Real Madrid have confirmed Santiago Solari as their permanent head coach giving him a two-and-a-half-year contract.
Solari took charge of the first team a fortnight ago and promptly racked up the best start of any new manager at the club in its 116 year history.
His first four games ended with four wins and a 15-2 goals tally and the players were left in no doubt that they wanted the 42-year-old Argentinian to take charge on a permanent basis.
Oct 31 – Melilla 0-4 Real Madrid
Nov 3 – Real Madrid 2-0 Real Valladolid
Nov 7 – Plzen 0-5 Real Madrid
Nov 11 – Celta Vigo 2-4 Real Madrid
On Tuesday Madrid said in a statement: ‘The Real Madrid board, meeting on November 13, 2018, have agreed to name Santiago Solari as the first team coach until June 2021.’
That makes Solari 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.
He will earn slightly less than the €6m (£5.2m) a season picked up by his predecessor Julen Lopetegui in what is his first big job in football after three seasons coaching the youth team.
‘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, another who has played more under Solari than under his predecessor, said: ‘It would be hard for him to have done any better.
‘We have got back the good feeling we had in the squad before. We are back winning football matches and in my opinion he should stay in charge.’
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who is now first choice in goal in both La Liga and in the Champions League said: ‘We have got our confidence back.’
Real Madrid still lie sixth going into the international break but they are only four points behind leaders Barcelona.