Smooth start for Real
Cristiano Ronaldo, the world's most expensive player, scored a dream debut goal as Real Madrid's new generation of expensive 'Galacticos' defeated Deportivo La Coruna 3-2 in Saturday's Spanish league curtain-raiser.
Real spent over 250 million euros in the summer with Ronaldo accounting for 94 million euros of that, and the Portuguese star got off to a great start converting a first half penalty for his first competitive goal in the famous white shirt.
The cameras were out in force for Ronaldo and Kaka, the past two Ballon d'Or winners, but it was a player that cost Real nothing, captain and youth product Raul, who stole the first half headlines.
Raul, the club's all-time leading scorer, netted the first goal of the new season with a simple tap-in on 26 minutes and won Ronaldo's penalty on 35 minutes after Depor had equalised.
Real twice went ahead only to be pegged back at 1-1 and 2-2 through Riki (30min) and Juan Carlos Valeron (46).
French midfielder Lass Diarra was the unlikely hero firing in on the hour mark to ensure new coach Manuel Pellegrini and his Galacticos got off to a winning start.
"I am happy because it was very important to win the first game and we did," explained Pellegrini.
"Being just a goal ahead can cause panic because your opponents can equalise with just one chance. It was a tough game."
As Real's new superstars took to the field, there was a special guest appearance as Jamaican sprint king Usain Bolt dribbled a ball to wild applause.
It was Bolt's first time on the Bernabeu pitch and there were seven other debutants for Real with Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema forming an attacking force alongside Real veteran Raul.
Xabi Alonso, a 30-million-euro summer arrival from Liverpool, made his bow alongside Diarra in midfield while his old Liverpool team-mate Alvaro Arbeloa began at right back.
With Pepe suspended, Argentine Ezequiel Garay began in central defence alongside fellow debutant Raul Albiol.
With just 48 seconds gone Kaka, a 68.5-million euro-purchase from AC Milan, almost scored a debut goal but dragged his shot wide of the post.
Real's formation resembled a 4-2-2-2 but Ronaldo, sporting the number nine shirt, often roamed in from the right into a central striker's role.
Depor, who had beaten Real 2-1 on the opening day of last season, were under the cosh for the first 20 minutes and the breakthrough came on 26 minutes with Benzema racing onto Kaka's pass.
The Frenchman fired against the post but Raul was on hand to roll in one of the easiest goals of his career.
Depor replied quickly with Riki heading in on the half hour mark after some poor defending.
Raul then won a penalty as goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia clipped him and Ronaldo stepped up to smash his spot-kick low into the corner for his first Real goal.
A minute after the interval Depor caught Real off-guard with veteran Valeron thundering a volley past Casillas to make it 2-2.
Ronaldo screamed a shot past the post with his supposedly weaker left foot before Diarra, hardly prolific in front of goal, fired in the winner.