AS Roma forward Patrik Schick has slammed Real Madrid ahead of their upcoming clash in the Champions League Group G opener in the group stage.
The European Champions was drawn along AS Roma, CSKA Moscow and Viktoria Plzen.
The Czech Republic completed his move to AS Roma from Sampdoria and he is of the view that the capital club aim to finish as the group leader and he believes that Real Madrid “won’t be as strong as last year”.
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Speaking on international duty with the Czech Republic he said: “I can’t wait to play those games.
“After the draw, I got in touch with Jan Kopic from Viktoria Plzen, Roma have already played Plzen in the past so they know the team. It’ll be an interesting match.
“There’s no choice at this level, you’ll always play a big team like Real, Barcelona, Manchester City… there’s no difference between them, but I think Real Madrid won’t be as strong as last year.
“Ronaldo has gone and I’m curious to see how they’ll replace him. We’re aiming for first place, that’s our objective.
“We have shown that we can play against the best, also while scoring several goals, and that obviously gives us the confidence that we can beat Real Madrid.”
Schick admitted that he struggled last season but is hoping to do better this time around.
“After last season’s experience I knew that pre-season was crucial for me, I wanted to be in top condition before I started working with the team and I did, I got in shape and I’m motivated.
“Over the summer I played in all the matches and scored a lot of goals, which was a huge difference compared to last year.
“I’m a bit sad that I haven’t played much at the start of the season, and for the fact, I couldn’t score against Milan, but I feel fit and motivated to show what I can do.”
The forward was also asked about what sort of impact he feels Ronaldo came to make with Juventus in Serie A.
“He’s finding out that the Italian league isn’t easy!” Schick laughed.
“Thanks to him though there’s more interest in Serie A.
“I don’t know what he expected, but I know myself how hard the Italian league is. He’s done a lot on the pitch though, it’s just a matter of time [until he scores].”