Winning isn’t everything at Real Madrid, it is the only thing
Real Madrid turn to former fan favourite and club stalwart for inspiration22 November 2018 | Charlie Laurendi
The Real Madrid manager merry go round has stopped for now, with former player Santiago Solari taking over until at least June 2021 - or when Real Madrid president Florentino Perez decides his time is up.
Solari first took over from the former Spain manager Julen Lopetegui on an interim basis with former Juventus and Chelsea manager Antonio Conte the number one candidate to succeed Lopetegui.
However, Conte’s name was soon dismissed from the conversation on the alleged recommendation from Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos. In Spain, Interim coaches must be made permanent if they oversee the team for longer than 14 days.
Lopetegui’s ill-fated time in charge of Los Blancos ended abruptly following the 5-1 thrashing to bitter enemy Barcelona, despite the absence of Lionel Messi. It’s been a poor six months for Lopetegui, who took the Madrid job on the eve of the 2018 World Cup and was subsequently removed of his duties before Spain’s first match.
Whilst Solari has turned around Los Merengues fortunes since taking over, he knows his time in the hot seat is never safe. Solari is Real Madrid’s eighth different manager since 2009. The list of managers reads as a ‘Who’s who’ of the world’s best managers.
Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti brought success to the world’s most famous football club, yet that wasn’t enough to keep them their jobs. Whilst Zinedine Zidane delivered three consecutive Champions League victories, he did something not many Real Madrid managers get to do, that is, leave on his own accord.
Managers who didn’t succeed at Real Madrid during this period included, Juande Ramos, Manuel Pellegrini and Rafael Benitez.
In Solari’s favour for success is that, like Zidane before him, he was promoted within, having led the team’s reserves. But perhaps Zidane saw the writing was on the wall and decided this group of players had achieved the pinnacle of club success domestically, in Europe and across the globe and needed to be broken up and restocked with the next batch of Galacticos.
Real Madrid’s best starting line-up 2018-2019:
With Marcelo, Modric, Bale, Benzema and Kroos all mooted for moves away from the Santiago Bernabéu, next season’s team could look dramatically different with a host of new names and egos to manage. Can and will Santiago Solari be given the keys to a shiny new Ferrari or will a more experienced, world renowned manager come in regardless of how well Solari manages this current squad of players?
Potential starting line-up for Real Madrid 2019-2020 campaign:
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has long been admired by Florentino Perez but continues to resist the temptation to join Los Blancos, having reiterated his desire to bring back the glory days to the White Hart Lane faithful.
Other managers linked to the job are Belgium coach Roberto Martínez, former Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim and current Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri.
Allegri was offered the position in the summer before Lopetegui accepted the role. Part of Lopetegui’s ultimate downfall was Allegri’s gain with the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to the Bianconeri.
Never one to sit idle, Florentino Perez is watching intently on how Solari performs in the role for the remainder of the season. Real Madrid are still alive in La Liga, Copa del Rey and are equal group leaders with Roma in Group G of the Champions League. Real Madrid also head to the United Arab Emirates in December to defend their FIFA Club World Cup title.
Solari can win trophies and still lose come season’s end. The position of manager of the world’s premier football club team is both an honour and treacherous at the same time. History shows managers don’t last long in the position regardless of results.
Hopefully, Solari is given the time and resources to make his mark on Real Madrid’s storied history once again, this time in the role as manager.
real madrid, santiago solari, florentino perez