Post-Ronaldo Real Madrid gets it first test


That will mean increased pressure to perform this season for Bale, who scored twice in the Champions League final win over Liverpool, but he has already impressed new Real boss Lopetegui with his work ethic in preseason.

"However, this is now in Madrid's past and we must focus on moving forward and continuing to create history, to keep getting better".

Following up Zinedine Zidane's treble Champions League success with Real Madrid was always going to be a hard job for Julen Lopetegui, but having to do it without Cristiano Ronaldo is a monumental challenge.

"He is so motivated with a lot of hope and he's been working well since the beginning of the season", Lopetegui told reporters on the eve of Real's UEFA Super Cup showdown with Europa League holders and city rivals Atletico Madrid in Tallinn.

"Losing such an important and decisive player is negative, of course, but it will not stop us from continuing to win things".

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Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos has responded to recent comments from Cristiano Ronaldo suggesting that the mood at Los Blancos was not always as good as it was made out to be. It was an interesting game, with both teams having many chances.

"I don't have a precise moment when I decided [to join]". "[Courtois] was at Atletico Madrid, now he is with us".

New Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui has named all available players for the UEFA showpiece season-opener, including injured defenders Jesus Vallejo and Alvaro Odriozola.

Three-time defending Champions League winners Real are aiming to become the first side to win three-successive Super Cups and also equal the competition record of five titles now held jointly by Milan and Barcelona.

Modric was one of the stand-out performers at the World Cup, playing in all seven of Croatia's matches on his way to winning the Golden Ball, where they were eventually beaten in the final by France.