Santiago Solari: how did he become Real Madrid's coach?

After many successful years with Zinedine Zidane as coach of Real Madrid, the merengue team once again bet on a similar profile with the Argentine Santiago Solari

Santiago Solari: how did he become Real Madrid's head coach?

On Tuesday, November 13, Real Madrid confirmed Santiago Solari as their coach for at least two seasons, not including the one that is already running. According to the newspaper Marca, the Argentine signed with the white club until June 30, 2021.

Leer en español: Santiago Solari: ¿cómo llegó a ser el director técnico titular del Real Madrid?

The arrival of the Argentine coach to the merengue team bench occurred after the dismissal of Julen Lopetegui, a coach who arrived as an emergency in June, after the departure of Zinedine Zidane.

At the dismissal of Lopetegui, Real Madrid was ninth in LaLiga of Spain, carrying five games without winning, four of them ended in defeat and only one match ended in a draw, as Mundo Deportivo recalled.

However, it was an open secret that the result that would sentence the permanence or dismissal of Lopetegui was going to be obtained in the match against FC Barcelona, in the classic league. Of course, the 5-1 in favor of the Catalans completely closed the door of the merengues to the former coach of the Spanish National Team.

How did he become Real Madrid's head coach?

"(Santiago Solari) is on a path very similar to what you think of the club that should be carried, there are many names that coincide in the directive and on the bench and that is a very good sign," said sports journalist Manu Carreño El Larguero: Solari is Real Madrid, and Real Madrid lives in Solari.

The Argentine played in the team of the Spanish capital for five seasons (2000-2005) in which, according to Football Database, reached:

  • Two leagues from Spain (2001 and 2003)
  • Two Supercopa of Spain (2001 and 2003)
  • One Champions League
  • A Super Cup of Europe
  • An Intercontinental Cup (2002)

That is why with 7 titles it can be said that Solari had a successful step in Real Madrid. This is not only thought by the media and statistical internet portals, but also by the board of directors of Real Madrid, commanded by its president Florentino Pérez.

According to Marca, "Solari has always been Florentino Pérez's favorite to occupy the position of Real Madrid coach." Then it clarifies that with Lopetegui there was no chemistry between the DT and the Board of Directors, but that with Solari "now it is the opposite".

Is it really necessary?

But Santiago not only came to the bench for being the "spoiled kind" of Florentino but also as a possible need for the president so he could safeguard his position.

As Carreño said, there are many coincidences between "the board and the bench". For this, for Florentino to continue on that route was more than necessary, something that would not certify if it came, for example, Antonio Conte.


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According to El País de España, the possible contract with Conte was canceled not necessarily because it was impossible, but because of the enormous differences between the Italian and the management of Florentino Pérez; in addition to the exorbitant demands of the former coach of the Italy National Team and Chelsea.

In this way, Antonio Conte could have represented a headache for the president of the merengue club. "The presidential advisers warned of the serious danger that would involve signing (...) an uncontrollable (Conte) capable of exposing Florentino Pérez at press conferences," said the Spanish media.

Then it said that "there were managers who saw Conte as a prelude to the demolition and a hasty presidential election in the spring." For this, it is said that Florentino preferred to sign with Solari, instead of provoking a 'suicide' in his position as the first president of Real Madrid with Antonio Conte.

Is Solari a reflection of Zidane?

Finally, the similarities between the arrival of Solari and Zinedine Zidane could not go unnoticed. Both came from directing Castilla, a subsidiary of Real Madrid, in the second division. However, both Zizou and Solari had not fared very well.

On the part of the French, he only coached a season and a half the Castilla soccer team, both in the Second division B (third league of Spain). According to AS, Zidane only obtained a little more than 46% of wins, almost 30% in ties and 24% in losses; numbers that only show a reality: no promotion to the Second Division.

Solari, on the other hand, did not change the story. The Sport newspaper states that in his time at Castilla (2016-2018), in addition to not being able to promote with the club, the Argentine also signed one of the worst steps for the team: 37.2% of victories. However, in the case of Zidane with the first team, it is already known how the story ended:

  • Champion of a League of Spain
  • A Super Cup of Spain
  • Three Champions League
  • Two Supercopa of Europe
  • Two Club World Cups (the same ones in which he participated)

Una publicación compartida de Luis Joel Guillen (@luisjoelg) el

In the beginning, Solari has achieved four wins: two in LaLiga, one in the Champions League and one in the Copa del Rey. However, the question is: can the coach from Rosario match the story of Zizou, who in 2016 also came as a trigger for Real Madrid and ended up as a club legend?


LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez Hernández

Translated from "Santiago Solari: ¿cómo llegó a ser el director técnico titular del Real Madrid?"

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