Solari: The spotlight is on Bale

Gareth Bale and Vinicius Junior have been encouraged to show their quality at Real Madrid by Santiago Solari.

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale   -  Getty Images

Santiago Solari has urged Gareth Bale to make the most of his time in the "spotlight" and show his quality consistently for Real Madrid.

So often, the understudy to Cristiano Ronaldo during the Portugal star's time at the club, it was hoped Bale would become the leading figure of the Madrid attack following Ronaldo's move to Juventus.

However, a return of four goals in 12 appearances in all competitions this season, coupled with a disappointing display in last Sunday's 5-1 Clasico thrashing, has led to increased scrutiny of Bale's credentials to take up Ronaldo's mantle.

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Despite this, Solari still hopes to see the Wales international take his chance to shine for Madrid on a regular basis.

"He has the spotlight. I hope he shows us his huge talent. We want to enjoy him every day; he's a fantastic player," he told a news conference.

When asked whether a softer or more strict approach towards Bale and his other players was required, Solari replied: "I don't believe in characteristics like that. There is time for everything. You like to put people in boxes, pigeonhole them... everyone has their own style."

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"I want to show you the values of Real Madrid: ambition, the desire to attack, to go for goal, sacrifice, not giving up... values that we know this club instills."

Solari secured a 4-0 Copa del Rey win over Melilla on Wednesday in his first match since taking over as interim head coach following Julen Lopetegui's dismissal.

Vinicius Junior impressed in that victory and has been tipped to play in Saturday's LaLiga clash with Real Valladolid.

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And Solari, who is set to stay on in his first-team role this weekend as a full-time appointment is yet to be made, suggested he is willing to give several youngsters a chance to impress.

"He [Vinicius] is one more member of the squad and everyone has to be there to be a first-team choice," said Solari, who has been Madrid's Castilla boss since 2016.

"They're all good and each one can offer their own contribution. For me, it's simple: time and playing. He needs to play to build experience and with experience he'll become a better footballer. We all see the talent he has."

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"The 'B' at this club is the Castilla, and the 'A' is Real Madrid. There are never indispensable players because you have injuries, losses of form..."

"There are players here who have survived many battles and won them, but there are also young footballers with a lot of talent."