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Ronaldo was essential but Real Madrid will develop - Nacho

11:02 pm AEST 23/8/18
Nacho said that Real Madrid are "going to strengthen" in order to compensate for the loss of Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real Madrid defender Nacho said his team-mates have "great confidence" in their ability to succeed this season without Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo, despite admitting the pair had become "essential" to the club.

Head coach Zidane left the club after guiding Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League title in 2017-18 and was replaced by Julen Lopetegui.

The Frenchman's departure preceded Ronaldo's €112million (£100m/$130m) transfer to Juventus, leaving Los Blancos without their all-time leading goal-scorer going into 2018-19.

Nacho, who played all 90 minutes of Madrid's 2-0 victory over Getafe in their opening La Liga match of the season, told GQ magazine that the loss of Zidane and Ronaldo had only strengthened his side's resolve.

"They've been two very important people, but we're going to strengthen and fight for everything to come," said the 28-year-old.

"We have great confidence in ourselves.

"It's clear that Zizou and Cris have been essential in the last few years but life goes on without them.

"We have to develop our strengths and continue competing."