Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari shared the credit for the club’s record-breaking Club World Cup triumph with former boss Zinedine Zidane.
Solari led Real Madrid to their first title under him with a 4-1 win over Al Ain in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Victory means Madrid have won the tournament three years in a row and their fourth triumph in the competition moves them clear of rivals Barcelona as the Club World Cup’s most successful team. Solari, though, was quick to pile praise on Zidane, who surprisingly stood down in the wake of winning Madrid’s third consecutive Champions League crown at the end of the 2017-18 season.
“We are happy, these players deserve it, they have come here after a lot of work and a lot of wins,” Solari told TVE.
“We put a finishing touch to that third consecutive Champions League, it is a feat of the club, this group and other coaches. We are also here thanks to Zidane. It will be difficult to match in the future.”
Marcos Llorente was among Madrid’s goalscorers in the final, the 23-year-old midfielder scoring his first goal as a professional with a half-volley from the edge of the penalty area. Llorente was overlooked throughout Zidane’s reign but has grown into a key role since Solari took charge, following Lopetegui’s sacking after just four months in charge.
“They are all Madrid players and they all work to be able to do what they do in the field,” Solari said. “Marcos has always worked a lot, and he deserves the credit.”