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Santiago Solari Talks 'Deliberate' Pep Guardiola Real Madrid Exclusion

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 27: Santiago Solari, Manager of Real Madrid looks on prior to the La Liga match between RCD Espanyol and Real Madrid CF at RCDE Stadium on January 27, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Santiago Solari has hit out at Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola for leaving out Real Madrid when he named Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus as the best teams in European football over the last decade.

Los Blancos manager Solari felt former Barca coach Guardiola excluded Real on purpose, per AS' Mario Cortegana: "I think it's a deliberate omission. We're not going to fight about one decade when Real Madrid is the best club of last century and in the history of the game. And having said that, Madrid are also the best of the last decade. That's because this club never underestimates anyone—never, whatever the situation."

Per Goal's Sam Lee, Guardiola had said: "I've said many times: What are the best teams in the last decade? Juventus, Bayern Munich, Barcelona. These are the three best teams in Europe. Why? Because every season they win the league, every season they win the cups, every season they are there. Because they are the best."

Real Madrid have won four UEFA Champions League titles in the last five seasons, including the last three in succession, so it's understandable Solari feels Guardiola has deliberately left them out.

Lee gave some insight into Guardiola's thinking, however:

Sam Lee @Sammy_Goal

@thechelseaism the logic is that if you are a stable team that wins the title and cups AND fights in the CL, then that's a better place to be in. Not everybody will agree with that but that's what he says he wants from City

Real's success in Europe can give them a claim to being one of the best teams over the last decade, but league titles are the best indicator of a team's overall quality and consistency.

In that regard, they fall short of those Guardiola mentioned.

Since the 2008-09 campaign, Real have won La Liga just twice. By contrast, Barca, Juventus and Bayern have all won seven of the 10 league titles available to them in that time, with the Italian side winning them all in a row.

The Independent's Miguel Delaney noted Barca's domestic consistency after they won the title last season:

Miguel Delaney @MiguelDelaney

Point here is that, while there's an argument Barca should have won more CLs with him, they relentlessly reeled off the best mathematical measure of superiority - the league - with him.

Although none can match Los Blancos' Champions League success, Barca have won it three times in the last decade and Bayern once, while Juve have reached the final twice.

In terms of domestic cup competitions, Real are also well behind in this period. They've won the Copa del Rey twice, whereas Barca have won it six times, while Juve and Bayern have won the Coppa Italia and DFB-Pokal four times apiece, respectively.

Real are undeniably one of the best teams in European football and have been so over the last decade, but in terms of consistent excellency over that period, they don't quite match up with those Guardiola named.

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