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Solari: “To qualify, Real Madrid must live up to its history"

INTERVIEW | 10/02/2019

"Ajax are always well known for their commitment to young talent and their offensive football", he said in an interview with UEFA.

Santiago Solari gave an interview to the official UEFA media in which he talked about his football philosophy, what it means to coach Real Madrid and the two games against Ajax in the next round of the Champions League, which starts on Wednesday in Amsterdam: "The tie is going to be difficult, like all of these occasions in the Champions League, and Real Madrid must live up to its history to get through to the next round, against a team that already proved to be competitive last year and which remains competitive this way year".

  1. His club have won 13 European Cups. What is the level of responsibility of having to follow this legacy?

    The legacy, more than a challenge, is something we’re all proud of and we’re all part of the present and the past of this club. We want to continue building the future because the club always looks proudly at its past, but always has its eyes set on the future.

  2. Analysing this season’s Champions League, how do you rate Real Madrid’s Group Stage?

    It’s always difficult. There are often surprises in the Group Stage of the Champions League. To seals qualification as group leaders we had to win two games and did very well away from home against Viktoria Plzen and Roma.

  3. You come up against an Ajax side that have had a very defined style of play since the middle of the last century. They have always played in a very defined way and backed young players. How do you see the tie?

    Ajax are very well known for their work in the youth system, for their commitment to young talent and their offensive football. That's the way they still work, with a team that has already shown that it was competitive last year and that it remains competitive this year. The tie is going to be difficult, like all these occasions in the Champions League.

  4. What do Real Madrid have to do to make it in to the quarter-finals?

    We must live up to our history

  5. Let's talk about your footballing philosophy. What is your outlook as a coach?

    Firstly, football is something that generates dreams and illusions. Playing in the top flight is a dream you have when you’re a child. And when you’re a top-flight player, the dream is to win the league, the Champions League or the Club World Cup. And it’s also a dream for the fans in every game. Sometimes those dreams don’t come true. And football forces you to start again, to stand up, to pick yourself up. But it always gives you the chance to dream again every game.

  6. Regarding your approach to football, I don’t know if you were influenced by a coach, by several, or by players. Who did you follow?

    There are key values of sport: humility, sacrifice and solidarity. Humility because you always have to keep your feet on the ground. Regardless of what you’ve achieved at a club, on a personal level or for your club, you always have to have respect for the opposition, for yourself and for your daily work in order to continue growing. Sacrifice is precisely that: the daily work that starts, in turn, from humility. And solidarity is important because football is also talent. But that talent must always be put at the service of the team. They’re three key values in any athlete.

  7. What do you bring in terms of motivation? How do you ensure the best is given every day?

    With the love for football and the love for competing. In this particular case, with the love for Real Madrid, which is our club.

  8. There are coaches that target players in different ways when they are on the side line. Some whistle, others clap, shout...Do you have any special way of communicating?

    There are many methods and each one is valid. There are as many methods as there are situations. I believe that the most important thing is always to set an example.

  9. During your playing days, what was your biggest motivation and the biggest challenge?

    There are many methods and each one is valid. There are as many methods as there are situations. I believe that the most important thing is always to set an example.

  10. And finally, what comes to mind when they talk about the challenge of trying to win the fourth consecutive European Cup?

    That nothing is impossible for Real Madrid.