Madrid, Oct 20 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid have the quality this year to win the Uefa Champions League despite the lack of big signings over the summer, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said Tuesday.
The LaLiga champions kick start their campaign on Wednesday evening with a Group B match against Shakhtar Donetsk.
“A team like Real Madrid is always among the favorites to win the competition, what we have to do is demonstrate that on the pitch quality to win it,” he told a press conference.
Madrid last won the competition in 2017/18 — the club’s 13th Champions League trophy — but have failed to get past the last-16 in two consecutive years, felled by Ajax and then Manchester City.
“We’re one of the favorites, maybe not the clear favorite to win it, but we are Real Madrid and we are always going to compete to win it. The great thing about the Champions League is you get to play among the best teams in the world.”
Madrid want to get the European competition started with a win following their league defeat to the recently-promoted Cádiz over the weekend.
The Clásico bookends what is a tight schedule for Madrid this week.
Captain Sergio Ramos, sidelined with a knee injury, looks highly doubtful for the Shakhtar game.
Eden Hazard’s injury has also kept him out of the mix for longer than anticipated, head coach Zindine Zidane said at the press conference.
The Belgian, who’s debut season at Real Madrid last year was beset by injury, picked up a muscle injury at the end of September.