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Bernabéu beckons López Caro

Published: Monday 5 December 2005, 19.25CET
Juan Ramón López Caro said his appointment by Real Madrid CF was "a dream come true", having replaced Vanderlei Luxemburgo at the Santiago Bernabéu.
by Lucy Turner features

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Published: Monday 5 December 2005, 19.25CET

Bernabéu beckons López Caro

Juan Ramón López Caro said his appointment by Real Madrid CF was "a dream come true", having replaced Vanderlei Luxemburgo at the Santiago Bernabéu.
Juan Ramón López Caro has become Real Madrid CF's sixth coach in five years after replacing Vanderlei Luxemburgo at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Surprise appointment
López Caro, who came to the club in 2001 to take charge of the reserve team - Real Madrid Castilla - has been thrust into the limelight as Luxemburgo's temporary replacement, hearing the news of his appointment while watching his young charges earn a 1-0 win against Gimnàstic de Tarragona.

'Dream come true'
"It's a dream come true, without doubt," said López Caro. "You have to be ready for anything and I'm at the club's disposal for whatever they need."

European experience
The 42-year-old has quietly earned a reputation at Madrid after lifting the B team back into Spain's second division. Prior to that, he had worked at RCD Mallorca and was on the bench during their brief run in the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2000.

Tuesday drama
However, as López Caro joins a long list of coaches to have been handed the Madrid reins in recent times, it remains to be seen quite what that experience will be worth to him. His first task will be to lead the seniors into action in the UEFA Champions League at Olympiacos CFP on Tuesday.

New president
In June 2000, when Florentino Pérez became president, Vicente Del Bosque was head coach. The former Madrid player won two Spanish titles and the UEFA Champions League in his three seasons under Pérez, but was surprisingly sacked in favour of Carlos Queiroz.

Queiroz tenure
Previously Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant at Manchester United FC, the Portuguese guided Madrid through a trophyless 2003/04 campaign and was subsequently dismissed. Ex-Spain coach José Antonio Camacho then took over for just three months before resigning, claiming the players lacked commitment.

Reserve coach
That surprise departure saw reserve boss Mariano García Remón given an unexpected chance at the helm. The coach showed no fear, bravely electing to leave some of the club's biggest names on the bench, but with indifferent results on the pitch, he was soon pushed aside.

Luxemburgo arrives
Thus the stage was set for Luxemburgo to take over in December 2004. With the side in a wretched state, the Brazilian steered Madrid through a fine run of results towards the end of last season, and had aspirations to win the Primera División this time around.

Troubled reign
However, after 339 days of his reign, it had become clear to most that Luxemburgo was not going to be the man to bring Madrid's first piece of silverware since 2002/03, with Saturday's 1-0 win against Getafe CF proving to be the 53-year-old's final outing.

Final straw
"It wasn't an easy decision, but the board thought we had reached the point where we needed a change," said sporting director Emilio Butragueño. "The team were not living up to expectations and that worried both us and the fans and that was the fundamental reason for our decision, which was unanimous."

Last updated: 13/12/05 19.57CET

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