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Nacho backs Madrid for success in post-Ronaldo era

Real Madrid defender Nacho said his team-mates have "great confidence" in their ability to succeed this season without Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo, while admitting the duo had been "essential" to the club's success in recent years.

Head coach Zidane left the club after guiding Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League title in 2017-18 and was replaced by Julen Lopetegui.

The Frenchman's departure preceded Ronaldo's €112million transfer to Juventus, leaving Los Blancos without their all-time leading goal-scorer going into 2018-19.

Nacho, who played all 90 minutes of Madrid's 2-0 victory over Getafe in their opening LaLiga match of the season, told GQ magazine that the loss of Zidane and Ronaldo had only strengthened his side's resolve.

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"They've been two very important people, but we're going to strengthen and fight for everything to come," said the 28-year-old.

"We have great confidence in ourselves.

"It's clear that Zizou and Cris have been essential in the last few years but life goes on without them.

"We have to develop our strengths and continue competing."