Spanish Press Demands Solari’s Appointment As Permanent Real Madrid Coach

Real Madrid’s Argentinian coach Santiago oversees a training session on the eve of the UEFA Champions League group G football match Viktoria Plzen v Real Madrid in Plzen, Czech Republic on November 6, 2018. JOE KLAMAR / AFP


The Spanish press have called for the permanent appointment of Santiago Solari as Real Madrid coach after an unbeaten run as interim boss of the 13-time Champions League winners.

According to Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) rules, Real’s period of 14 days to either select Solari full-time or to find another coach to replace Julen Lopetegui comes to an end on Monday but Solari’s appointment does not seem to be imminent.

Since taking over on October 29 Solari has guided the European Cup holders to four victories in as many matches including Sunday’s impressive 4-2 La Liga display at Celta Vigo.

Lopetegui was dismissed after an embarrassing 5-1 defeat at arch-rivals Barcelona, his fourth loss in the last of his five La Liga games in charge.

Newspapers were unanimous in support of the 42-year-old who has lifted Real up three places to sixth in the table in the space of a fortnight.

AS said “Solari deserves to continue (as manager) after 15 goals in four matches.”

Marca said the lack of an official announcement showed the club had abandoned the idea of an external replacement for Lopetegui in favour of Solari.

And Catalonia-based Sport had “Real players extend Solari’s contract” as their headline on Monday.

Real’s next fixture and possibly Solari’s maiden match as long-term boss is the trip to Eibar in La Liga on November 25, following the international break.


Del Bosque Believes Italy Defeat Not End Of Spain Era

euro 2016Italy on Monday evening put in a dominant performance as they beat defending champions Spain 2-0 in Paris to reach the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

Antonio Conte’s side took the lead in the 33rd minute through defender Giorgio Chiellini but they could have had more but for three superb saves from David De Gea.

Spain had a golden chance to equalise right as the death through Gerard Pique but Gianluigi Buffon was alert to the danger, making a brilliant save before Graziano Pelle’s strike sealed victory in injury time.

Spanish coach, Vicente Del Bosque, however believes that the defeat does not signal an end to Spain’s reign at the top of world football.

“Sometimes a team has to accept defeat,” he said. “I accept that Italy were better than us, but that does not have to mean it is the end of an era. Spanish football still has a great structure, with good players and coaches, and now we must look forward to qualifying for the next World Cup.”

The Italian coach shares the sentiment and was quite modest in victory. “It is in rude health,” the victorious Italy coach said.

“Look who keeps winning all the Champions League and Europa League [titles]. I wish Italian football was as healthy, because this is not the rosiest period for our country in terms of footballing talent. I think everybody knows that, and that’s why this victory should fill us with pride.

“I have said on many occasions that in terms of going forward Italy had to be a club; we have to play like a team faced with a league season because we cannot rely on outstanding individuals as we have done in the past. We have to be a team and I think we are getting there.”

Italy will now face Germany in the last eight at the Stade De Bordeaux on July 2 and Conte says, “They are the best side at these championships bar none, and we are going to have to face them without Thiago Motta, who is suspended, and possibly Daniele De Rossi, who has hurt his rib.

“Germany are a great team and there are a lot of hurdles in our path but when the going gets tough we can often manage to respond.”

Euro 2016: Italy Beat Sweden 1-0 To Make Last 16

euro 2016Italy have maintained their Group E dominance in the ongoing Euro 2016 championship after beating Sweden 1 – 0.

The Italians were able to get through to the Round of 16 with a late goal in the 88th minute from Inter Milan forward, Eder Martins.

The match was played on Friday at the Stadium de Toulouse in France.Italy-Sweden, Euro 2016

Italy had beaten Belgium 2 – 0 in their first match with goals from Emanuele Giaccherini and Graziano Pelle.

On the flip side, Sweden have been struggling to get a win in the competition after their match with the Republic of Ireland ended 1 – 1.

While Sweden are currently third in the group with one point, the match between Belgium and the Republic of Ireland would determine who will come second.

Euro 2016: Experienced Italy Stun Belgium 2-0

euro 2016A united Italy team on Monday night dented Belgium’s chances of glory at the Euro 2016 with a clinical 2-0 victory in Lyon.

Emanuele Giaccherini scored the opening goal in the 31st minute, while Graziano Pelle scored sealed the victory through a classic counter attack in the 91st minute.

After going one goal down, the Belgians missed several chances as they chased the equalizer all through the second half but Italy defended well.

Romelu Lukaku would be one of the guilty players, wasting one of the best goal scoring chances on the night as Marc Wilmots’ men failed to make it 1-1.

Pellè settled Italy’s nerves with a second after one of Belgium’s desperate attacking forays went bad and resulted in a counterattack.

Belgium, ranked number two in the world and rated as one of the pre-tournament favourites, are now bottom of Group E with Ireland and Sweden in second and third after drawing 1-1.

Earlier in the day, reigning champions Spain left it late as Gerard Pique’s 87th-minute header earned them a deserved 1-0 victory over a dogged Czech Republic in their Group D opener.

Spanish Coach, Vicente Del Bosque selected under-pressure goalkeeper, David De Gea for the starting line-up.

In the most one-sided game of the tournament so far, Vicente Del Bosque’s side looked like they would not get any reward for their possession until the Barcelona defender headed in Andres Iniesta’s cross.

Ilkay Gundogan Joins Manchester City

Ilkay Gundogan, Manchester CityGerman midfielder, Ilkay Gundogan has joined Manchester City from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund on a four-year deal.

The 25-year-old is the club’s first signing since they confirmed Spanish coach, Pep Guardiola will take over at the Etihad from Manuel Pellegrini prior to the start of next season.

City’s Director of Football Txiki Begiristain, has described Ilkay is an excellent addition to the Cityteam and the club are delighted to have him on board.

“He is an intelligent and versatile midfielder who can operate in a number of different roles. I think our supporters will enjoy his work ethic and technical ability and I believe he will be a very important player for us in the coming years.”

Gundogan made 157 appearances over the past five seasons for Borussia Dortmund and has won 16 caps for Germany, scoring four goals.

The injury-prone German international dislocated a kneecap in training in May, ruling him out of the 2016 European Championships in France.

“I’m thrilled to have signed for Manchester City,” said Gundogan. “When I learned of City’s interest my heart was set on coming here and things have moved very quickly.

“I have loved my time with Borussia Dortmund and I would like to thank the club and the supporters for the five very happy years I spent there.

“They gave me a platform to play on and I became a better player because of the belief, patience and trust they showed in me.

“Now I have a new challenge and that is to achieve great things with City. The opportunity to work with a coach like Pep Guardiola is something I am really looking forward to and I am flattered to be the first signing the Club has made this summer.

“I can promise the City fans I will give everything to help us win titles both in England and the Champions League. These are exciting times.

“I have my best years ahead of me and I think we can achieve great things together. I can’t wait to begin this new chapter in my career.”