One of the things Julen Lopetegui was expected to bring as Real Madrid’s new boss is an improvement in youth development.
That has been reflected already in his Champions League squad selection as he’s named seven Castilla players.
Vinicius Junior, Sergio Reguilon, Luca Zidane, Javi Sanchez, Sergio Lopez, Cristo, Adri De la Fuente, Seoane and Feuillasier have been named.
Full squad: Keylor Navas, Kiko Casilla, Thibaut Courtois Luca Zidane; Dani Carvajal, Jesus Vallejo, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Alvaro Odriozola, Sergio Reguilon, Adri De la Fuente, Javi Sanchez, Sergio Lopez; Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Casemiro, Federico Valverde, Marcos Llorente, Marco Asensio, Isco, Dani Ceballos, Seoane, Feuillasier; Mariano, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Lucas Vazquez, Cristo, Vinicius
The Portuguese superstar moved to Turin in a €112million transfer in July and Messi believes Madrid will sorely miss his services.
The Barcelona star told Catalunya Radio on Monday: “Real Madrid are one of the best teams in the world with a great squad [but] it’s evident that the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo makes them less good and makes Juventus [one of the] clear favourites to win the Champions League.”
New Los Blancos boss Lopetegui however responded to Messi on when he told Onda Cero: “I would not doubt the players of Real Madrid.
“We have done okay but it is only the start and we have three weeks ahead with the Champions League.
“We have achieved the aim of nine points and now we need to reflect. The players need to come back fit and we will see what happens.”
The Spaniard insists that the reigning European champions and La Liga giants intend to compete for every trophy.
“We want to win everything”
“Our target is everything this season. With the league you have to always be on form and it rewards consistency but we want to win everything.”
Lopetegui also revealed that he did not have a conversation with Ronaldo prior to his departure.
“I did not speak to him, it was a situation where he had already decided to leave and the club went along with this for a player who had been tremendous. They allowed this desire and restlessness that he had.
“I expressed from the start [the players I wanted]. I thought the squad was fantastic, the players are very good in all areas of the pitch and are capable to compete for titles.”
The Sport360 team is here bringing you the latest Real Madrid news on Tuesday.
6pm – Julen Lopetegui has no regrets on Spain exit
The Real Madrid coach has spoken on his Spain departure ahead of their UEFA Nations League encounter against England. He was sacked as Spain coach on the eve of the World Cup. Read what he said here.
1pm – Real find out Club World Cup UAE fate
Los Blancos now know who they have to beat to defend their title in the UAE.
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) September 4, 2018
11am – Recap a glorious past week for Real’s award winners
🌟 What a few days for our UEFA award winners!
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) September 3, 2018
10.30am – Lopetegui didn’t hold talks with Ronaldo
Read more, here.