Santiago Hernan Solari, an Argentine footballer from Rosario, is a midfielder and one who has gathered many accolades for his performances in some of the best leagues around the world. Solari began his playing career at the youth team at River Plate. From his earliest days, there were signs that he would go on to greatness, especially with his fondness of running at defenders.
He broke into the first team at Atletico River Plate, a team that already boasted the likes of Ariel Ortega, someone who almost played in the same position as Solari. Making his debut in 1996, Solari played with River Plate for two seasons, scoring 13 times in 60-odd appearances. Spain came calling and Solari was on his way to Atletico Madrid.
Solari settled down well in Madrid and became a key first team player however, he failed to keep the club from going down to the second division and when that happened, Solari jumped across to join cross town rivals, and one of the biggest clubs in the world, Real Madrid.
At Real Madrid, Solari became part of a dream team that boasted of the likes of Ronaldo, Raul, David Beckham, Luis Figo and the wonderful Zinedine Zidane. It was quite understandable that the young Argentine would find it hard to make a place for himself in such a formidable lineup but he kept trying. Eventually, Solari would find a place and soon, became indispensible to Madrid once Figo had moved on to Inter Milan.
In 2001-02, Solari was mainly used as a substitute who could come on and run at defenders when the need arose. Real Madrid went on to win the 2001-02 UEFA Champions League title and Solari played a vital, albeit small, role in that win. At the European Super Cup though, Solari was rampant, getting a chance ahead of the preferred Luis Figo. The Super Cup was the main reason Solari moved into the starting lineup but after failing to help Madrid win any title that season, he was offloaded to Inter Milan for a 3-season contract.