Santiago Solari's reply when asked 'Ronaldo or Messi?' back in 2013

Real Madrid CF v SL Benfica - UEFA Youth League

It came as absolutely no surprise that Real Madrid sacked Julen Lopetegui 24 hours after their disastrous 5-1 defeat in El Clasico.

The heavy loss to Barcelona left Los Blancos in ninth after just four wins from their opening 10 La Liga matches.

After sacking Lopetegui on Monday night after just 14 games, the club released a statement explaining their decision.

“The Board of Directors of Real Madrid CF, meeting today October 29, 2018, has agreed to terminate the contract that linked coach Julen Lopetegui with the club,” it read.

“This decision, adopted from the highest level of responsibility, aims to change the dynamics of the first team, when all the objectives of this season are still achievable.”

The statement was finished with confirming of the club’s next step.

“It will be provisionally replaced by Santiago Solari, who will lead the first team starting tomorrow, Tuesday,” it said.

Solari - who played for the club for five seasons - is currently the B team coach.

Real Madrid CF v SL Benfica - UEFA Youth League

But he will now become interim manager for the first-team while they consider their long-term plan.

With Solari being thrust into the spotlight, people have started digging up his past.

And, naturally, that includes what he’s previously said about football’s biggest debate - Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.


For Solari, it’s a tough question.

Solari was born in Rosario - the very same birthplace as Lionel Messi.


But as a former Real player, who does Solari rate as the best player?

Well, in 2013, Solari had this to say.

"The difference between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is the Ballon d'Ors," he said in 2013 when Messi has just won his fourth.

"Cristiano is the best player in the world because Messi plays another sport, what's really incredible about him has been his tremendous regularity for the last 4-5 years, a thing of not stopping, something practically inhuman."


A year earlier, while writing for newspaper El Pais, Solari wrote this about Messi.

"Scoring is intrinsic to Messi in the same way that storms, lightning, or hurricane wind, are atmospheric phenomena.

"Every time Messi receives the ball the earth shakes, everyone becomes silent and rival coaches sink their heads between the shoulders and put their hands in their pockets, like someone who has just seen lightning and has no choice but to wait for the thunder, the air trembles a few seconds, then the goal is heard."


Also, in 2016, Solari rued the fact that Messi was at Barcelona, rather than Real Madrid.

"Messi has marked an era and unfortunately for us, it is in Barcelona," he told ESPN.

"I wish it could had been here, at Real Madrid."The Ballon d'Or award is Messi's, it is more than deserved and I'm happy as an Argentine. "Real Madrid want to have the best, but unfortunately they couldn't have Messi, although we have great players."

So, despite now being Real’s interim manager, it seems Solari is very much #TeamMessi.

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