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The Merengues' latest recruits have won praise from the man who signed them up...

Jorge Valdano liked what he saw in Real Madrid's Primera Division opener against Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.

Los Merengues ended up 3-2 winners in a hectic encounter, and their director-general was impressed by the effort.

Speaking to reporters, he said, "There were a lot of new players, and a lot of nerves, but it was a good performance.

"We are at the level we expected.

"We lacked some rhythm, but the season long, and we must progress well to finish strongly."

Valdano then assessed the performance of Cristiano Ronaldo, continuing, "He needs to be freed, but he does not have to do something spectacular every time he gets the ball.

"I am sure that he will offer us great things."

He then moved on to Raul, who had an influential game, stating, "He always knows where the goal is, and is very intelligent."

Finally, Valdano virtually ruled out the possibility of any last-minute signings, saying, "The incoming transfers are more or less closed.

"A miracle would have to occur before Monday to encourage us to do something.

"It is probable that someone might leave, but highly improbable that we will sign anyone."

Arjun Miglani,