Bale backed to embrace Real Madrid spotlight by Solari

Santiago Solari believes Gareth Bale looks ready to shine for Real Madrid amid further speculation over the Wales international’s future.

Bale marked his return from a calf injury in last Sunday’s 4-2 win over Espanyol with his fifth LaLiga goal of the season, while he managed 23 minutes of the 3-1 Copa del Rey win at Girona on Thursday.

The forward’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, told fan site Madridista Real this week Bale has never wanted to leave Madrid and he is tired of the “stupid lie stories” surrounding his future, with a Premier League return often mooted for the former Tottenham star.

With Bale now pushing for a return to the starting line-up in Madrid’s LaLiga clash with Deportivo Alaves on Sunday, head coach Solari hopes to see him rediscover top form as he goes in search of his 100th goal for the club.

“He is always in the spotlight. The spotlight waits for him,” he told a news conference.

“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.”

Solari also praised the recent form of Karim Benzema, who followed up his two goals against Espanyol with another double against Girona.

“Benzema has always shone. The players who make their team-mates better have a special shine,” he said.

“We have a lot of these footballers, who are sometimes well known, but have their own light and give competitiveness to the team.

“It’s a great moment for him, that’s for sure. He’s getting goals; you’re happy for him.”

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