He was warned by some of the employees and players with more experience in the Madrid dressing room these days. They said, not without some suspicion, that Solari is a very polite and pleasant guy in the deal. An affable trainer with whom you can work comfortably. And a disciplined vicar of President Florentino Pérez.
He showed it in Melilla, at the Bernabéu against Valladolid, and in Pilsen against the loose Viktoria. Giving flight to young Vinicius; rotating without alterations to any of the heavy weights, like Modric; definitely bordering Keylor Navas in favor of Courtois, and finally restoring Bale and Benzema as goal-scorers, the debutant confirmed his status as an effective executive. Three games, three wins, 11 goals in favor and none against. End of the crisis and great institutional discovery.
"It's a decision I've made and the first thing I want to say is that Keylor is a gentleman," said Solari, with obvious signs of fatigue on his face, when after the 0-5 they asked him for the substitution of the Costa Rican goalkeeper, protagonist of the last three Champions achieved by Madrid. "He has all my admiration as a footballer and all my respect as a man," he continued. "He is an important player on the roster. All of us who have played professional football know that one is not only important when playing. And Keylor is a very well-liked player within the squad and he has to be very important in any of his roles. Of course, when it stops, but also when it does not. "
Florentino Pérez has found in Santiago Solari his most reliable official. What Benitez did not offer him, nor Lopetegui, nor even Zidane -which more often than not imposed autonomy of action that worried the leaders- Solari seems to guarantee it in record time. It has developed within the organization and now its leaders consider that their intervention can reach the decisive goal: to gain time. A very valuable way for Madrid to come out of its worst sports crisis of the decade with the lowest possible damage rate.
As the veterans warned, the Argentine coach of Castilla, named head of the first bench with "provisional" character last week, after the dismissal of Lopetegui, takes effect, point by point, the presidential program. If there is no accident in the visit to Balaídos, this Sunday, and given that at this time the market does not offer a coach to convince the president, the club plans to offer a contract to Solari to take charge of the first team with permanent character. On November 24, in Eibar, he would officially begin to hold the position.
Solari proved that he does not need to be sent orders. Know the administration of the memory club, especially the presidential machinery that marks the sports policy. He himself was a player of the house until Florentino Pérez invited him to go pierced in 2005. He knows from experience what it is to be put on the side first and then marginalized to carry out the strategist's designs. In Pilsen he practiced with Keylor in a decision that was painful for the dressing room. The most influential players of the team feel that the club did not behave with the generosity due to Iker Casillas, fired in 2015, and now repeats the scheme with Keylor, the goalkeeper whose performances were essential to achieve the last three Champions.
Solari, who was pleased to make debut to the central squad player Javi Sanchez in Champions, said that the merit of the three victories in a row was exclusively for the players. "There are great players in this team," he said. "They are able to get to where they want to go. They have shown it in the past. They have no roof. Playing with that seriousness, that commitment, that delivery and that desire to score … There will be games where they hurt us. But playing like today, we hardly stop making goals ".
The note was significant. With Lopetegui Madrid suffered the worst scoring depression in ten years.
In the battle for a divided ball, Sergio Ramos elbowed Milan Havel when the game was 0-0. The Czech player had to receive medical care in the band before being removed from the pitch in the 38th minute, bound for a hospital. While Viktoria played with Havel fractured and bleeding, he received the first three goals of the match. It was an obvious ballast that Madrid took advantage with maximum efficiency. "It was not my intention at all to harm a teammate," said Ramos, who with the VAR would have been expelled. "The action was very fast and there was contact," the captain continued, as he left the stadium, after sending a message over the phone to the injured person. "The nose is very delicate. I have been broken three times. I hope you get better soon".
Ramos justifies the accidents he causes by saying more or less that his duty as a defense is to be expeditious. But he admitted that he redoubled the precautions since he retired Salah – with a broken arm – from the Champions League final, unleashing a global wave of criticism. "Any action that you did not think before now you think about 30 times," he said. "But I'm not going to change the way I play because it has been one of the keys to my success."
"When you have been on such a good level for so long and you have the opportunity to be captain of the national team and of Madrid, you are always in the spotlight." I have handled the criticism very well throughout my career. We all make mistakes. But I am the way I am. To be like that is what has led me to achieve what I have achieved. The time I am here, despite the headaches I give to some, I will do it in the best possible way. Honestly and defending the shield. "