Santiago Solari admits that his team will have the tag of favourites to contend with at the UEFA Champions League final against Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Wednesday but accepts that this is just part of playing for Real Madrid CF.
"Real Madrid must always be favourites in the final," the Argentinian midfielder said. "I was not here when Real won their seventh and eighth [European Cups], but because of Real's history in this competition they are always favourites. The same happens in [FIFA] World Cups, favourites are the ones with the more brilliant history."
This season, Solari finally looks like playing his part in creating more Real history. A stunning goal to secure a 1-0 home win against FC Porto on 19 February and a headed goal in the 2-1 win over the same opposition eight days later finally saw the 25-year-old make a breakthrough at Madrid, where he has struggled due to injury and the fierce competition in Vicente del Bosque's star-studded midfield.
'Anything can happen'
However, Solari pointed out that this does not give Madrid a divine right to win. "On the field there are eleven against eleven and anything can happen," he said. "Bayer has an interesting mixture of a good defence and a beautiful offensive game. That is unusual in Germany."
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.