Real Madrid coach wishes Bale speedy recovery, defends Marcelo

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Madrid, Jan 5 (IANS) Real Madrid’s Argentine coach Santiago Solari on Saturday said the injury Gareth Bale sustained appeared to be a muscle strain and stood up for Brazilian defender Marcelo in the face of media criticism.

Bale sustained a left leg muscle injury during Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw against Villarreal on Thursday and was replaced in the intermission, reports Efe news.

“Beforehand we think it is a minor issue, nothing to worry about. Today, he will undergo tests and we will get more information throughout the day,” Solari said during a press conference on the eve of Sunday’s La Liga clash against Real Sociedad.

“We all hope he returns to us soon because he is a very important player,” Solari added.

Media outlets had criticized Marcelo over his performance in the draw against Villarreal, a postponed first-round match due to Madrid’s successful 2018 FIFA Club World Cup campaign.

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“Marcelo had a very difficult first semester, three muscle injuries included. He has been recovering little by little; we had a Club World Cup trip, mandatory break and a return. He was gaining rhythm little by little. It is very important that he does not get injured again,” Solari added.

He considered Marcelo a “fundamental player,” despite the ups and downs, adding that the team should look after him.

–IANS

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