Stockton University celebrates soccer alumnus' success as Real Madrid's interim coach

Justin Udo
October 30, 2018 - 5:59 pm
Santiago Solari

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The name Santiago Solari may not ring any bells if you are not a soccer fan.

But the Argentine who has played in the World Cup and for some of the top soccer clubs around the globe — and is now the interim coach for Real Madrid — has a strong connection to the Delaware Valley.

"He really attributed a lot of his success as a player, and also his time being an ESPN commentator during the World Cup, to his time here at Stockton," said Jeff Haines, Stockton University assistant athletic director.

That's right: The new coach of one of the richest sports teams in the world played soccer at Stockton University.

"He kind of really got everything going at Stockton," Haines added, "really kind of raised the level of play and commitment and training."

Haines said Solari's father, who coached the Saudi Arabia national soccer team and had them train at Stockton, introduced his son to the school, where he found massive success during his only year there.

"He's the only college player in America to ever go on and to win the Champions League, so that's a pretty awesome accolade," Haines said.

Solari played for Stockton in 1994, during which he was honored as the New Jersey Athletic Association Rookie of the Year.