Santiago Solari Confirmed as Real Madrid's Permanent Manager Through 2021November 13, 2018
Real Madrid confirmed on Tuesday they have appointed Santiago Solari as their new manager on a permanent deal until June 2021:
The 42-year-old had taken charge of the team on an interim basis after previous boss Julen Lopetegui was sacked in October after just four months in charge.
Solari has overseen an upturn in form during his brief time as boss. He led the team to four wins in four games, scoring 15 goals and conceding just two.
Opta noted just how impressive Solari's start to life in the Real Madrid hot seat has been:
The club's recent results have put them back in contention in La Liga. Madrid were thrashed 5-0 by leaders Barcelona in Lopetegui's final game in charge, but Sunday's win over Celta Vigo saw them close to within four points of their fierce rivals.
Solari also oversaw a 5-0 away win over Viktoria Plzen in the UEFA Champions League. The victory means the holders sit top of Group G on goal difference ahead of Roma.
The Real Madrid job is Solari's first senior management role. He was previously in charge of the club's B team and spent five years at the Santiago Bernabeu as a player, winning two league titles and the Champions League.
Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno praised Solari after Sunday's 4-2 win at Celta:
The 42-year-old has also had the backing of several players. Striker Karim Benzema said "we're fine with him" after the Champions League win against Viktoria Plzen, per Football Espana.
Defender Alvaro Odriozola has said the players are with Solari "until death," according to Marca (h/t Football Espana).
While Solari has managed to turn Real Madrid's results around, the club's performances have still been far from perfect.
ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan noted how he's had some luck along the way:
Yet Solari has also had to deal with a growing injury list, restore confidence after a thrashing by Barcelona and has not been afraid to make some big selection calls. He has benched big names such as Isco and Marco Asensio and given game time to Brazilian teenager Vinicius Junior.
Sportswriter Andy West offered his view on Solari:
Solari's fine start to life at Real Madrid has seen him given the chance to take charge of the Spanish giants on a full-time basis. Madrid are not known for their patience with managers, as shown by Lopetegui's sacking, and Solari will have little room for error at the Bernabeu.