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Notes & Quotes: December 16, 2018; Open Thread

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Solari praises Asensio after win over Vallecano, Modric and Courtois respond to Simeone’s jabs at Real Madrid

Real Madrid CF v Rayo Vallecano de Madrid - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Solari gives praise to Asensio’s effort despite not scoring against Vallecano

Real manager Santiago Solari gave praise to Marco Asensio’s effort and work rate that he showed against Vallecano on Saturday after the match.

“Asensio was very active. He worked hard in defense and all over the whole front line.”

“That is the Asensio we all want to see. I like his game a lot. He must keep trying as the ball will go in for him.”

Asensio did not score against Vallecano, but Solari was clearly satisfied with what he saw from him regardless. Solari also addressed both Asensio and Benzema being subbed off due to apparent injuries later in the match.

Solari said that they both picked up knocks, which would be attended to further when they got on the plane to go Abu Dhabi ahead of Wednesday’s Club World Cup match against Kashima. He did not make it sound like the injuries were too serious, nothing more than slight knocks.

Luka Modric responds to Simeone’s constant remarks toward Real Madrid

Modric spoke recently with Croatian outlet Sportske Novosti, where he was asked about Atletico manager Diego Simeone’s comments about who really deserved the Ballon d’Or.

“I can understand Simeone defending one of his own players, Griezmann, and thinking he was the best, but it’s to his detriment that he feels the constant need to belittle Real Madrid and our players.”

“He takes advantage of every opportunity to imply there is something else behind Real Madrid’s triumphs which is totally false.”

This would not be the first time Simeone has said negative comments towards Real Madrid and its players, which is to be expected from one of your rival clubs.

https://en.as.com/en/2018/12/16/football/1544948184_982791.html

Simeone is not the only one to lash out against Modric for winning the Ballon d’Or this year, just search social media and it won’t be too hard to find people that believe he stole it from Ronaldo or Messi.

Trying to put biases aside here, Griezmann probably did not deserve the Ballon d’Or over Ronaldo or Messi himself. Had he won it, even with the World Cup win, there likely would’ve been just as much backlash as we’ve seen against Modric.

Courtois also gives his thoughts on Simeone’s comments

Thibaut Courtois gave his own response to Simeone’s jabs made towards Courtois winning the “Best Goalkeeper” award this season, which Simeone attributes to Courtois joining Real Madrid as to why he won.

“Simeone criticizes Madrid so as to be popular with his fans. He always does it, attacks Madrid for being the best in the world.”

“Everyone’s opinions have to be respected, everyone can say their personal opinion.”

“But I was there for three years and when you always fight against Real Madrid, which is the best team in the world, you’re going to say things to generate populism.”

“In my case, he said I had won that trophy because I played for Real Madrid, but in the World Cup I was with Chelsea, and in the The Best Award, the votes were closed in July.”

“Oblak is also a great goalkeeper and could have had more points, but there are a lot of people who vote.”

Clearly Simeone’s comments ran pretty deep with Courtois. Of course it’s no surprise Courtois takes some offense when one of his former manager essentially says he didn’t deserve to win an award.

Despite Atlético winning the Super Cup this season, all Real Madrid really have to do to retort Simeone’s comments is say “0-2.” You can be the judge of what that refers to.