The Russian winger has spent much of his Blancos career out of the first-team picture, spending the past two seasons on loan at Sevilla and Villarreal, but came off the substitutes’ bench in Melbourne to clinch his side’s International Champions Cup crown.
“The team are gathering competitive pace and soon we’ll be at 100 per cent,” he said after the game.
“The first half was very good and it meant the result was easier for us to maintain in our favour.
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“During pre-season matches, it’s normal to feel a dip [in performance levels] due to the burden of training that you’re taking on.
“I’m available to the club, I have a contract here and I’m very happy.
“I’m here to do whatever the club want me to do. It’s clear that all the players want to play, so we’ll see."
The 24-year-old is also pleased to be receiving some guidance from new manager Rafa Benitez. He added: “The coach is being attentive with all of us. I’m very grateful [for this chance].”
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