Very few Real Madrid coaches survive conceding five goals to Barcelona, and Julen Lopetegui was no different as he was shown the door Florentino Perez last term, yet he has returned with Sevilla and proven himself to be a different coach to before, version 2.0 if you will.
It was little less than a year ago when Lopetegui was shown the door at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, an incredibly cold move when you consider exactly what the Spaniard gave up to join Los Blancos.
After losing the opportunity to coach La Roja at a World Cup, Lopetegui was given just four and a half months in the job, yet those in power at Real Madrid believed there was a huge discrepancy between the quality of the team and the results gained.
What really stung Los Blancos was how Lionel Messi wasn’t even available and they still conceded five to a Luis Suarez led Blaugrana, yet Lopetegui hopes to right some of those wrongs on Sunday.
After a year, the former Porto coach returns to the scene of his humiliation, the Camp Nou, as his high-flying Sevilla side face Barcelona.
Monchi has proven to be the best possible ally for the maligned coach at this time, he has rebuilt the Sevilla squad completely over the summer, allowing Lopetegui to rotate his team regularly.
In LaLiga Santander they’ve taken 13 points from their opening seven matches, a haul which places them well in the title race at this early stage.
Defeats to Real Madrid and Eibar stung the Andalusian club’s pride, but in Europe they have shown their swashbuckling best.
In the 2018/19 season, Sevilla lost 4-2 in their visit to Barcelona, and they haven’t managed to take points from the Camp Nou in recent years, but on Sunday both the club and Lopetegui has a chance to do just that.