Santiago Solari named permanent Real Madrid manager

Real Madrid has appointed Santiago Solari as its new permanent head coach on a contract that will run until June 30, 2021.

The 42-year-old enjoyed an ideal audition for the role, guiding Los Blancos to four consecutive wins in all competitions following Julen Lopetegui’s dismissal last month.

The latest of those — Sunday’s 4-2 victory over Celta Vigo — meant the Argentine became the first Madrid coach to prevail in his first four competitive games since Manuel Pellegrini in 2009.

Solari won two league titles and the 2001-02 Champions League during five years at the club as a player and was in charge of the reserve side before taking control of the first team on Oct. 29.

He takes over permanently with Madrid sixth in LaLiga, four points behind leaders Barcelona.

Lopetegui endured a rocky spell in charge of the Spanish giants, paying with his job after a 5-1 humiliation at the hands of rivals Barca.

The European champions started the season well, but things began to unravel with their 3-0 defeat away to Sevilla on Sept. 26, and that result was followed by a draw with Atletico Madrid and further losses to CSKA Moscow, Deportivo Alaves and Levante.

The defeat to Barca was the final straw for the Santiago Bernabeu board, who have now turned to Solari on a permanent basis to continue his transformation of their fortunes.

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