Real Madrid appointed Santiago Solari as a full-time successor to Julen Lopetegui on Tuesday, agreeing a deal until 2021, and he follows a long line of coaches to graduate from the club's Castilla side to the first team.
Solari was installed on an interim basis in October after Lopetegui had been dismissed following a dismal run of five defeats in seven matches across all competitions.
The 42-year-old enjoyed a perfect audition for the role, guiding Los Blancos to four successive wins, making him the first Madrid coach to start with such a run since Manuel Pellegrini in 2009.
Solari, who also played for Madrid, had been in charge of Castilla – their reserve team – for two years and was held in high regard by the club's hierarchy.
But how have other former Castilla coaches fared when they have gone on to sit in the Santiago Bernabeu hot seat?
1 - @realmadriden have won their four competitive games under Santiago Solari with a goal difference of 13+ (15 goals scored and two conceded), the best start of any Real Madrid manager after the first four games since at least 1929. Confidence. pic.twitter.com/fKHfw4Jpws— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 12, 2018
Following a distinguished career which saw him play for and captain Madrid, Munoz briefly coached Castilla, or Plus Ultra as they were called at the time. He then went on to manage the first team for 14 consecutive years, enjoying a remarkable spell of success which included nine LaLiga titles and two European Cups. A "genuine Real Madrid legend", as the club website describes him.
Dubbed 'the wizard' as a player, Amancio also worked his magic with Castilla, developing the likes of Emilio Butragueno, Michel, Manolo Sanchis and Martin Vazquez. After winning La Segunda with the second string, he was promoted to the first team for the 1984-85 season. He was less successful and lasted just seven months, though the players he discovered went on to play significant roles for later coaches.
Not only did Grosso take over the famous No.9 jersey from Alfredo Di Stefano, he also replaced him as Madrid coach in 1991. That appointment was only on an short-term basis, however, with Radomir Antic eventually named as the full-time replacement. The former attacker only ever coached again with Castilla and is more fondly remembered for his exploits as a versatile player who won seven LaLiga titles and the club's sixth European Cup.
Vicente del Bosque
It took Del Bosque 12 years to go from being appointed by Castilla to taking over the first team as permanent head coach, but it was worth the wait. The only trophy he did not win as Madrid coach was the Copa del Rey, but two league titles and a pair of Champions League successes certainly sufficed. He then guided Spain to World Cup victory in 2010 – a true managerial great of modern football.
Mariano Garcia Remon
While Garcia Remon enjoyed a distinguished career as a Madrid goalkeeper, as head coach his stay was brief. After a spell with Castilla in the early 90s, he coached Sporting Gijon, Albacete, Las Palmas, Salamanca, Numancia and Cordoba, eventually returning as Jose Antonio Camacho's assistant in 2004. He then succeeded his former team-mate but lasted just four months.
Having played for Castilla in his youth, Benitez was handed his first coaching role by them in 1993, replacing Garcia Remon. But his return in 2015 – as a Champions League-winning coach, no less – was never met with fanfare, as he was often openly jeered by supporters. A 10-match unbeaten run at the start of the 2015-16 season offered hope, but that soon dissipated as speculation of unpopularity among key players brought about his end seven months into the job.
Juan Ramon Lopez Caro
After four years with Castilla, Lopez Caro stepped up to replace the sacked Vanderlei Luxemburgo in December 2005, but he was dismissed at the end of a forgettable campaign.
Where did it all go wrong? Sacked by Madrid in October, Lopetegui promised so much not too long ago. Castilla's coach for a year in 2008-09, he soon found himself involved in Spain's youth setup and that ultimately led him to the senior national team role, via a rather unsuccessful spell with Porto. With La Roja, his team were heading into the World Cup arguably as favourites, only to then agree a pre-contract with Madrid which resulted in his sacking. Madrid followed suit less than five months later after a woeful run.
14 - Since 1929, the only Real Madrid manager to manage fewer games in all competitions than Julen Lopetegui (14) was Jose Antonio Camacho in 2004 (6). Sacked. pic.twitter.com/tlxXiD2BLW— OptaJose (@OptaJose) October 29, 2018
The hiring of Zidane in 2014 was controversial at the time, as he was accused of taking the job without having the necessary badges. Nevertheless, he showed the hierarchy enough promise in his two years with Castilla to succeed Benitez, and the rest is history. In less than three years as coach at the Santiago Bernabeu, the Frenchman won a trio of Champions League titles, the Club World Cup twice and LaLiga once. He quit in May fully aware the team could be about to endure a slide, as Lopetegui would find out.
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