Xabi Alonso has calmed talk of a possible trophy treble next season, insisting Real Madrid need to take it one step at a time. The midfielder is one of eight new signings made by Los Merengues this summer as they target a return to the top of the pile in both Spain and Europe.
There has even been suggestions that big-spending Real could possibly match Barcelona's 2008/09 feat of winning the UEFA Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey treble this term - something never previously achieved by a Spanish side. However, Alonso believes it is too early to be speculating on such things.
"There's no need for us to be obsessed about it (the treble)," he said. "We need to take it bit by bit. Titles are won at the end of the season and to win them we must have a good base to build from at the start. We must progress step by step in each of the competitions."
While Real have invested over €250m in bringing in a host of new faces that includes Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema, Barça have so far only made modest additions to their squad in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Maxwell. The capital club's signings should certainly see them be much of more of a threat to Pep Guardiola's troops, but Alonso was reluctant to say which was the better team.
"We will see during the season. We are two different teams and we must try to improve every day," said the former Liverpool player. "There are still two weeks left until the start of the league. Barcelona have not changed their squad, and for us we need to know each other better and have the same collective ideas."
Alonso was speaking ahead of tomorrow's friendly against Real Sociedad in San Sebastian, where he will come up against his former club. The 27-year-old spent five years at the Anoeta before moving to Liverpool in 2004, and he revealed he is very much looking forward to the game, which is part of Sociedad's centenary celebrations.
"It will be an important match in the history of Real Sociedad and it will also be a good opportunity to see Real Madrid. There will be a great celebration on Saturday and it will be very special for me," he said.
Negredo rumours gather pace
Alonso is one 19 players selected by new coach Manuel Pellegrini for the trip north, with Rafael van der Vaart, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Mahamadou Diarra, Fernando Gago, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Christoph Metzelder all missing for various reasons.
Forward Alvaro Negredo has also been left out of the travelling party as speculation continues to surround his future. The 23-year-old, who returned to his hometown club this summer after two successful campaigns at Almeria, has been closely linked with the likes of Hull City, Roma, Zenit and Stuttgart.
When asked if he had offered Negredo any tips on a possible move to the English Premier League, Alonso said: "We've only been talking about his situation. I don't like to give much advice."