While Ronaldo’s exit from Madrid has left behind a massive hole at the club, Alves, who played at Barcelona from 2008-2016, feels his former Spanish rivals are even more formidable now.
“I think that, contrary to what everybody thinks, Madrid is more of a team without Cristiano,” Alves told Marca.
“Now it’s a bit more difficult than it was before, before it was complicated for the opposition but focused a lot on Cristiano, and now it’s a bit more dangerous, at least because of how I see football and my concept of the game.
“Madrid are more of a team now, it is obvious that Cristiano is a brutal loss for Madrid, but Madrid are Madrid.”
Bale was often left frustrated under Zidane over selection, with the Welshman often missing out on the starting XI even when fit under the club legend.
The 29-year-old was left out of the starting line-up for last season’s Champions League final, though he came on to score two decisive goals as a substitute, including a stunning overhead kick, but his relationship with Zidane was almost certainly leading to a Real Madrid exit for the player until the Frenchman’s shock resignation for the summer.
“I’m not sure I want to respond to whether I think Julen is better than Zidane,” he told the Daily Mail.
Bale did say that being able to communicate with Lopetegui in English has helped, however, after starting the new season in fine form for Los Merengues.
“Obviously, it helps. I can speak in Spanish, but maybe I won’t need to go into the amount of detail I normally would,”
The winger also lifted the lid on how another summer departure, that of Cristiano Ronaldo, has changed the club.
“Obviously, it’s going to be a little different, it’s going to be a little more relaxed,” Bale explained.
“I guess it will be more about the team, working more like a unit than concentrating on a single player.”
Vinicius Junior continues to make a case for first team action after scoring another goal for Real Madrid Castilla at the weekend.
The Brazilian teenager, who arrived from Flamengo over the summer, has scored three goals in two games as Castilla climbed to the top of the Segunda Division table.
His strike at the weekend was a gem, bending a superb free kick around the wall to earn Castilla all three points against Unionistas CF.
But for all his dominance for the club’s second team, senior boss Julen Lopetegui is yet to consider the 18-year-old for selection as he wants him to play more minutes and get used to the style of play in Spain.
Vinicius has been named in Los Blancos’ Champions League squad so there is potential for him to secure game time over the course of the group stages.