East Rutherford: Reigning European football champions Real Madrid hope to extend their winning streak when they face Roma in the International Champions Cup here. Tuesday’s match will be the third and last in the pre-season tour for Real Madrid, a team that is steadily improving under new coach Julen Lopetegui.
“No doubt about it. To play an additional match and against a rival as good as Roma, which comes in after humbling FC Barcelona 4-2, it will be yet another valuable test as we head into training (camp),” Lopetegui said.
The main goal in the pre-season work is to prepare for La Liga matches, achieving the highest team and individual levels, Lopetegui said.
The match against Roma will give Lopetegui 90 minutes to observe players like Wales’ Gareth Bale in his newfound role as the team’s leader and star after the departure of Portuguese star forward Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus. It will also be an opportunity to size up younger players, like Vinicius Junior, one of the summer additions who, at 18, displays great talent.
Another surprise on Madrid’s roster is former Castilla defender Sergio Reguilon, who has performed well on the tour and is expected to play at least part of the match against Roma, although Sergio Ramos will make his pre-season debut. IANS