Real Madrid have made the perfect managerial appointment in the eyes of Borja Mayoral, with Santiago Solari considered to be “very similar” to Zinedine Zidane.
Comparisons between bosses of the Blancos from past and present are easy to make, given the paths they have trodden to fill the coaching hot-seat at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Both Zidane and Solari represented Real with distinction during their playing days, before then going on to cut their coaching teeth within the club’s academy system.
Having proved themselves at that level, the opportunity to take charge of the senior side has been presented to two club icons.
Zidane revelled in his role, landing the Liga title and three Champions League crowns, and Solari is now hoping to follow that lead after being handed a three-year contract on the back of a productive caretaker stint.
“He’s really close to the players, very similar to Zidane,” academy graduate Mayoral, who is currently on loan at Levante, told AS.
“He’s very good at managing the squad, which is something Madrid always demand. I’m happy for him and pleased the club has put its faith in him.”
Solari is also a coach to have talked up Mayoral’s potential in the past, which is offering the Spain U21 international striker hope of seeing more game time for Madrid.
He said of those comments: “Yeah, I remember. He said it after a Youth League game.
“The fact that the current Real Madrid coach said that about me makes me feel proud and gives me confidence.”
Mayoral has made 31 first-team appearances for the Blancos, netting seven goals.
He is, however, only 21 years of age and hopes a spell away from the Bernabeu spotlight will help to put him in a stronger position to push for more recognition in a star-studded squad.
“Definitely,” he said when asked if it is still his intention to make the grade in the Spanish capital.
“I’d love to do well at Madrid and with the national team, but I know it’s too soon for that and I have to focus on my current club, Levante.”
Mayoral, who linked up with Levante on a season-long agreement at the end of August, has found the target on one occasion in seven outings for his loan employers.