Solari's riposte! Ask Julia Roberts who should coach Real Madrid!

Sajith B Warrier

Bengaluru, March 5: Real Madrid "has always been more courted than Julia Roberts", said coach Santiago Solari, about rumours of a possible return of Jose Mourinho.

Solari took over earlier this season and has a contract until 2021, but has just lost two Clasicos at home, the latest being the 0-1 defeat last week.

He was speaking at a press conference ahead of the UEFA Champions League second-leg round-of16 meeting with Ajax at the Bernabeu, a competition Real have won the last three years and is the club's only hope of a trophy this season.

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Mourinho managed Real for three stormy seasons from 2010 to 2013. Over the weekend he was a guest pundit on Qatar-based beIN Sport, which is headed by Paris Saint Germain owner Nasser Al Khelaifi, where he analysed Real's latest loss to Barcelona.

"Return to a club that I have been before?" said Mourinho, who had two stints at Chelsea and was fired by Manchester United in December. "If I think the right club, the right structure, the right ambitions, I will have no problem at all."

"I think it's really a reason of pride when a club where you worked before wants you back," said Mourinho.

Solari responded with a joke about Roberts at his press conference. When asked whether the actress would prefer himself or Mourinho, the Argentinian smiled.

"Good question," he said. "You should ask her."

"It is true that we have had lots of chances in recent matches, except in the last one, and we have to take them," said Solari.

"The dressing room is strong, these players have a lot of experience and a lot of character," Solari said. "That does not mean we're happy with what's happening."

"We want to win every game. When we do not win we are not happy, but tomorrow we have another game," he added.

Luka Modric, the veteran midfielder who joined Real before Mourinho's last season at the club, also spoke to the press and was more interested in talking about strikers than actresses or coaches.

"We do not pay much attention to rumours, we are focused on ourselves," the Ballon d'Or winner said. "In the world of Real Madrid, there is always talk about these things, we cannot prevent it."

"People are always giving Real up for dead, but Real always come back," the Croatian said. "In 2015 we won nothing. People said Real were dead, but you know what happened next. We started winning again. We have to trust ourselves."

(With inputs from Agencies)

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