Former Real Madrid and Club America coach, Santiago Solari, spoke to Marca in an interview ahead of tonight’s clash between the two sides. Solari spoke about his hand in the career of Vinicius Jr, his admiration for Carlo Ancelotti, breakout star Alvaro Fidalgo, and more.
We’ve included the Real Madrid relevant quotes below.
On what advice he would tell Ancelotti for tonight’s match
“With Ancelotti I would only listen. I don’t know him very well, I’ve greeted him once, probably when I was in Cadet and he was in the first team. I have much personal sympathy for him and he is a man of great wisdom. I would love to listen to him.”
On former Real Madrid player Alvaro Fidalgo, who’s playing well for Club America
“I wouldn’t take my eyes off a Real Madrid player, Álvaro Fidalgo. He has done very, very good things since he arrived. He adapted to a different type of football, he took over the dressing room and is a leader on the pitch. He is a figure of Mexican soccer, so much so that he has been selected for the All Star Game. I am proud, and Real Madrid should be proud to see how one of their own, with the values that the club instilled in him, has broken with through and has won over the Mexican fans. Madridismo has one of its own there.”
On benching Isco and Marcelo at Real Madrid
“The objective of the coach should not be to seek to be right, but to work and do the best possible for an institution at the specific moment in which it is his turn. Real Madrid always makes their way. We have 14 Champions, and we are always on our way to the next one.”
The trust he had for Vinicius Jr
“There is a point of pride for the player in which you think that, if you had a 0.5 or 1% of merit... But the great merit, as with the Valverde, Reguilón, Llorente..., belongs to the club, its recruitment departments, the facilities it provides to players. The other great merit is from the footballers. If there is a bit of me in what Vinicius has achieved, in how he breaks down the door and wins people’s hearts, he is wonderful, very beautiful.
“His ceiling depends on him. He conveys great joy. That self-confidence, desire to win and go ahead are many of the things that make Real Madrid passionate. And he is also a fighter, he is not only talented. He has learned from all his coaches, for example in the defensive phase, and it shows. He makes a lot of effort, getting the ball and facing forward, something that requires great strength not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually.”