Real Madrid president Florentino Perez believes the revival of Barcelona is "good for world football". The Catalans have revamped their squad with the signings of the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde in the summer transfer window, and Perez hopes to see Madrid's Clasico rivals challenging again.
La Liga gets under way on Friday, with Barca's first game taking place against Rayo Vallecano on August 13, and Xavi's side are facing a race against time to register their array of new signings.
Perez's praise for Barcelona
Barcelona find themselves in a tough spot financially although they have spent big this summer, with €60 million (£40m/$50m) Kounde the latest of a string of new arrivals at Camp Nou.
They have activated four economic levers which have helped them raise close to €600 million (£515m/$630m), and while Perez is not intimidated by Barca's massive movements in the market, the Madrid president believes the rejuvenation of the club will boost world football.
He told Movistar: "Barca... there are seasons that we all do better or worse but Barca is one of the most important institutions in the world along with Madrid, it has to return to being what it is and that is good for everyone, for world soccer."
The first Clasico will be played on October 16 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
That game will go ahead on the same weekend Liverpool face Manchester City in the Premier league.
Carlo Ancelotti's men will travel to Camp Nou on March 19, 2023.
Will Madrid make any more new signings?
Real Madrid have made two signings in the summer transfer window, with midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni and centre-back Antonio Rudiger having arrived from Monaco and Chelsea respectively.
The Champions League winners have been linked with Bayer Leverkusen wonderkid Iker Bravo although Perez confirmed that they are not likely to add any more new faces.
He said: "We must continue to train well, Ancelotti has managed the squad, we are not considering anything else at the moment."
The Madrid president also believes that his side have enough firepower to replace Benzema, should the France international striker suffer any injury issues.
He added: "Look at all the strikers we have, he won't get sick, but if he does, we have so many strikers that it won't be noticed. Ballon d'Or? In my opinion, he already deserved it last year and even more so this year."