Former Real Madrid coach Bernd Schuster has revealed that he thinks his former side are currently only the third best team in Spain.
The German manager believes Los Blancos have fallen behind FC Barcelona and city rivals Atletico Madrid in recent years, and feels the Spanish giants do not have a balanced squad.
"Leaving aside personal preferences, if you take the Madrid squad, draw a line and divide it in two, you know that it is not balanced and, at the top, you pay for that because your biggest rivals are doing things better," Schuster told AS.
"Your rivals and even Atletico are doing things better. They change one piece for another in the same position, something that Madrid don't do and, to a certain extent, they're paying for it."
The 56-year-old also admitted it is hard to predict what Real will do in this weekend's highly-anticipated El Clasico because of their inconsistencies this season.
"I'm not sure how they'll perform. I see so many highs and lows that I don't know what to expect," Schuster said.
"After the international break, they've barely trained together. They appear to be playing better but we'll see.
"One player who does seem happier is Cristiano (Ronaldo). Before he didn't look happy. Cristiano needs to be comfortable and happy and to know he's the best.
"At the moment, the Barcelona front three are more convincing. They're amazing to watch."
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