The start to the 2018-19 season hasn’t been good for Real Madrid, and it got worse on Sunday in the 5-1 loss to a Lionel Messi-less Barcelona at the Camp Nou. Los Blancos are hovering around mid-table in La Liga and look like they have no shot of even getting close to winning their fourth straight Champions League. And the pressure falls squarely on manager Julen Lopetegui, who has had to alter his formation to try and get something going, and it hasn’t worked.
At this point, the general feeling is that he doesn’t have much longer to coach this club. It also wouldn’t be a surprise if he was let go before the weekend. But chances are — if a move is made — it will possibly come during the international break in mid-November.
If that does happen, who could replace him at the biggest club in the world? Here are three options.
This is the obvious choice. He did pretty well in the Premier League and is one of the world’s most respected and recognized coaches. He would have Thibaut Courtois and would likely push to sign Eden Hazard, whom he coached at Chelsea. While Real Madrid is an attractive job, the current roster just feels stale and lacking that killer instinct. Conte is somebody who could get this team’s defensive shape to improve and churn out results, but he’ll need to have the club agree to splash the cash in January on players to probably take any offer.
This guy falls under the most likely candidate. The 41-year-old spent 15 years playing for Real Madrid, winning everything in the process. He has coached Real Madrid youth teams and is now an assistant at Besiktas in Turkey. He hasn’t gotten a top-team job yet, but neither had Zinedine Zidane before he joined. He’ll definitely get a look at some point and is held in high regards by this fan base.
Unlikely, but he is a well-regarded coach and is available after being let go from Monaco. While there are other coaches available like Arsene Wenger, Jardim seems more likely due to his ability to work with young talent. Real Madrid’s veterans haven’t gotten the job done, and Jardim is a guy who could possibly get this going in the right direction. He helped guide Monaco to the Ligue 1 title two years ago and a spot in the semifinal of the Champions League. Before long, he’ll get a big job, but it probably won’t be this one.
And now, our latest power rankings:
How the rankings work
The power rankings list the top 25 teams in the world when it comes to recent form. The teams playing the best soccer, both in their respective leagues or in international competitions, will be considered. Quality of the opponents will also be taken into an account, but above all, the most important factors are recent results and overall standings in competitions.
World Club Soccer Power Rankings
Previous rankings: Oct. 23 | Oct. 10 | Oct. 3 | Sept. 26 | Sept. 17 | Sept. 4 | Aug. 28 | Aug. 23 | Aug. 15 | Preseason rankings
Manchester City (ENG)
Bayern Munich (GER)
Borussia Dortmund (GER)
Atletico Madrid (ESP)
Inter Milan (ITA)
Boca Juniors (ARG)
Club America (MEX)
Santos Laguna (MEX)
River Plate (ARG)
Biggest movers: Gremio (+5) and Tottenham (-5)
Teams knocked out of the top 25 this week: Borussia M’gladbach (GER), Atlanta United (MLS)
Honorable mentions: Bournemouth (ENG), Alaves (BRA), Lazio (ITA)
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