Despite a raft of changes in the close-season, goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya believes Atletico Madrid are just as strong as last season.
Moya is one of many new faces at the Vicente Calderon for the 2014-15 La Liga campaign but the former Getafe gloveman remains convinced Atleti coach Diego Simeone will turn his rebuilt squad into a well-oiled machine just like the team that won the Spanish title last season.
Simeone has brought in eight new players, while Atletico have seen 12 players leave, including key figures such as goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, lead striker Diego Costa, left-back Filipe Luis (all to Chelsea), plus forwards David Villa (New York City) and Adrian (Porto).
But speaking at a media conference on Thursday, Moya attempted to allay Atleti supporters' fears that the new squad will be vastly inferior this season.
"The idea of the team is very well ingrained, the backbone of the team is still here and the concepts are very clear," the 30-year-old said.
Moya added that Atletico would remain a hard-working, counter-attacking side: "The strong defence is one of the team's characteristics. Other than the strength, there are practically no cracks in the team; the rival's chances are pretty slim."
With Courtois ending his three-year loan stint in Spain and set to finally debut for parent club Chelsea this season, Simeone has signed two goalkeepers - Moya and Jan Oblak from Benfica - in an effort to find a new number one man between the posts.
But Moya claimed the inherent rivalry between the pair remains friendly and benefits them both.
"The good vibes with Oblak can be felt every day," he said.
"Jan has come back in good shape, eager, with intensity, with strength and from close by I see he's doing well. The rivalry will be healthy and clean.
"Every day, you can feel our good atmosphere and good vibes."
Atletico thrashed Wolfsburg 5-1 on Sunday in their penultimate pre-season friendly and they will complete their preparations with a game against third-tier club Cadiz on Friday.
Simeone's side will then look ahead to the first leg of the Supercopa de Espana versus city rivals Real Madrid on Tuesday.
|Suarez enjoying Messi, Neymar link-up|
|A-League Review: Garcia rescues point for Perth, Adelaide up to second|
|Poyet calls for mid-season break|
|Van Gaal rules out Januzaj move|
|Rodgers: Balotelli may have to get used to bench|
|Lallana: I was trying too hard|
|Pardew braced for Old Trafford test|
|Adriano announces Le Havre deal|
|Song to face ´brother from another mother´ Fabregas|
|Walker juggles music, football careers in Sweden|
|Lescott unfazed by City reunion|
|Tskhadadze appointed Georgia coach|
|United to finish top three - Ferdinand|
|Allardyce: Stamford Bridge stalemate saved my job|
|Southampton need three January signings, says Watson|
|Liverpool can make Champions League, says fanzine editor|
|Walsh: Hull clash crucial for Leicester|
|Toure, Aubameyang and Enyeama make shortlist for African gong|
|Docherty backs Chelsea to win two-horse race|
|Liverpool could benefit from Hyypia influence - Scales|
|Saudi Arabia name Asian Cup squad|
|Forty-year-old Cahill no problem for Postecoglou|
|Wenger criticism baffles Redknapp|
|Leicester must strengthen in window - Walsh|
|United not title contenders - Docherty|
|Koeman: Southampton youngsters will get a chance|
|Dyche empathises with Liverpool striker crisis|
|Cagliari turn to Zola|
|Rooney thanks Van Gaal for Christmas break|
|Cruzeiro offer Paulinho Tottenham exit chance|
|Carlisle´s wife grateful to Burnley|
|Katebe called up to Zambia AFCON squad|
|Cape Verde name AFCON squad|
|Finke names much-changed Cameroon squad|
|Grant omits World Cup troublemakers for AFCON|
|Blackpool striker Ranger goes AWOL|
|Allardyce relishing Mourinho meeting|
|Ashley fails to increase Rangers stake|
|Crystal Palace v Southampton: Koeman calls for focus|
|Warnock targeting striker in January|
|Chelsea v West Ham: Adrian vows visitors will attack|
|Heskey signs short-term deal at Bolton|
|Everton v Stoke City: Martinez eyes strong form|
|Juninho defends David Luiz|
|Burnley v Liverpool: Dyche defends Rodgers ahead of Turf Moor test|
|Arsenal v QPR: Wenger eyes festive momentum|
|Liverpool are growing in confidence, says Rodgers|
|Redknapp: Austin future could depend on survival|
|Martinez wants Everton consistency|
|Barca want Neymar until 2020, says agent|
|Jones undeterred by pressure of Liverpool starting role|
|Allardyce ´knows how to beat managers´ - Carroll|
|Jones playing for a new contract|
|China select Evergrande spine for Asian Cup|
|A-League Preview: Koren tips City to build|
|Khedira keen to fight for Real spot|