Solari urges Bale to be Real’s key player

REUTERS/Andrew Boyers

Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari has urged Gareth Bale to build on his hat-trick in the Club World Cup semi-final and show he can become the main man in the Spanish capital.

Bale netted all three goals as Real beat Kashima Antlers 3-1 on Wednesday to continue their bid to win the title for the third consecutive year.

There were high expectations for Bale following Ronaldo’s departure for Juventus this year, with Real suggesting they did not need to make a new Galactico signing because the former Tottenham Hotspur player could fill the void.

Although they are languishing fourth in LaLiga and are on their second coach of the season after Julen Lopetegui was sacked in October, Solari believes Bale’s display against Kashima can be a catalyst.

“We are all expecting this kind of performance from him every Sunday, every Wednesday – every time we play,” Solari said.

“Of course, it is not easy to score three goals every game but I don’t just mean the goals, but also the commitment – he has had this commitment in the last games. Today everything was perfect for him; but he can achieve this because he was committed before.”

“He’s shown what he is and what he’s capable of doing,” Solari added. “We are happy with him and we hope he can do it in the final, too.”

Real face Al Ain of the United Arab Emirates in Saturday’s final after they surprised South American champions River Plate on penalties in the first semi.

REUTERS/Reporting by Joseph Cassinelli, editing by Ed Osmond

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