With FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi recently speaking about how he thinks Real Madrid are likely to be weaker without Cristiano Ronaldo, Los Blancos' manager has now responded to his comments.
During a recent interview, Messi said he was surprised the Portuguese left for Juventus earlier in the transfer window, and that his exit would make Real weaker.
Julen Lopetegui, who was appointed manager of the Madrid club in June, has rebutted by insisting the Argentine should not underestimate Los Blancos.
"I wouldn't doubt these Real Madrid players for a second," he told El Transistor.
The manager also revealed that he did not speak to Ronaldo before the Portuguese moved on.
"I didn't speak to (Ronaldo)," Lopetegui added.
"It's a situation that, when I arrived, he had shown a desire to leave and the club facilitated it. I respected it and the strategy was taken."
Real have won their opening three LaLiga games of the new season, with attackers Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale in terrific form so far.
How do you think Real will fare without Ronaldo in this campaign? Let us know in the comments section below.