The Spanish football federation informed that it had issued the license of Santiago Solari as the permanent coach of Real Madrid, a procedure that requires the formalization of a specific contract.
The procedure put an end to the interim character of Solari, whose appointment with a provision was published on October 29 through the same statement that announced the dismissal of his predecessor, Julen Lopetegui. This time Real Madrid did officially confirm the new contract.
The top management of Madrid deployed its entire network of informers to examine Solari in recent days. There was no lack of skeptics. Against him, operated a certified evidence from all sources, and the players perceive him as the armed arm of the president, Florentino Perez, someone capable of postponing Isco or Modric to give minutes to Vinicius or Ceballos.
In his favor, the general perception in the staff weighs that he is a gentle and dialoguing man. He is not someone in whom footballers perceive an authoritarian and vain boss, capable of evil deeds to build a reputation. Off that the presidential advisors assured him. Florentino Perez knows that Solari’s greatest endorsement is the fear that the squad had for Antonio Conte, or worse, Jose Mourinho get into the dressing room. Sometimes fear can translate into competitive energy. But that’s not enough. The leaders had to be certain that any solution will be the least bad. Until the victory was sealed against Celta (2-4), on Sunday night, the president did not give the last word for the promotion of Solari.
Since 2013, Solari found himself comfortable working in the lower categories in Madrid and the executives of the club, with Jose Angel Sanchez at the head, soon discovered a vein in his administrative skills. He was able to line up a Chinese forward and enrolled in his team for commercial reasons without causing a scandal, rescued Odegaard from the shade, marginalized by Zidane and trained him to return it to the competition and to the market, and guaranteed the captaincy of Enzo Zidane from the ownership of Luca Zidane against the opinion of some of his companions.
The Real leaders took note of the sanitation work done by Solari. The Castilla served as a buffer for him. Situations that would have disintegrated the coexistence with another coach, with Solari at the front, it became bearable. The team was ranked 11th in Group 2 in the 2016-17 campaign, and 8th in the 2017-18 tenure. With him, Castilla never played a playoff of promotion to Second but preserved the essential climate to ensure the training of players in circumstances that did not always propitiate it.
Solari could not have had a much better start to the job at the senior level – in the four games he has overseen, the team has posted four wins and only conceded in the game against Celta. The overall balance is 15 goals for and just two against – it’s the best start any Madrid coach has enjoyed in the club’s 116-year history. Players such as Lucas Vazquez and Alvaro Odriozola have publicly voiced their votes that the Argentine coach will continue in the post at least until the end of the season while Emilio Butragueno, did admit that the club is “very happy with him”.