Lopetegui backs Bale to shine for Real Madrid this season

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Madrid's new manager Julen Lopetegui may have dared to dream that he was about to lift his first trophy for the club, and lay to rest a weird summer that saw him sacked as Spain manager just 2 days before the start of the World Cup - for taking the Real Madrid job, but failing to inform the Spanish FA.

The Spaniard headed past Sergio Ramos, knocked one past Raphael Varane and then fired past Keylor Navas to give his side the lead with an emphatic finish. "The decision has been made to move on to a new phase and I hope all goes well for him and for us", he said.

Simeone, however, feels his side head into the new season in good shape, particularly with World Cup-winners Antoine Griezmann, Lucas Hernandez and new signing Thomas Lemar in their ranks.

Lopetegui, who was unceremoniously sacked by Spain on the eve of the World Cup after agreeing to take charge at the Santiago Bernabeu after the tournament, has not had long to impress his ideas upon the squad, as his worldwide stars returned in dribs and drabs through the summer after extended holidays because of Russian Federation 2018.

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The 27-year-old, who scored four goals as he helped France win the World Cup last month, was speaking after Atletico beat rivals Real Madrid 4-2 on Wednesday thanks to goals from midfielders Saul Niguez and Koke in extra time. Lopetegui sent on Modric for Marco Asensio just before the hour mark and Real took the lead shortly after, Ramos scoring a 63rd-minute penalty awarded for a Juanfran handball.

Elsewhere, Andriy Lunin, 19, has joined from Zorya Luhansk and will provide back up, as former Espanyol goalkeeper Kiko Casilla is likely to find another club before the Spanish transfer window shuts at the end of August. We have full confidence in our coach.

Real face an Atletico side who finished above them in LaLiga last term and also won the Europa League. We want to win this league title, it's the competition which examines your work every day.

But, in one night, Lopetegui fared worse than Zidane - something that could cause immediate worry in Madrid.

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