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The defender says he needs match practice to return to full fitness...

Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has insisted that the new-look Blancos can challenge for honours this season but also said that they must improve in order to do so.

"It is a wonderful new project. I am comfortable with my new team-mates. It's easy to play alongside such players. There is no doubt we will be up there challenging, but there is still a lot to improve," Ramos told AS.

The 23-year-old made his return to the starting lineup after a four month absence as Madrid trounced Primera Division newcomers Xerez 5-0 at the Bernabeu and afterwards said he felt comfortable being back in action.

"I enjoyed it. I played well and I did not notice any discomfort," he added.

"I noticed after not playing for a while I lacked something but that rhythm will return after a few games. I won't take long to get into shape."

Paul Madden, Goal.com

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