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Ronaldo, Donnarumma don't have "player power" as clubs still in charge

Gab Marcotti assesses Cristiano Ronaldo's future at Real and the theories regarding his reasons for wanting to leave.
ESPN FC's Mark Ogden addresses the latest news on Cristiano Ronaldo and looks ahead to his upcoming press availability.
The FC panel remark on the continued rumours of Ronaldo's exit from Madrid, and if that means Mbappe would fill his place.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez says you must presume Ronaldo is innocent following tax evasion reports.

This may be remembered as the summer of player power.

Cristiano Ronaldo, speaking via his minions, says he has made an "irrevocable" decision to leave Spain and Real Madrid. Gianluigi Donnarumma, who only became old enough to legally buy alcohol in Europe last February, turns down a contract extension that would have made him one of the highest-paid goalkeepers in the world. Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil sit tight as their contracts tick down towards free agency at Arsenal. Marco Verratti's...

Confederations Cup is more than just a World Cup warm-up

The FC crew discuss their thoughts on the Confederations Cup and a a possible replacement played by club teams.
The guys answer your tweets on Man City's shaky defence, Lindelof's skill ceiling, and the Confederation Cup's importance.
John Sutcliffe details Mexico's ambitions for a strong Confederations Cup start ahead of their clash against Portugal.
Ange Postecoglu says while it may sound ridiculous, Australia have their sights set on winning Confederations Cup.
Portugal's head coach Fernando Santos believes Portugal are determined to win the Confederations Cup to prove they're the best in the world.

MOSCOW -- The Confederations Cup is routinely referred to as a warm-up for the World Cup. It's not inaccurate, of course, but it's also not exactly a summer invitational either.

Unless you're the host nation, you have to qualify for the event by winning your continental competition, or the World Cup itself. Which means getting here is tougher than qualifying for a World Cup. Much tougher, in fact. (Unless you hail from Oceania, in which case it's easier, because you don't have to go through a playoff...

With 365 days to go, 2018 World Cup faces an uphill, but winnable, battle

Shaka Hislop reveals an international edition of his power rankings, listing the favourites to win the 2018 World Cup.
The hype and excitement surrounding the 2018 World Cup hasn't yet started. Are we excited for it?

MOSCOW -- In some ways, it's sneaking up on us. Russia 2018 is a year away, yet it feels almost subdued relative to the hype and anticipation ahead of the previous two World Cups.

A clear narrative for 2018 has not emerged. In 2010, you had Africa's first-ever World Cup and a nation bouncing back from the ravages of racism and apartheid. Four years later in Brazil, it was about an economic boom and a World Cup coming home to the country that most defines it -- 64 years after hearts were broken...

Can anyone topple Real Madrid? Man Utd, Juventus, Chelsea have a chance

Sid Lowe firmly believes Barca have a desire to acquire Hector Bellerin, but thinks he isn't their top priority this summer.
Sid Lowe discusses the much sought-after Kylian Mbappe and where he would fit in Real's lineup.
With Bayern Munich thought to be bidding on Sanchez, Sid Lowe reveals that Man City may now throw their hat in the ring.

Last week, Real Madrid won their third Champions League of the past four seasons. They're also the defending Liga champions and an economic juggernaut that boasts one of the two best players in the world (and a gaggle of superstars beyond him), as well as a manager who thus far has barely put a foot wrong and who seems tailor-made for them.

So if those are the ingredients for a dynasty, who is best placed to unseat them?

Take this exercise for what it is: a bit of crystal ball juggling. And...

Zidane proves he's perfect for Real right now, Wenger's big risk, Inter mess

The FC crew react to Cristiano Ronaldo's comments saying his critics have to 'put their guitar back in its case.'

When Zinedine Zidane was appointed to replace Rafa Benitez back in January 2016, plenty were skeptical -- including yours truly. Boy, were we wrong. His first 17 months at the helm of the club have been close to unparalleled, and any concerns over his experience and personality have been blown away.

What about his lack of experience? Fact is, Real Madrid -- especially this Madrid -- is so different from any other club that a long track record elsewhere isn't quite as relevant. Far more important...

Real Madrid look to confirm dynasty status with Juve standing in their way

ESPN FC's writers and experts, USWNT star Alex Morgan and two NBA stars make their picks for the Champions League final.
Sid Lowe believes Real Madrid will enter the Champions League final with more confidence than they did in 2014 or 2016.
Gab Marcotti and Stewart Robson run through their individual battles to watch when Juventus and Real Madrid clash.
Juventus legend Alessandro Del Piero evaluates the success of former teammate Zinedine Zidane as Real Madrid's manager.
The FC crew debate Cristiano Ronaldo's remarks that Madrid shouldn't show humility, and believe they're the UCL favourites.

CARDIFF, Wales -- Dynasties are cyclical. Right up until the 1990s, Real Madrid prided themselves on having won more European Cups (six) than any other club. While it is true, their rivals could always snort and cruelly point out that all of that happened "in black and white" -- meaning it was a long time ago, belonging to the age of sepia-tone newsreels. Indeed, 32 years passed between 1966 and 1998 when the club appeared in just one final (1981), which they lost.

But Real Madrid won it three times...