The interim manager is keen to make the most this opportunity.

The reserve team Castilla coach Santiago Solari may have been appointed as the interim manager of the first team Real Madrid after the sacking of Julen Lopetegui yet the coach is inclined to make the most of this opportunity. 

Solari is walking on the same path which Zinedine Zidane took after the sacking of another Spanish coach Rafa Benitez in January 2016. Though, it was confirmed that Zidane was not a back-up but an assured replacement to lead the team.

The 42-year-old Santiago will manage his first game against Melilla in the Round of 32 Copa Del Rey clash, reports Xinhua news agency.

In legal terms, he is only there for a probationary period but the lack of potential high profile coaches and long-term prospects, the result against Melilla and Valladolid at home in La Liga will be crucial to seal the deal for him and the club.

“In life, and in this profession, everything changes quickly. The important thing is the day to day, what we do each day, the hopes we put in every day,” he said, when asked about his future.

“I am very excited, very satisfied to be here. To work at Real Madrid is a great opportunity, the most beautiful, of any job,” he told reporters.

Julen may have faced the sack but the media and football experts have not spared the players and the administration as well. They have been, time and again, criticized for the lack of desire and results. Solari protected them before his first encounter.

“This is a group of champions, warriors, who have won many things for this club. The situation is not the easiest, but I see them very motivated to turn it around,” he insisted.

Solari admitted he had taken over in a “delicate moment,” but insisted “that in moments such as this you see the personality of the players.”


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One player who won’t travel to Melilla is central defender Rafael Varene.

The French international had to leave the pitch at halftime of Real Madrid’s 1-5 defeat to FC Barcelona on Sunday. The club also confirmed on Tuesday that he is suffering a groin injury which could keep him out of action for around a month.