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Santiago Solari on Isco, Keylor, Bale, loss to CSKA, and Rayo

The Real Madrid manager spoke ahead of the LaLiga clash with Rayo Vallecano and covered the controversy regarding Isco, and Bale's situation.

El entrenador argentino del Real Madrid, Santiago Hernán Solari.

Ahead of yet another high-pressured match, Real Madrid manager Santiago Hernán Solari spoke at the customary press conference. Rayo Vallecano make the short trip across town to the Santiago Bernabéu for a game that they will kick-off having little to fear giving the current form of the European Champions. Solari had lots to cover including the loss and Isco's gesture to the fans against CSKA Moscow and the situation with Gareth Bale, but still had time to open with a festive greeting.

Solari on the game against Rayo

"Merry Christmas everyone, even if it's a bit early. May it be in peace and with your families. We will try to finish up [ahead of Club World Cup trip] with a win. It will require all our energy and the support of our fans."

Santiago Solari
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Santiago SolariEmilio NaranjoEFE

Solari on belief in the team

"How can we not believe in Madrid after 115 years, 13 European Cups and so many trophies and legends. Madrid has won four of the last five Champions Leagues and we are still alive in all competitions, which require a lot of effort. Football is a competition that has ups and downs. It's the story of football. But in its long history Madrid has had many more ups than downs."

Solari on Isco's gesture

"I saw it from far away... I got the impression that he was protesting a corner, a foul, I'm not sure... I understand your [journalists] work and the focus is sometimes on creating a narrative. Ours is on other things and is now on tomorrow's game. It's on facing Rayo with the support of our people and with the joy and attitude that we have shown in most of the games, in them all. We have won eight out of ten."

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Solari on Bale's fitness

"We'll see... It's a question of him getting rest because it's the ankle. We will see how it develops. We'll talk with the doctors and with him [Bale] and then will decide.

Solari on the CSKA defeat

"We have analysed everything. That analysis stays with us. It was a useful match in which to dissect many things; for players who needed a rest and others who needed minutes. We topped the group which was very important, and took a lot of effort. Clearly we would have liked to have won."

Solari on Isco bouncing back

"Isco is a mature man, a professional who has given a lot of joy and we know will continue to do so. Everyone works hard to be available. The most thankless task is to select the starting eleven; those for the bench and those who don't even kit up... It is the hardest part because they are all good. It is complicated, but someone always has to be left out."

Solari on beating Rayo Vallecano

"Rayo have many virtues. They manage the ball well, and don't give it away easily. They start very well. We'll go out to win from the very first minute, with energy, organisation and solidity. With all the attributes we have put into these games in an attempt to win them."

Solari on excessively demanding or unjust fans

"I heard applause the other day too. The fans express themselves and that is valid and respected. The team always looks for support and we need it. Throughout these 115 years everything was achieved through togetherness, us and the supporters with us. We hope they help and push us on."

Solari on Keylor

"He has all my respect and admiration as a footballer and as a man. He has given us pleasure, to me as a fan in recent years. The most thankless part is to select the team, but it's part of my job and it's unavoidable."

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