In one of the worst crises of recent decades, champions league winners real madrid set out to find a 'tough dog'.
The club announced on monday evening after the 1:5 debacle in the 272. Clasico at FC barcelona and only one point from the last five league games announced the separation from coach julen lopetegui.
According to media reports, club boss florentino perez wants to bring the jobless italian antonio conte or the currently unhappy ex-real coach jose mourinho to madrid as his successor. Two men who are famous for their authoritative personalities.
At a board meeting this evening in the santiago bernabeu, however, perez was not yet able to present a new coach. Therefore, the coach of the real B team, santiago hernan solari, will take over on an interim basis. The 42-year-old argentine will be on the bench for toni kroos' team's cup match at melilla on wednesday and probably also for the league clash against real valladolid on saturday.
But according to the rules of the association, a coach cannot work for longer than two weeks on a transitional basis. So time is of the essence. And the talks with conte, perez's number one favorite, turned out to be difficult. The 49-year-old had told perez on monday, among other things, that he wanted to know and study in detail the "future project" of the club, wrote the sports newspaper "AS".
Is the appointment of a "tough dog" a good, promising plan for the president?? Opinions differ here. Poli rincon, among others, believes that perez is drawing the right conclusions from the malaise. "The team needs a tough hand, a very, very tough hand," the former national player and real pro said on spanish radio.
Sergio ramos thinks differently. The captain had not even begun to digest the defeat against his arch-rivals and the fall to ninth place in the primera division when he was asked by a journalist at camp nou: "conte is a coach of the hard hand, a good solution"? The answer: "respect must be earned and not forced upon you."
When mourinho was coach at real between 2010 and 2013, the maverick portuguese had rough problems with the stars. This led to confrontations not only in the dressing room, but also with the media and fans. With "mou" the club only won the cup (2011) and the league title (2012) once each. With another "hard dog" it worked with real in the younger past still around a lot worse. The spaniard rafa benitez was put in front of the tur at the end of 2015 after only a few months in office.
The spanish internationals of chelsea FC, where conte was still working last season, are said to have told the real footballers at "la roja" in the world cup training camp that the italian was "intolerable". At least that's what the newspaper "el pais" claimed.
What else did ramos say about the possible appointment of an authoritarian coach?? Relationships with the players are more important than expertise. The 32-year-old also added: "with coaches you all know, we have won everything."What was meant, of course, was zinedine zidane in particular. The frenchman had the millionaire ensemble under control with his quiet manner. The result: three champions league triumphs in a row. And as a bonus, so to speak, several other titles, including the league in the 2016/17 season.
Meanwhile, lopetegui cannot complain about having to take his leave after less than five months in office. The only time coaches at real had debut numbers as bad as those of the 52-year-old was in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. In monday's club announcement, the contract with lopetegui, which runs until 2021, was terminated because there was a "gross discrepancy between the quality of the squad with eight nominees for this year"s world player of the year" and the results achieved.
Lopetegui had already said goodbye to his professionals on sunday evening, according to the media. On monday, however, he still had to lead the morning training session. Another humiliation for the coach, who was summarily dismissed from his post by the head of the russian federation, luis rubiales, after real announced his appointment following secret negotiations just three days before the first world cup match.