Real Madrid are great without Ronaldo - Vazquez

Marco Asensio Real Madrid ICC 2018
Patrick McDermott
The Blancos have parted with a talismanic presence this summer, but there is still plenty of quality on their books and they are feeling optimistic

Real Madrid may have parted with Cristiano Ronaldo but they still boast “a great squad”, says Lucas Vazquez.

The Blancos stunned world football when sanctioning the €112 million (£100m/$130m) sale of a five-time Ballon d’Or winner to Juventus.

New boss Julen Lopetegui now finds himself without the services of the club’s all-time leading goalscorer and a talismanic presence in the dressing room.

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Madrid have, however, retained the likes of Gareth Bale and Toni Kroos and showed in a 3-1 International Champions Cup victory over Juve that they still have plenty about them.

Vazquez told reporters after an impressive showing without Ronaldo: “We have a great squad who are shaping up well for the new season.

“All the players at this club are at an extremely high level and we are enjoying a strong pre-season, the training is very good.”

Vazquez could be among those to benefit from Ronaldo’s absence at the Santiago Bernabeu, with attacking berths now up for grabs.

He was forced to settle for a place on the bench against Juve, but he was introduced for the second half and took the armband at one stage – a proud moment for an academy graduate.

The Spain international added: “My own place in the team? It is up to every player to give their maximum and to convince the coach, who then has decision to make.

“For me it was great to be captain for a few minutes, for someone to have come through the youth system here and to be entrusted in that way is an honour.”

Luka Modric Real Madrid 2017-18

Vazquez could see even more minutes if Luka Modric ends up leaving Madrid, with the Croatian playmaker being heavily linked with a move to Inter, but the 27-year-old is expecting his talented team-mate to stay put.

He added: “We are calm and counting on him. We hope he returns to enjoy Madrid.

“I have no doubt he will stay... well, you never know in football, but I think that Luka is a Madrid player and will continue to be so.

“It's how I feel. I'm not in his head, but I am sure that he wants to continue. We won't get worked up.”

Madrid have two more games to take in before opening their 2018-19 La Liga campaign, with Roma providing their opposition on Wednesday before Lopetegui’s side go in search of silverware against arch-rivals Atletico in the UEFA Super Cup.