How will Real do without Ronaldo?

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The €117m departure of five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo sent shockwaves throughout Europe during the off-season and none more so than the fanatic Madridistas.

Having enjoyed nine trophy-laden seasons with seven top scorer honours in the UEFA Champions League, while playing an integral part of their four incredible title wins over the past five seasons - it was safe to say his departure has been a loss to the Spanish giants.

Zinedine Zidane's exit after record-breaking success will also be taken into consideration, but his successor in the form of Julen Lopetegui has given some food for thought in the early stages of the 2018/19 campaign.

After a successful spell with the Spain national team that ended in a controversial exit for the Real job, Lopetegui had the advantage of working with the core of his current squad.

And even without the 33-year-old superstar in his ranks, he remains spoilt for choice.

Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Isco, Marco Asesnsio, Lucas Vazquez and now Mariano Diaz - provides a plethora of attacking options while his midfield and defence of the previous regime remains firmly part of the set-up and well within the peak of their careers.

The €120m off-season layout of Álvaro Odriozola, Thibaut Courtois, Diaz and Vinicius Junior was not greeted with much optimism.

But after being crowned Kings of Europe for three consecutive seasons, the only thing that was needed was depth and players who're able to develop to the world-class level expected of the 13-time European champions.

And that is exactly what they achieved in the transfer window.

Bale and Benzema

Part of the famous 'BBC' trio along with Cristiano, these two superstars are finally gaining the plaudits they deserve after years in the shadow of the Portugal captain.

The attacking duo have scored nine goals together in their opening six matches across all competitions, while their only blemish thus far, has been the 1-1 LaLiga draw with Atletic Bilbao.

Bale, in particular, looks in menacing form, and you don't have to look further than his marauding run and clinical finish against a highly competitive AS Roma side on Wednesday evening to see what the Welshman can produce this season.

So it's obvious Lopeteugui has the tools at his disposal to maintain the dominance of his predecessor.

But will he?

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