Fernando Gago believes Real Madrid are serious contenders for the UEFA Champions League.
The Argentine midfielder had his first experience of the competition last season after moving to the Bernabeu from Boca Juniors in January.
He is looking forward to Real's first group game against Werder Bremen and is hopeful Real can go all the way to the final in Moscow next month.
"The Champions League is a unique competition, one of the best after a World Cup," he told AS.
"I was lucky to play two fixtures last season. I did well in one of them, but not in the other because we were eliminated.
"I have faith in the team and I believe we will be strong contenders for the title.
"It is always exciting to play in a Champions League game, be it a group stage fixture or a final. It has a deep effect on a player."
Strength in depth
Gago has been impressed with the squad rebuilding at Madrid and thinks that the team should now be expecting to win trophies.
"We have made some great signings," he said. "We now have an excellent squad with real depth, and this side is capable of winning a title for the club. But we must be able to prove it on the pitch."
Raul is still seen as the edler statesman at the club and Gago looks to the captain for inspiration.
"He's scored two goals so far in the League this year and he should always be respected as an exemplary player. He has great drive and determination."