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Sport in brief: Courtois backs Bale as Real fans turn on Wales star

REAL Madrid fans have been urged to forgive and forget if Gareth Bale returns to the starting line-up in tonight’s Champions League tie at home to Paris Saint-Germain. Bale (pictured) caused anger in the Spanish capital when he celebrated Wales reaching Euro 2020 with a flag which proclaimed, ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order’ — a tongue-in-cheek reference to his perceived indifference at playing for the club. He was booed when he came on as a substitute at the weekend but has been tipped to start tonight. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said: ‘It’s logical to love your country more than your club, although perhaps he made a mistake with the flag. He is 100 per cent committed every day.’

Brescia forced on the defensive as president Cellino aims a racist comment at Balotelli

Attacked: Balotelli PICTURE: REX

MARIO BALOTELLI has been the subject of a racist remark made by his club’s president. The 29-year-old, a victim of racist abuse from Verona fans earlier this month, was dropped by Brescia at the weekend following a dispute with boss Fabio Grosso. Asked about Balotelli, president and ex-Leeds owner Massimo Cellino said: ‘He’s black, what can I say, he’s working on clearing himself but he’s having a lot of difficulty.’ Brescia later claimed in a statement Cellino’s comment was merely ‘a quip’.

They said it

‘If a player who has won so much is angry about being substituted it means he still has a lot of motivation… this is something positive’ — Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri denies a rift with Cristiano Ronaldo, who he has substituted twice in a row