Spain's Lopetegui to coach Real Madrid after World Cup

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui will take over as Real Madrid manager after the World Cup, the club said in an announcement that comes just three days before the national team's first game at the tournament.

Madrid said in a short statement that Lopetegui has agreed to coach the Champions League winners for the next three seasons once Spain's participation in soccer's biggest event is over.

The appointment comes as Lopetegui is making his final preparations for Spain's opening match against Portugal in Sochi.

The Spanish football federation said Madrid had paid an undisclosed amount to trigger the buyout clause included in Lopetegui's contract.

"The Spanish football federation asks for the maximum respect in order to maintain a sense of normalcy around the national team as it is about to debut in the World Cup," the federation said in a statement.

Lopetegui and Luis Rubiales, who was elected federation president last month, will hold a press conference at Spain's base camp in Krasnodar, Russia, on Wednesday.

Lopetegui will take the place of Zinedine Zidane, after he surprised the club two weeks ago by saying he was leaving after winning an unprecedented three straight Champions League titles.