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Spain sign coach Julen Lopetegui to contract extension through Euro 2020

Ian Darke leads an expert panel to assess Spain's World Cup hopes and whether or not Julen Lopetegui will be able to sort out the attack.

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has signed a two-year contract extension, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) announced on Tuesday.

They made the announcement on Tuesday, less than a week before Spain begin their preparations for the World Cup in Russia.

Lopetegui, 51, replaced the retiring Vicente del Bosque as coach following Spain's elimination from Euro 2016.

"It's a happy day," RFEF president Luis Robiales said in a statement. "We could not have allowed Julen and his team to leave. The professional admiration and respect that we feel for him is huge and we want to announce the extension of his contract until 2020.

"We have much hope for the World Cup with him, knowing that it is difficult and that he only has a guarantee for three games -- but with him, everything is possible."

Lopetegui has led Spain on an 18-game unbeaten streak since his appointment, and Spain comfortably qualified for the World Cup in a group that included Italy.

"I'm grateful for the confidence placed in me and in my staff," Lopetegui said at a news conference on Tuesday. "I wasn't losing any sleep regarding a new contract as we all know that football is uncertain.

"We are very happy with what we have done so far. We've worked very hard the past two years and we will continue to do so."

Spain begin their World Cup campaign against Portugal on June 15 in Sochi and also take on Iran and Morocco in Group B.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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