Cristiano Ronaldo will not be missed as Real Madrid begin new era - Dani Ceballos

Published on: 08 August 2018

Julen Lopetegui says there is a buoyant mood at Real Madrid ahead of the new season.

Real Madrid's Julen Lopetegui insists his transfer wishes with the club are private but believes Luka Modric and Matteo Kovacic will stay put.

Kostas Manolas looks ahead to Roma's ICC finale against Real Madrid and discusses Alisson's departure and the impact of Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival on Serie A.

Cristiano Ronaldo will not be missed by Real Madrid as a new-look side takes shape under Julen Lopetegui, Dani Ceballos has said.

Madrid have been getting used to life without Ronaldo, who joined Juventus earlier in the summer, during the International Champions Cup (ICC) campaign in the United States.

And speaking after the 2-1 win over Roma in New York, playmaker Ceballos said Madrid's other attacking stars had stepped up in the Portugal captain's absence.

"We are playing in a different way, using the ball differently, taking up different positions on the pitch," Ceballos said.

"This Madrid scores goals. [Gareth] Bale is plugged in, Karim [Benzema], Marco [Asensio] ... you will not notice Cristiano's absence."

Ceballos, signed from Real Betis last summer, started all three ICC games and could be set for a prominent role with Mateo Kovacic set to leave and Luka Modric's future uncertain.

"I am feeling confident, and also I have the confidence of the coach," Ceballos said. "I am trying things that I didn't try before. Having this confidence is almost 80 percent of a player, for them to play at their best."

Vinicius Junior also featured in all three games, providing an assist for Asensio in the 3-1 win over Juventus and almost scoring against Roma.

"I was better [against Juventus] than in the first game," he told Madrid's TV station. "I'm improving day by day, and now I feel more confident, better physically and tactically, understanding all that el professor Lopetegui has to teach us."

Meanwhile, centre-back Jesus Vallejo will miss next Wednesday's UEFA Supercup match against Atletico Madrid and the start of the La Liga campaign with a muscle injury.