Ruud van Nistelrooy is confident that he can recapture his best form for Real Madrid after finally shaking off his fitness problems.
Van Nistelrooy played 90 minutes as Real were eliminated from the Copa del Rey by Alcorcon on Tuesday night to underline to Manuel Pellegrini that he is once again a viable option for the Spanish giants.
After spending nine months on the sidelines due to a knee injury, Van Nistelrooy's comeback game in September saw the Dutch striker sustain a thigh injury which abruptly curtailed his return.
But after his performance against Alcorcon, Van Nistelrooy is hopeful of rediscovering the prolific form that has characterised his career and told Marca he is "in perfect shape".
"The body responded and that gives me hope that I can go back to being what I was befoe," Van Nistelrooy said. "I believe I can improve and get better."
Van Nistelrooy joined Real from Manchester United in the summer of 2006 and scored 25 goals in 37 Primera Liga games in his first season at the Bernabeu. After scoring 16 in 24 the following year, his 2008-09 campaign was blighted by injury and he made only six appearances, scoring four goals.