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Talking football with Xabi Alonso

Bundesliga 1 day ago
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 By Nick Miller
about an hour ago

Top Tenner: Lionel Messi's best Barcelona goals in La Liga

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson discusses Lionel Messi breaking Telmo Zarra's all-time La Liga goal-scoring record with a hat-trick against Sevilla.

Now that Lionel Messi has finally broken the Spanish La Liga goal-scoring record, here are 10 of his best strikes from down the years.

Note: These are all, of course, goals scored only in La Liga.

10. The first -- vs. Albacete, May 2005 

Let us start at the beginning. Messi made his competitive debut for Barcelona in October 2004, coming on as a substitute for Deco against Espanyol, but was very much eased into the first-team -- making only one start in the rest of that season -- in a pointless...

 By Nick Miller
1 day ago

Five questions in advance of Arsenal vs. Manchester United

The Premier League is back and we kick off with Arsenal against Manchester United; expect one heck of a goal-fest. Anthony Richardson and Ian Fiveankles preview the big game and speak to United's Angel Di Maria.

Nick Miller looks at five key talking points regarding Saturday's clash between Arsenal and Manchester United at the Emirates.

1. Who is going to play in defence for Manchester United?

United manager Louis van Gaal must be wondering what he did to anger whichever cruel god has cursed his Manchester United side this season. United's defence has been shaky at the best of times since he took over, but Van Gaal will go into Saturday's game with Marcos Rojo definitely out, and major doubts hanging...

1 day ago

Ligue 1: Why We Watch

He may not be the best player in world football but Zlatan Ibrahimovic is in a class of his own.

With the latest international break coming to a close and the frenzy of the club season about to resume, we asked some of our writers to chronicle what they love, both past and present, about the leagues they follow. It's #WhyWeWatchFootball. Julien Laurens tells us about his love for Ligue 1.

I can still remember my first Ligue 1 game. 1987. I was just seven years old. My dad took me to the Parc des Princes for PSG vs. Marseille. The home side won 4-0 and I was hooked; since then, I've yet...

1 day ago

Talking football with Xabi Alonso

ESPN FC's Raf Honigstein sits down with Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso where he talks about his move from Real Madrid and the similarities between the Bundesliga and Premier League.

It's sounds odd to call a World Cup, European championship and Champions League winner a revelation, but that's exactly what Xabi Alonso has been since swapping the white of Real Madrid with the red and white of Bayern Munich this summer. The Spaniard has emerged as the most influential player in the Bundesliga in the space of only three months.

ESPN FC's Raphael Honigstein sat down with the 32-year-old at Bayern's club centre last week to talk tactics, manager Pep Guardiola and Bavarian architecture.

How...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
1 day ago

#FCdebate -- Arsenal or Man United, who will finish higher?

The FC TV panel have their say and you can too. Vote now!

Arsenal and Manchester United go into Saturday's clash separated by one point, in sixth and seventh place, respectively, in the Premier League table. The two clubs are perennial top-four finishers, but both have experienced indifferent form so far this season.

It seems that Chelsea and Manchester City are shoo-ins to claim two of the league's four Champions League spots, but who will grab the other two? Southampton and West Ham are currently flying high, but can they sustain a challenge?

Meanwhile,...

2 days ago

Maidstone's night of FA Cup glory moves them closer to Wembley

Frannie Collin's two goals were the difference as Maidstone United stunned Stevenage.

MAIDSTONE, England -- The music is loud and the beer flows freely in the bar at Maidstone's Gallagher Stadium. And why not? After all, the small club, who play in the seventh tier of English football, have just sealed one of the greatest results in their history: A 2-1 FA Cup first-round replay victory over Stevenage, a side who play three divisions above them.

In the days before the biggest game of his career, manager Jay Saunders repeatedly referred to Maidstone as, "a family club," a statement...