Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil believes the current Los Blancos side is significantly stronger than they were last season.
Real finished second in La Liga last season and reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League but were defeated on both fronts by Barcelona, who finished the campaign as Spanish and European champions.
Los Blancos did however manage to get one over their arch-rivals with an extra-time victory in the Copa del Rey final, courtesy of a Cristiano Ronaldo strike.
And while Barca still remain the favourites to claim the La Liga title this season, Ozil believes the additions of Fabio Coentrao, Nuri Sahin, Hamit Altintop, Jose Maria Callejon and Raphael Varane will give Real a better chance of challenging their arch-rivals this time around.
“We are much stronger,” Ozil told Kicker.
“We’ve taken a step further compared to the previous campaign.”
And despite Real regularly adding new players to their ranks, Ozil believes the squad are now starting to gel together as a unit.
“Real Madrid have made a lot of signings in the last couple of years, but you can now tell we understand each other on the pitch.”
Ozil also spoke of his joy since moving to the Santiago Bernabeu last summer, and believes his time at the club has been a personal success so far.
“I’m very happy with how things have turned out for me.
“I feel great at Real Madrid and obviously, playing in this team, I’m in very good form and feel more prepared than ever before.”
Real kicked of their La Liga campaign with an impressive 6-0 win over Real Zaragoza, and will look to build on that result this Saturday when they play hosts to Getafe.