Schuster caused controversy with his claims, but Van Nistelrooy, after scoring a brace in Real's 5-1 trouncing of Valencia last night, beamed: "Last season we won here with a lot of luck. This time we have done it with a lot of quality.
"This is the top level at which we've aspired to and I agree with Schuster and his comparison with Federer. I am delighted with my beginning this season."
Real president Ramon Calderon also declared: "We all can see the improvement.
"Last season we battled to win here, this time we gave an exhibition. Clearly the team has changed for the better."