Real Madrid cannot live off the memory of Cristiano Ronaldo's exploits as they begin their latest bid for Champions League glory, according to captain Sergio Ramos.
Madrid face Roma in their opening group-stage match on Wednesday, having lifted Europe's premier competition in each of the past three seasons and four of the last five.
Ronaldo was a key component in all of those triumphs but the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's decision to join Juventus has left Ramos leading a new-look Madrid under head coach Julen Lopetegui.
"Cristiano was here for an incredible period in Real Madrid's history," Ramos told a pre-match news conference.
"He broke almost every record, he marked an era.
"But we can no longer live from what Cristiano did. We have to start again every season.
"The hole he leaves is big but it's been covered with other players who have a lot of ambition.
"We can compete at the same level as when Cristiano was here. We have a lot of affection for the great players who were here and we have to keep going."
One player to step up impressively for club and country so far this season is Madrid youngster Marco Asensio.
Acabamos una gran semana con la selección. Ya toca pensar en lo que viene. / We have finished a great week with the national team. Time to think about what’s up ahead. pic.twitter.com/yj8wjoXn0Q— Marco Asensio (@marcoasensio10) September 12, 2018
Roma boss Eusebio Di Francesco flagged up the 22-year-old attacking midfielder as the Madrid player he would most like to add to his own side and a future Ballon d'Or winner in an interview with AS.
Ramos is also a keen admirer of the former Real Mallorca player, seeing parallels with his own move to the Santiago Bernabeu from Sevilla in the early stages of his career.
"I've got a special affection with Marco because he came here very young. I can see myself in him from when I arrived here," the Spain skipper said.
"I had the affection of others and it helped me. It's time we put a little bit more pressure on him but not too much.
"He's gone from being a promising young player to an important player, first choice, and that's nice.
"Hopefully this can be an era for him and Real Madrid. We all believe in Marco. Hopefully he can keep going like this and have a great career with Real Madrid."
|Cowboys part ways with offensive coordinator Linehan|
|Payton´s message to Saints fans: Hurry up and make noise|
|Transfer talk no distraction for Inter, says Spalletti|
|Memories of 2015 still linger for Vunipola as England begin World Cup year|
|De Bruin´s 85th-minute try consigns Kings to eighth straight loss|
|Bielsa´s Derby County dossier detail ´pretty standard´ – OptaPro chief|
|Injury-hit Madrid lose Navas to adductor issue|
|Patriots coach Belichick still gets nervous ´every week´|
|Copa del Rey draw: Barcelona to meet Sevilla in quarter-finals|
|Kohli: No one more committed to India than Dhoni|
|Brook questions Khan credibility following Crawford agreement|
|Sad Pochettino admits Bielsa is ´wrong´|
|Simeone eyes LaLiga gain after Atletico´s Copa del Rey pain|
|Rossi a no-go for Tottenham as Pochettino rules out panic buys|
|Guardiola identifies ´three or four´ midfield targets|
|Nadal encourages patience in young stars after humbling De Minaur|
|NFL playoffs 2019: 10 Opta facts for Patriots v Chiefs|
|Robertson helping Klopp learn Scottish for Dalglish chats|
|Levante appeal over alleged ineligible Barcelona player rejected|
|NFL Playoffs 2019: 10 Opta facts for Rams v Saints|
|Lowry to take three-shot Abu Dhabi lead into final round|
|Training is not for anyone else - Klopp condemns Bielsa over ´spygate´ row|
|In other countries, everybody does it - Guardiola respect remains for spying Bielsa|
|Cilic battles back to join Nadal, Federer in fourth round|
|Klopp: Trent unbelievable for playing through pain|
|Faulkner provides super start and fabulous finish to sink Scorchers|
|Ref admits error in key foul call on Lonzo Ball in Lakers-Thunder game|
|Marina Granovskaia is working very hard – Sarri ´confident´ of January signings|
|Tuchel confirms Rabiot out of PSG contention|
|Madrid derby kick-off confirmed for February 9|
|Benzema fit to face Sevilla despite broken finger, Solari confirms|
|Bournemouth boss Howe says no offers received for Wilson|
|Kerber cruises after Wozniacki, Sabalenka upsets|
|Mbappe a great player and great person, says beaming Beckham|
|Gracia confident someone will step up if Doucoure leaves for PSG|
|Albrighton signs new Leicester deal|
|Niasse joins Cardiff on loan from Everton|
|Hendrick credited with Fulham strike|
|Western Sydney Wanderers 1 Adelaide United 2: Goodwin compounds Wanderers woes|
|Chahal and Dhoni carry India to ODI triumph|
|Levante report Barcelona for alleged use of ineligible player in Copa del Rey|
|Solskjaer regrets Sanchez´s Reading setback|
|Tomic brands Hewitt a ´liar´ as feud continues|
|Ruthless Nadal thrashes teenager De Minaur|
|Wozniacki enjoyed status as defending champion in Melbourne|
|Solskjaer backs Mourinho to return to football´s big time|
|Murray to miss Open 13 Marseille|
|Solskjaer´s United turnaround no easy task, says Hughton|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|How James Harden´s 2018-19 numbers compare to his MVP campaign|
|It´s insane! - Tsitsipas excited to face ´legend´ Federer|
|Sharapova ends Wozniacki title defence|
|American teen Anisimova sends records tumbling at Aus Open|
|Lakers survive Ball´s gaffe to beat Thunder in OT|
|Federer expects ´athletic´ and ´attacking´ Tsitsipas clash|
|Alcacer is fit and available – Favre|
|Fantastic Federer breezes past Fritz|
|Pogba happy with Man United approach under Solskjaer|
|Mickelson leads Desert Classic, ties career-low with 12-under 60|
|Warriors´ Durant on Curry: He´s a once-in-a-generation, once-in-a-lifetime talent|
|Patriots owner says Brady is greatest player, not just quarterback, of all time|
|Inglis to retire from representative duty this year, NRL in 2020|
|Is Beal better without Wall? Wizards star says it´s ´absolutely nonsense´|
|Rockets C Capela undergoes thumb surgery, expected back after All-Star break|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: Irving apologises, Machado´s agent isn´t happy|
|Knicks in woeful shape, but 2019 could still be bright in New York|
|Valverde not worried about Levante´s Copa appeal|
|Nowell an option for England at flanker, reveals Jones|
|Pellegrini: Arnautovic available for the right price|
|Knicks throw away 19-point lead and lose on last-second goaltending call|