Real Madrid reward Solari with a permanent position
Spanish football giants Real Madrid are set to appoint Santiago Solari as the side's permanent manager. The Spanish Football Association has stated that it has received the contract from the Champions League holders, Real. Los Blancos have been left impressed with Santiago's style since he took over as their interim coach last month. They are expected to make an official announcement soon.
Solari took over from former manager Julen Lopetegui, who was sacked after four and a half months in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real's 1-5 defeat against Barcelona, in El Clasico, spelled the end of Lopetegui's tenure. Julen saw his side crumble against weaker opponents and when he departed, Real were at a dismal ninth spot on the league table.
Since Santiago's arrival at Real, Los Blancos have witnessed a change of fortunes. Real have managed to seal four wins out of four across all competitions. They scored 15 goals in this period, besides conceding only twice. The wins came against Melilla in Copa del Rey, Viktoria Plzeň in the Champions League, and Real Valladolid and Celta Vigo in Spanish league.
Real gave him the job as rules in Spain prevent an interim coach from being in charge for longer than a two-week period. Getting someone else, within this period, would have been difficult. Further, all Real need is calmness. Solari knows Los Blancos in and out after having managed the Castilla and also being at the Bernabeu as a former player.
Real will hope that Solari can continue the good work done by former manager Zinedine Zidane, who too managed the Castilla. Zidane won a host of trophies in two and a half years at the club as manager which included three successive Champions League trophies and a league title. Solari, himself, would be keen to make an impact like Zidane.
Getting in Julen, post the departure of Zidane, seemed like a mistake from the beginning. The Spaniard was sacked by Spain, a day before the FIFA World Cup after Real announced him as their next manager while he was working with the national team. The pressure was telling on Julen at Real and players too didn't respond to his demands.
Real are just 4 points adrift of leaders Barcelona. The first job for Solari is to keep getting in crucial results and be in the top four. Post December, he would want his side to be settled and push for the title.