Griezmann vindicated by Super Cup triumph

Real Madrid 'must improve in all areas,' says Julen Lopetegui - so how is life post-Cristiano Ronaldo?

Having being fired as the Spain boss before the World Cup in controversial fashion, Lopetegui was asked how his current Real Madrid squad compares to the team he left during the summer.

Full-back Marcelo squandered an excellent chance to score the victor for Real with an overhead kick in the final seconds of normal time as back-to-back Champions League winners Real were looking to become the first side to win three Super Cups in successive seasons.

Diego Costa gave Europa League holders Atletico a dream start against Champions League winners Real by firing them ahead after 49 seconds, knocking down a long pass and smashing the ball into the net from a tight angle. Over the past four years, the giants from Madrid twice met in the final of the Champions League - both times in dramatic battle, the trophy was snatched real Madrid.

"A final is typically won by the team who capitalises on circumstances and Atletico are experts in doing that and they deserved to win", he said. He is training very well, happy, and we are so happy with him.

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"We have to improve in all facets, we do not like when we make mistakes and we have to improve in everything, not only in individual errors".

While Real Madrid are adjusting to life without Ronaldo, it was Atletico who provided the late heroics familiarly associated with their recently departed striker.

"Last year we won the league and the cup, but the Champions League stuck in our throats, especially with how we were knocked out", said Messi this week.

Atletico manager Diego Simeone, who was forced to watch from the stands while serving the third match of a four-game touchline ban imposed on him after his sending off in the Europa League semi-final against Arsenal last season, expressed his delight.

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"We like the players we have and I have no doubts about the squad I have".

"We always want to win whoever we are playing against but of course we really wanted to finally win a European final against Real Madrid", Atletico's Koke told reporters.

But with Zidane gone and Ronaldo's void not filled by another Florentino Perez vanity signing, like it or not fans will be seeing a lot more of Bale this term, with his form in pre-season giving every indication he is set to step up.

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