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CL: Real Madrid will fight to be European champs, says Casillas

Their woes in the Spanish league notwithstanding, Real Madrid skipper backs his team to not just beat Schalke tonight, but win the continental title

Madrid: Real Madrid may have surrendered their lead at the top of La Liga at the weekend after being beaten 0-1 at Athletic Bilbao, but their captain Iker Casillas has insisted that they won't suffer a hangover from their La Liga woes at the Bernabeu tonight. "This competition is different. For Madrid fans it means everything," he told the club's website.

Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas gestures towards his teammates during a La Liga match against Real Sociedad. Pic/Getty Images
Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas gestures towards his teammates during a La Liga match against Real Sociedad. Pic/Getty Images 

Schalke, currently trailing 0-2 after the first leg of their Last 16 tie, were on the receiving end on Real's run towards the title at the same stage of the competition last season in a 9-2 aggregate hammering. And Casillas is adamant that Ancelotti's men still have all the qualities required to go all the way once more.

"We know that it will be very difficult but we will fight to achieve it. We are ambitious and we have a mixture of youth and experience so why not? Last year we played against teams that had caused us problems in the past and we were capable to play good football and get to the final. We will give everything to get to Berlin. "We have the team to do it and we hope to repeat the success of last year."

Madrid will be boosted by the return of Luka Modric after over four months out with a torn thigh muscle. Sergio Ramos also returned to training on Sunday after a month on the sidelines with a hamstring problem, but isn't expected to be risked with a decisive La Liga clash with Barcelona just 10 days away.

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