Not many people took note of what happened to Julen Lopetegui after he was unceremoniously kicked out of coaching duties at Real Madrid early last season. On Sunday night, the disgraced coach, who is now at the helm of Sevilla FC, will have a big chance to redeem himself as his side hosts his former team at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

It may be remembered that Lopetegui was sacked from the Spanish National Team on the eve of the 2018 FIFA World Cup after it was revealed that he had accepted a job with Real Madrid. The Spaniard's woes continued after he was also sacked by Real Madrid just two months into the 2018/19 season. He was axed after only managing to take the team to 9th position on the league table, and after suffering a 5-1 defeat at El Clasico.

Needless to say, his reputation was in shambles. On Sunday, Lopetegui has the opportunity to redeem himself in front of the same people who almost ruined him. His current team, Sevilla FC, will be playing against Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid. Despite the massive significance of this match, Lopetegui refuses to admit that he is out for revenge.

However, he did take a dig at his former club by speaking about his plans to stay much longer at Sevilla. "There is no room for extra motivation when you coach Sevilla, something I can hopefully do for many years," he said.

Lopetegui insists that taking three points and potentially the lead in the La Liga table is all that matters. "There are three points at stake and that is enough motivation, even if we know the impact of facing Real Madrid," he said, in a pre-match press conference.

Incidentally, Sevilla is currently ahead of Real Madrid on the a Liga table. They are sitting in second place, just behind Granada, who have one extra match under their belt. Sevilla could take top spot if they win on Sunday. Meanwhile, Real Madrid is sitting in fifth position, after having won only two of their first four matches. Zidane's position at Real Madrid is also starting to look precarious, after the team's dismal performances in the past several weeks.

Both teams will have a lot to prove and with top spot in La Liga at stake, there will be a lot to play for. It remains to be seen which coach, Lopetegui or Zidane, will be able to save their reputation.

Julen Lopetegui
Julen Lopetegui Getty