'We knew we'd keep winning without Ronaldo' - Real Madrid believed trophy drought wouldn't last, says Modric

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Real Madrid knew their recent trophy drought would not last and that they would keep winning without Cristiano Ronaldo, says Luka Modric.

The Blancos were crowned champions of Spain for the 34th time following their 2-1 victory over Villarreal at Santiago Bernabeu last week.

Zinedine Zidane's men picked up the title for the first time since 2017, and ultimately finished five points clear of arch-rivals Barcelona at the top of the table.

Madrid won three consecutive European Cups and one La Liga crown during Zidane's first spell in charge, with the club's all-time record scorer Ronaldo spearheading the attack.

However, the French head coach left his post in 2018, while the Portuguese superstar completed a big-money move to Juventus.

The Blancos endured a miserable transitional season following the pair's departure, which saw them fail to land a single trophy while coming a disappointing third in La Liga.

Zidane returned to steady the ship in March 2019, and Madrid gradually rediscovered their best form, but Modric insists he never doubted that the glory days would return to the Bernabeu.

Asked whether Ronaldo's exit affected the winning mentality within the squad, the Madrid midfielder told Sportske Novosti : " It is not necessary to discuss how important Cristiano was for Real Madrid.

"But I must say that we were not overwhelmed by the fact that he was not there in the sense that we could not have the same ambitions.

"We were convinced that we would continue to win without him."

Modric added on Zidane's expert man-management skills: "Zidane once again proved to be a great person. He is reassuring and he is very correct in his approach to the player.

"There are always those who do not play as much as they would like, they are not happy and that makes sense.

"But the coach's approach has helped everyone feel part of the team and accept their situation.

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"In this dressing room, everyone is a good guy, there is no one who creates problems for their own reasons, there are no bad apples."

Madrid are now looking ahead to a return to Champions League action, with a round of 16 second-leg tie against Manchester City on the cards next month.

Zidane's side must overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit at Etihad Stadium in order to reach the last eight, with the next stage of the competition set to take place in Lisbon .