The Spanish soccer federation informed on Monday morning that it had issued the license of Santiago Solari as first coach of Real Madrid, procedure that requires the formalization of a specific contract. The procedure put an end to the interim of the hitherto technical Castilla, whose appointment with a "provisional" was published on October 29 through the same statement announced the dismissal of his predecessor, Julen Lopetegui. This time the club did not officially confirm the new contract.
Article 160 of the regulations of the federation stipulates that coaches may not occupy benches on an interim basis for more than 15 days. Exactly the deadline that was fulfilled this Monday counting from 29. Pure bureaucratic course to determine the promotion of a coach who is careful not to stand out above the institutional order. A technician who does not emit the ambition signals of his guild when he sits on such a coveted bench. As one club employee pointed out last week, Solari is the first technician to climb the first team without the entity having the feeling of improving their situation.
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: the players perceive him as the armed arm of the president, Florentino Pérez, someone capable of postponing Isco or Modric to give minutes to Vinicius or Ceballos according to the dispatches where the sports strategy.
In his favor the general perception in the staff weighs that he is a gentle and dialoguing man. It is not someone in whom footballers perceive an authoritarian and vain boss capable of evils to build a reputation. The presidential advisors assure him. Florentino Pérez knows that Solari's greatest endorsement is the fear that the squad has to Antonio Conte or – worse yet – José Mourinho get into the dressing room. That fear can translate into competitive energy. But it's not enough. The leaders have had the certainty 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 to the promotion. According to sources at the Bernabéu, the contract scheduled last week guarantees this season and two more for four million net euros each.
To Solari, they repeat it in the club, it only worries to remain to the service of Madrid, does not matter in what position. Since 2013 he found himself comfortable working in the lower categories and the executives of the club, with José Ángel Sánchez at the head, soon discovered a vein in his administrative skills. He was able to line up a Chinese forward enrolled in his team for commercial reasons without causing a scandal; rescued from the shade to Odegaard -marginalized by Zidane- and trained him to return it to the competition and to the market; and guaranteed the captaincy of Enzo Zidane and the ownership of Luca Zidane against the opinion of some of his companions.
With Solari in charge of Castilla, the Zidane family lived for two years without the surprises of past times, when the coach on duty did what he wanted. Controlled the domestic front, Zidane was able to surrender quiet to train. The balance was one League and three Champions.
The leaders took note of the sanitation work. The Castilla served as a buffer. Situations that would have disintegrated the coexistence with another coach, with Solari at the front became bearable. With him, Castilla never disputed a playoff of promotion to Second but preserved an essential climate to ensure the training of players in circumstances that did not always favor it.