You might have thought that Julen Lopetegui’s day couldn’t get any worse, with the beleaguered Real Madrid boss expected to be sacked from his job at any moment following a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Barcelona yesterday, but now his own father has waded in to the public debate over his future.
Jose Antonio Lopetegui, who is 88-years-old and a former famed strongman, was interviewed by El Mundo today. He feels that the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus left his son at a disadvantage in his role at the Bernabeu.
“Cristiano Ronaldo was good, he said. "Was he cocky? We all have defects. But he scored 50 goals a season. Now he is missed. They don’t have a goalscorer. Not one.”
The failure to replace the Portuguese was detrimental to Julen’s chance of success, according to his old man.
“It was Neymar this and the other guy that, but nobody arrived… they have stolen 50 goals from my son.”
While the support of his family in private will surely have proved invaluable to a man in the uniquely stressful world of football management, whether he’ll thank his father for having his say publically, or El Mundo for interviewing him, is open for debate.
The former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has been identified as the last of the Mohicans on Florentino Perez’s shortlist to replace the former Spain coach in the Real hotseat, with an agreement being thrashed out today.
Doubts have been raised, however, about how receptive powerful voices in the dressing room at the club will be to the arrival of a disciplinarian into the manager’s job.