Even though Real Madrid enjoyed domestic success, it was their form in the EuroLeague that suffered last season, and for this year they are determined to make up for that and return to the Final Four.

They were unconvincing throughout their EuroLeague campaign last season and were finally put out of their misery in the quarter-final playoffs, being swept by Fenerbahce. However, Real put their form in European competition behind them by claiming the Liga Endesa title with a resounding 3-1 Liga Endesa finals win over rivals Barcelona.

But moving forward, veteran Andres Nocioni is especially determined to get the season underway and with the team preparing to face Barcelona again tonight in the SupaCopa the Argentine is looking forward to seeing how the side fares against the Catalan giants as Real aim for a fifth SupaCopa crown.

“We are still in the pre-season but when you play the [SupaCopa] all you think about is winning it and getting that victory for your team,” Nocioni said.

“Barcelona have put together a good squad, one of the best in Europe, and they are a dangerous team. We will have to give it absolutely everything because they are coming into this slightly more up to speed.”

Andres Nocioni looks on as Fenerbahce celebrate their series sweep over Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the EuroLeague last season. Photo: EuroLeague Basketball.

At 36-years-old, Nocioni knows that his playing time at Real Madrid might drop, especially given the roster changes at the club with new signings Othello Hunter, Anthony Randolph and Dontaye Draper looking for starting roles.

But Nocioni is thinking positive and knows his place within the team.

“I know my duties in this team well and what is required of me,” he says. The fact that there are other players in that same position is not an issue. You have to try to adapt and I am at that point in my career when I can’t play 30 minutes so it suits me to be able to divide things up.

“We have a top level squad, we are highly competitive and I reckon that we are going into this slightly fresher than last year. That is a key factor for a team that wants to win all of the competitions it enters.”