BARCELONA – Santiago Solari will be the new permanent head coach for Real Madrid, the team confirmed on Tuesday as it gave him a two-and-a-half-year contract.
Solari took temporary charge of the first team a fortnight ago after Julen Lopetegui was sacked. He picked up four wins in his first four games, making him the obvious choice as Lopetegui’s permanent successor.
A club statement issued on Tuesday read: “The Real Madrid board, meeting on November 13, 2018, have agreed to name Santiago Solari as the first team coach until June 2021.”
Solari becomes the 13th coach in the era of president Florentino Perez, who first came to power in 2000, left in 2006, and came back in 2009.
The 42-year-old Argentinian was previously coach of Real Madrid’s youth team, who play in the third tier of Spanish football.
His winning start in temporary charge had also come with a 15-2 positive goal difference. He also has the full backing of the players.
“He is a great coach and of course we want him to stay in charge,” said full-back Alvaro Odriozola at the weekend after Madrid beat Celta Vigo 4-2.
Lucas Vazquez added: “It would be hard for him to have done any better.”
Real Madrid still lie sixth going into the international break, but they are only four points behind leaders Barcelona. -dpa