rivals Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup and the pressure was building long before Sunday’s match made it a five-match winless run in LaLiga to prompt a premature exit.

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