Canales happy to be patient

Real Madrid attacking midfielder Sergio Canales insists his first season at the Bernabeu has not been a "lost year".

Real reached an agreement with Canales’ old club Racing Santander in February last year following a series of impressive displays by the 20-year-old for the Cantabrians.

Canales had initially been expected to rejoin Racing on loan for the 2010-11 season but new Real boss Jose Mourinho decided in the summer that he would remain in the Spanish capital.

Opportunities have been limited and Canales has started just one Primera Division match for Los Blancos, but he has no regrets at how the year has gone.

He said: "It has been a complicated season, but I am learning a lot. Football is making me mature. Everyone at Real Madrid is helping me a lot.

"Whether I play more or I play less, what I hope is that the team wins every game. It would be selfish of me not to think that way in the year to come.

"I’m at a great club, and I do not think it is a lost year."

Canales hopes that, like French striker Karim Benzema, he can fight his way into first-team contention at Real, although he admits the two cannot really be compared.

"I do not think my case is like Benzema," he said. "I came from Racing after only one year in the Primera Division, (whereas) Karim came from the elite, he had already been capped by France

"In the end the trust (of the coach) gives you great confidence. What is clear is that I would love to get to the same level as Benzema."