Real Madrid 'must improve in all areas,' says Julen Lopetegui

Image PA

Image PA

Real face city rivals Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup on Wednesday night.

Asked whether Perez needed to sign a new forward to replace the 50 goals a season that Ronaldo all-but guaranteed, Ramos responded by saying the team keeping its "spirit and hunger" was the most important. "Obviously expectations are high and we need to incorporate and work with the new players who have arrived", said Simeone.

Valencia coach Marcelino is unconcerned by the speculation linking striker Rodrigo with Real Madrid, preferring to pass the question onto colleague Julen Lopetegui.

He also becomes the first Atletico manager to win a final against Real Madrid in three different competitions having triumphed against the club's neighbours in the Copa del Rey, Supercopa de Espana and UEFA Super Cup.

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I don't believe there will be too much movement because we cannot sign, but different individual things can happen. We are talking about following our style but this style needs to [be learned by] some new faces and new players.

"But this is the past, now we are focused to keep on getting them, keep making history and we have to try to be better and better in all aspects".

But Lopetegui played down any transfer talk.

One chap has been encouraging supporters to purchase 50,000 toy rats to hurl at the 26-year old - even dropping the link to the IKEA website for the toy, which costs €1, such is how desperate he wants to make it a tough experience for Courtois.

Keylor Navas is selected over new goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who is not even on the bench. "I think he is so good in all aspects and his attitude is great since the first day, working a lot, and trying to help the team".

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Lopetegui said: "Zidane did a great job here, with awesome success, but we're thinking about the future and continuing to win trophies". We have full confidence in our coach.

Diego Costa gave Europa League holders Atletico a dream start against Champions League winners Real by firing them ahead after 49 seconds, knocking down a long pass and smashing the ball into the net from a tight angle.

Julen Lopetegui took over Real Madrid in the most unusual circumstances - and few would envy him because of it.

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