What Neymar's departure means for Barcelona - Zidane

Cristiano Ronaldo pushed the referee after being sent off

GETTY Cristiano Ronaldo pushed the referee after being sent off

Madrid visit Camp Nou on Sunday for the first leg of the Spanish season's curtain raiser looking to add to the UEFA Super Cup title they won by beating Manchester United 2-1 this week.

Isco was impressive against Manchester United in the Super Cup, after which it emerged Sir Alex Ferguson had turned down signing him because his head was too big.

Isco took the opportunity with both hands to establish himself in the line-up during the title run-in, even making the starting line-up ahead of Bale himself in the Champions League final victory over Juventus. "I can sign for 10 years, 20, but I know where I am". "This is going to be a hard year because already on Sunday we have a complicated match". If we continue this way, it is because of the effort, being united and preparing the games.

Real are obviously keen not to fall into the same trap as Clásico rivals Barcelona, who lost superstar Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain after the French club triggered his €222m clause.

Deulofeu returned to the Catalan club in a buy-back deal from Everton earlier this summer and opened the scoring in the 5-0 win over Chapecoense in the Gamper Trophy on Monday, when he also assisted two more goals before going off at half-time.

Cristiano Ronaldo only minutes earlier gave Real Madrid the lead
GETTY Cristiano Ronaldo only minutes earlier gave Real Madrid the lead

The two sides have already played each other in pre-season with Barcelona winning 3-2 in Miami, but that was after barely more than a fortnight's training and with the now-departed Neymar in the side, reports Xinhua news agency.

With Neymar gone, Barcelona will look to Lionel Messi to repeat his outstanding performance from the last competitive "clasico" played against Madrid in April.

This will be the first major test for new coach Ernesto Valverde, who replaced Luis Enrique at the start of the summer and a win would go a long way in easing the pressure on the former Athletic Club Bilbao boss.

"We're all fit, healthy, physically we're in good condition".

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