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Real Madrid must win LaLiga and end Barca dominance - Roberto Carlos

Real Madrid great Roberto Carlos believes the club's main focus this season should be to end their Liga drought ahead of Saturday's Clasico showdown with Barcelona.

Madrid have emerged as Europe's dominant force in recent seasons, winning the Champions League twice in the past three years, each time at the expense of Atletico Madrid, but have won the domestic title just once since 2008.

In the meantime, arch rivals and two-time defending champions Barca have gained a stranglehold in Spain, claiming three of the last four LaLiga trophies.

Madrid's LaLiga record remains formidable – they have finished outside the top two positions just once in the last 12 seasons - and they head to Camp Nou top of the table and six points ahead of Barca.

And former left-back Roberto Carlos feels claiming that piece of silverware ought to be the priority, although he did not talk up the prospect of Zinedine Zidane leading them to the treble.

Speaking exclusively to Omnisport, Roberto Carlos - winner of four LaLigas and three Champions League titles during his illustrious career at the Santiago Bernabeu - said: "Madrid recently have entered into a dynamic of winning the Champions League.

"If Madrid can successfully juggle the league as well as the Champions League and the cups then I think we could win all three.    

"I think the most important thing this year is to win the league as it has been too long since we have been champions."  

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It has been an ideal start to the season for Madrid, who are unbeaten in 32 games across all competitions.    

Last week's 2-1 win at home to Sporting Gijon, on the back of Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo-inspired 3-0 victory over Atletico, means the capital club have won 10 of their opening 13 league matches.   

"Everybody is playing well so far. Six points ahead gives you a bit of breathing space but not too much," Roberto Carlos said. "It's a very difficult and long season. The gap allows the team to push on in search of the title."   

Known for their goalscoring exploits, it has been at the other end of the field where Madrid have impressed this season. 

While Madrid have scored a LaLiga-high 36 goals, they have the look of a more balanced side under Zidane's guidance, possessing the second-best defensive record in the league having conceded just 11 goals.

"Obviously it has a big part to do with Zidane but also the entire technical staff," Roberto Carlos added. "Madrid are now a very well-organised team in attack and defence and that's the reason why the team has gone so long without losing a match. 

"Even though the atmosphere was good under the previous manager [Rafael Benitez], the results weren't coming. With the arrival of Zidane the team evolved a lot and that's why I think the team has got this advantage so early in the season over its competitors.    

"From the beginning of the season the team has shown a very positive growth."  

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Barca go into the Clasico on the back of consecutive draws against Malaga and Real Sociedad, but Roberto Carlos is under no illusion as to the challenge facing Madrid in Catalonia.

"Playing at Camp Nou is always very difficult. If we can get a win like we did last year, it will give even more confidence to the team and help us distance ourselves even more from our rivals, because to be the champions of LaLiga you have to win away at the hardest of stadiums and one of those is Camp Nou," he said.   

"It's not that Barcelona are playing badly, the other teams playing against them have been playing very well.

"It's obvious that if we win at Camp Nou we stretch the lead to nine points.    

"It's not that the league is decided but it will be a very big statement and it will provide a nice buffer for the team. I played so many Clasicos but the feeling of when you lose is the same as losing the World Cup final. No one ever likes to lose matches of that magnitude."