'A long way to La Decima' - Real Madrid midfielder Illarramendi

The midfielder tempered increasing hysteria around the possibility of a 10th European title for Real Madrid, though he is quietly hoping they can succeed
Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi has played down the possibility of the club landing La Decima this season, insisting there's "a long way to go" before European glory.

The Blancos defeated Schalke 6-1 in the opening leg of their Champions League last-16 tie and look certain to progress to the quarter-final stage barring a miraculous comeback at the Santiago Bernabeu from Jens Keller's men.

The emphatic victory, on the back of an unbeaten group stage, has led some to predict that this will be the campaign that Madrid finally bag their 10th European cup, but the 23-year-old is well aware that tougher tests lie ahead for Carlo Ancelotti's men.

"Clearly, we and all the fans hope we can bag the Champions League trophy this season," he said at a promotional event. "However, there is still a long way to go.

"We must continue like we did against Schalke and hopefully all goes well. With the help of the fans, maybe we can get to the final and win."

Fellow Madrid youngster Casemiro also called for calm on the Champions League front and claims that the current leaders of La Liga are taking the 2013-14 season one match at a time.

"There are fans across Europe who are hoping their team can win the Champions League, but I would tell ours to remain calm," the Brazilian said.

"I think we've started well in the last 16 against Schalke but, as the coach said, we're taking it game by game. It will be very difficult, but we'll try to win it."

Real Madrid are back in action on Sunday at home to Levante following the midweek international break.