Real Madrid name former midfielder as new director of football

Real Madrid have named former midfielder and manager Santiago Solari as the club’s new director of football.

Solari played over 200 times for Madrid between 2000 and 2005 and, upon retiring, returned to the Santiago Bernabeu for a lengthy career with the club’s youth sides between 2013 and 2018.

His good work as Castilla manager saw Solari named caretaker manager of the first team following Julen Lopetegui’s departure in 2018 and, after being in the role for two weeks, was automatically hired on a full-time basis.

Solari’s reign lasted just 28 games, however, before he was dismissed, after which he returned to a behind-the-scenes role.

He left the club in December 2020 to become the new manager of Mexican side Club America, where he spent over a year before returning to Madrid in November 2022 in a role which was not immediately clarified publicly.

Santiago SolariSantiago Solari

Solari had a stint as manager / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

According to The Athletic, Solari is actually the new director of football, taking over from former chief Manuel Fernandez.

It’s a significant promotion for Solari, who has spent this season travelling with both the first team and youth setup and has regularly been spotted taking notes on the sidelines of games across Europe.

Solari will now have a say in plenty of business decisions and will be involved in discussions about the club’s January transfer business, with manager Carlo Ancelotti calling for a new defender to be signed after David Alaba’s ACL injury.

As for Fernandez, he has now taken up a role as the club’s director of academy football.

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