November 12, 2018 / 3:44 PM / a month ago

Soccer: Solari approved by Spanish federation as Real Madrid's permanent manager

Soccer Football - La Liga Santander - Celta Vigo v Real Madrid - Balaidos, Vigo, Spain - November 11, 2018 Real Madrid interim coach Santiago Solari REUTERS/Eloy Alonso

MADRID (Reuters) - Santiago Solari’s appointment as Real Madrid’s permanent manager has been approved by the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF), a spokesman told Reuters on Monday.

The 42-year-old Argentine has led the team to four wins in four games since replacing Julen Lopetegui at the helm of the European champions two weeks ago.

Though the club have yet to confirm the news, Spanish rules prevent an interim coach from staying in charge for longer than 15 days, a period that expires on Monday.

With victories over Melilla in the Copa del Rey, Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League, and Real Valladolid and Celta Vigo in La Liga, Solari has enjoyed the best start of any manager in the club’s history.

Lopetegui was sacked after a run of form that saw Madrid sink to ninth in the table. However, after Sunday’s 4-2 win at Celta, the capital club are sixth, four points behind leaders Barcelona.

“We are focusing on playing for our coach, we are prepared to die for him and we know that he is a great coach, we want him to continue,” said defender Alvaro Odriozola on Sunday.

Solari, who played for Madrid between 2000 and 2005 in the Galacticos era alongside former coach Zinedine Zidane, led Real Madrid’s reserve team from 2016 until replacing Lopetegui last month after a painful 5-1 El Clasico defeat by Barcelona.

Reporting by Rik Sharma/Mitch Phillips; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Christian Radnedge

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