Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from Real Madrid has served to invigorate Julen Lopetegui’s early weeks in charge of the club, as he seeks to build a new team around Gareth Bale.
Speaking ahead of the friendly with Manchester United, the coach stated his belief that Bale can step up and lead the attack like Ronaldo before him.
“When I signed, Cristiano still belonged to Real Madrid but soon he expressed his desire to leave,” noted Lopetegui to reporters in Miami. “As a coach, it is an exciting challenge to make a competitive team without Cristiano.
“[I have] recognition for one of the most important players in the history of Real Madrid, the club appreciated his legacy by facilitating his departure.
“We are convinced that Bale is going to have a great year and we expect a lot from him. We will work together for him to reach top form.”