Real Madrid have lifted the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy in their last pre-season match in preparation of the 2016/17 La Liga season. Los Blancos defeated Stade de Reims 5-3 in the 32nd edition of the traditional pre-season friendly. Prodigal son Alvaro Morata and Gareth Bale excelled in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Morata, Nacho, Sergio Ramos, Mariano and James Rodriguez scored the goals for the hosts. Reims drew first blood with a goal from Pablo Chavarría. However, the home team caught up quickly and proceeded to dominate the game.
Alvaro Morata is making his first appearance after being reinstated as a Real Madrid player. He had a successful stint with Italian Champions Juventus, before returning to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer. He celebrated his return with a solid performance and a goal in front of the home crowd.
Meanwhile, Gareth Bale also had an excellent match despite not scoring a goal. This is his first match with the squad following an extended summer break. He was granted a longer vacation, along with other players whose teams went deep into the Euro 2016 competition.
James Rodriguez also put his name on the board, after being plagued with reports of his possible departure. Since being signed by the club after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Colombian star has been spending most of his time in the Real Madrid bench. Marca reports that team manager Zinedine Zidane has already asked James to scout for a spot is another team.
Real Madrid is brilliantly coping with the absence of the injured Cristiano Ronaldo. While already back in training, a full month off the pitch has kept him off the roster for now. Young players like Marco Asensio have been given the opportunity to shine. However, the true test will come on Aug. 21, when they face Real Sociedad in the opening game of the La Liga season. The match kicks off at 8:15 p.m. CEST.