Zinedine Zidane insists Real Madrid do not need any more signings as he confirms Borja Mayoral will be his backup striker for the season.
Madrid let the likes of Danilo, Pepe and Alvaro Morata leave earlier in the summer, without bringing in established players to replace them, but Zidane has faith in the youngsters he has promoted to rise to the challenge.
“We’re motivated for the game,” the Coach said at a Press conference for Sunday’s visit of Valencia in La Liga.
“Valencia are a team that are playing well and doing well. They’re also well organised and they defend well.
“We know the difficulty of this game and our opponents are motivated.
“Centre-back crisis after Varane’s knock? We have four of them, we don’t need reinforcements. There won’t be any more.
“We have Casemiro and Marcos Llorente, who have already played in this position. We’ll manage.
“Favourites? We know it's not true, but that’s the beauty of football. You can win a lot of things, but the next day you can mess up.
“We have to always show how good we are and that we want to continue our good run. With the slightest focus, you can lose a match.
“Mayoral’s absence? I don’t want another striker. Mayoral hasn’t been called up because there’s 25 of us and some have to be left out, but I’m counting on him.
“It’s a year for him to learn and be ready for when he gets a chance to play. His chance will come.
“Team without Ronaldo? I’ve never considered a [Madrid] team without Cristiano, he’s here and he’s not going to leave.
“It’s his team, his city, he’s delighted with everything he has here. There's been a lot of talk, but he’s still here.
“Physical level? It’s going to be a very long year and demanding physically. There are going to be times when we’ll drop physically and be less fit, but there’ll also be times when we’re better than what we are today.
“What we’re looking for is to keep the level we have and grow, but that doesn’t depend on the physical aspect. It depends on what we want.
“We’re fine, but that may disappear. I want maximum concentration on all levels, technically, physically…
“We have to always show that we want to control the match and win, and we’ll try to do that every game.
“International break? I hope we don’t lose any more players, but I’m not thinking about this, just that everything’s going well, that no-one’s [seriously] injured and that we’ll have the whole squad ready soon.
“Benzema? He’s one of the best strikers in the world, but I’m not the one that decides whether he’s going with France or not.”
Real Madrid: Keylor; Carvajal, Casemiro, Nacho, Marcelo; Modric, Kovacic, Kroos; Isco; Bale, Benzema
Injuries/suspensions: Ronaldo, Ramos (S) Vallejo, Varane (I)
Valencia: Neto; Montoya, Vezo, Murillo, Gaya; Nacho Vidal, Parejo, Kondogia, Soler; Zaza, Rodrigo
Injuries/suspensions: Garay, Nani (I)
Referee: Fernandez Borbalan
Form guide: Madrid (W – – – -) Valencia (W – – – -)
Previous meeting: Madrid 2-1 Valencia
Kick-off time: 21:15 BST/22:15 CET (LIVE on Football Espana)