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Notes & Quotes: February 3, 2019; Open Thread

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Solari praises Bale and Courtois discusses Ronaldo and Hazard rumors

RCD Espanyol v Real Madrid CF - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Solari praises Bale, says spotlight “is always on him”

Santi Solari recently gave his thoughts on Bale and his return to the Real Madrid squad this past week.

“He is always in the spotlight. The spotlight waits for him.”

“He looks connected, switched on, and we want him to perform like he knows how to, like he did at the Club World Cup, at Roma ... he’s so important for us.”

Gareth Bale made his return back from injury last weekend when he subbed on against Espanyol and immediately scored his first goal back. He also subbed on against Girona on Thursday and got some game time in.

The spotlight has been on him even more now that Ronaldo is gone, specifically the goal spotlight. Injuries have set him back yet again this season, but he has been good in the Champions League group stage. And, no doubt, he is still a vital piece to this Real Madrid team when healthy.

Courtois says Ronaldo is not talked about in the locker room

Thibaut Courtois was recently interviewed by Belgian outlet Het Nieuwsblad and the topic of Cristiano Ronaldo came up.

“He is not being talked about in the locker room.”

“It is mainly the press that drops his name. There were matches that we lost in which we got 10 chances, but did not score.”

“At the same time he scores two for Juventus, then it’s easy to talk about him.”

I don’t believe Courtois is trying to diss Ronaldo here at all, more that he’s trying to move on from the constant questions Real Madrid players get about Ronaldo and his presence being lost. And it’s understandable, the club has to move on from him and Courtois was never his teammate.

The more Real has trouble scoring, which has not been a problem as of late thankfully, the more questioning about Ronaldo leaving will occur. Eventually, everyone will have to move on and continue forward.

Courtois favors Hazard joining Real Madrid

Courtois was also asked in his interview about the possibility of Eden Hazard joining Real Madrid at some point.

“I choose Eden, of course. I really like him, but the choice is up to the board.”

“I do not know what will happen. That is not a question for me, but for the chairman and the management.”

“The team is what it is now. Karim Benzema is in a good shape and scored 17 goals. Bale started well, but then had to deal with injuries.”

“You see in the matches that we have quality, only sometimes it is not possible to score.”

It’s pretty well known that Hazard and Courtois are good friends, being that they are both Belgian teammates and former Chelsea teammates. So, it’s no surprise that Courtois would like to see him join Real Madrid, as I and many would as well.

They have struggled to score, but the emergence of Benzema as of late has helped make scoring a lot better with others pitching in as well. The great surprise of Vinicius consistently starting and playing really well has also been a major factor in Real’s recent form.

The club likely needs a major signing still this summer, but things have been getting better and that will hopefully continue with a rough schedule coming very soon for the team.