Ronaldo is irreplaceable but others must step up, says Courtois

Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois wants his team-mates to step up and score the goals Cristiano Ronaldo used to.

Real Madrid celebrates its Club World Cup final win against Al Ain.   -  Getty Images

Thibaut Courtois believes Cristiano Ronaldo is "irreplaceable", but he challenged his Real Madrid team-mates to score the goals the star forward used to.

Ronaldo, 33, left Madrid for Juventus in July and, while the LaLiga giant struggled to cope without him initially, it has improved under Santiago Solari. Solari secured his first trophy at the helm with a 4-1 win over Al Ain in the Club World Cup final on Saturday.

READ | Solari: Real Madrid does not tire of winning

Courtois said Madrid needed to step up to replace the goals Ronaldo scored, with Karim Benzema (11) and Gareth Bale (10) leading the way so far.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is irreplaceable, you cannot forget what he did," he told reporters.

"But he is not here anymore, so it's time for other players, like Bale did in the semi-finals [of the Club World Cup], to score the goals he [Ronaldo] used to score.

"If we are able to do so, it'll be fine."

Madrid is fourth in LaLiga, eight points behind leader and rival Barcelona, albeit with a game in hand. It is next in action with a trip to Villarreal on January 3.

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