Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil believes that the club are a better outfit than last season and are ready to overtake Barcelona to win the league title.
The Spanish giants returned to the capital following their tour of the USA, where they were undefeated in matches against LA Galaxy, Chivas and Philadelphia Union.
Real now face Hertha Berlin in a friendly in Germany on Wednesday, and Ozil feels that the Primera Liga runners-up have an even better chance of catching their illustrious Catalan rivals this time around.
"Real Madrid are stronger and more mature than last year," said Ozil.
"We have the potential to beat any rival and our aim this season is to win as many titles."
Real will face Barca for the first time this season in the Spanish Super Cup in a two-legged tie on August 14th and 17th.
But Ozil refused to comment on the beginning of what is sure to be another bitter rivalry between the two teams this term.
"I don't want to discuss this subject. We are focused on our preparation phase and our only concern now is that all the injured players have recovered by August 14th," added the German international.
The club have also confirmed that full-back Marcelo has been granted Spanish nationality.
The 23-year-old joined the club in January 2007 from Fluminense, and no longer occupies one the three non-European Union spots in the squad.
Despite the arrival of Portugal star Fabio Coentrao to contest his regular left-back spot, the Brazil international insisted that he was more than happy to be at the Bernabeu.
"It is a very special day for me. This is a big step. I've always wanted to be here and I'm very happy," he told the club's official website.