Real Madrid have sacked Santiago Solari and reappointed Zinedine Zidane after club held emergency board meeting on Monday.
Solari was rumoured to have been sacked on Saturday after the Argentine appeared at a pre-match press conference over an hour late, but he was afforded his last hurrah on Sunday when Los Blancos ran out 4-1 winners against Real Valladolid.
Why have Real sacked Solari? Five key things to know…
- Solari was promoted from Real Madrid Castilla to the first-team following the dismissal of Julen Lopetegui in October.
- The Argentine enjoyed a promising start at the helm, winning 11 of his opening 13 matches.
- However, since the turn of the year Real have struggled to replicate that early form.
- Solari’s side have crashed out of the Copa del Rey and Champions League, and are currently 12 points adrift Barcelona in La Liga.
- As such, Solari has been relieved of his managerial duties with Zidane stepping in.
Zidane, who resigned at the end of last season following Real’s third successive Champions League win, will once again take the hot seat in the capital after the club endured a disastrous season under Lopetegui and Solari.
The Frenchman has been enjoying a sabbatical from football management following three highly successful seasons with Los Blancos, but he has been consistently linked with a return to the game, initially with Man Utd following Jose Mourinho’s dismissal in December.
However, the 46-year-old has now made a dramatic return to his old stomping ground, taking up the reins just 10 months after parting company with the club.
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A statement on the club’s official website read: “The Board of Directors of Real Madrid, meeting today, Monday, March 11, 2019, has decided to terminate the contract that linked Santiago Solari with the club as coach of the first team and, at the same time, Real Madrid has offered to continue belonging to the club.
“Real Madrid appreciates the work done by Santiago Solari and the commitment and loyalty he has always shown to this house.
“The Board of Directors has also agreed the appointment of Zinedine Zidane as the new coach of Real Madrid with immediate incorporation for the remainder of the season and the next three, until June 30, 2022.
“The president of Real Madrid will appear today with Zinedine Zidane before the media at 8:00 pm in the press room of the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.”
Real Madrid’s chaotic season
Following Zizou’s resignation last May, Lopetegui traded his top job with the Spanish national side for the Los Blancos dugout in the summer, but his tenure only lasted until October when he was let go following a string of poor results.
Solari took over shortly after that, but the 42-year-old has seen Madrid fall way behind Barcelona in La Liga, who enjoy a 12-point lead over their fierce rivals with 11 games left to play.
The final nail may have been hammered into Solari’s coffin when he could not prevent his side from crashing out of the Champions League. Los Blancos will not defend their title for a third time after they were convincingly smashed 4-1 at the Bernabeu in their last-16 second leg clash against Ajax – they lost the tie 3-5 on aggregate.
Despite a tumultuous few months, Solari told reporters, during his final pre-match press conference, that he was happy with the “majority” of players he’s coached during his spell with the club.
“The majority have delivered as expected, some have not,” Solari told the BBC. “I have told them so personally.”
“I cannot reveal what has been said in private but I will repeat what I said on my first day here, which is that everyone here is just passing through.
Real Madrid are currently third in La Liga and are six points above fourth-placed Getafe.