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Ronaldo's ban no concern for Real

Five Aside
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Man City circle with Leo Messi 'seriously considering leaving' Barca

Barcelona's two first-half goals were enough to see off Real Betis and start the new La Liga campaign with three points.
Barcelona's two first-half goals were enough to see off Real Betis and start the new La Liga campaign with three points.
Barca took a two-goal lead in the first half and held off Real Betis for a home win to kick off the new La Liga season.

The football world is awash with gossip. Transfer Talk is monitoring the whispers ahead of all the summer moves. Check out the latest deals and potential deals here.

TOP STORY: City ready to move for Messi

Pep Guardiola has said he would be happy with the Manchester City squad as it is -- but what if he had the chance to add Lionel Messi to the ranks?

Unlikely but not impossible, according to the Mirror, which reports that "City have met Messi's representatives to discuss the possibility of bringing...

Lionel Messi unlucky but instrumental as Barcelona beat Betis

Barcelona's two first-half goals were enough to see off Real Betis and start the new La Liga campaign with three points.
Barcelona's two first-half goals were enough to see off Real Betis and start the new La Liga campaign with three points.
The FC panel discuss Neymar's criticism of the Barcelona board and Barca's win over Real Betis in their La Liga opener.
Barca took a two-goal lead in the first half and held off Real Betis for a home win to kick off the new La Liga season.

BARCELONA -- Barcelona eased to an opening day 2-0 win over Real Betis on Sunday, thanks to an Alin Tosca own goal and an effort from Sergi Roberto.

The game at Camp Nou was preceded by a minute's silence in memory of those killed in the terror attacks in the city this week. The Barca players carried "Barcelona" on the back of their shirts, where their surnames would usually appear, and #TotsSomBarcelona on the front (#WeAreAllBarcelona).

In front of an attendance of more than 56,000 -- Marca...

Lacking scoring punch, Barcelona open season with lowered expectations

The ESPN FC panel assess how Luis Suarez's absence with affect Barcelona's formation and tactics as La Liga commences.
Steve Nicol and Sid Lowe discuss Barcelona's transfer needs as the club continue to pursue Coutinho and Dembele.
The guys answer your tweets on Barcelona's needs and wants and if Ernesto Valverde is merely a placeholder coach.

For the first time in a very long time, Barcelona do not start the season as the favourites to win La Liga.

Barca have won Spain's top flight in six of the past nine years, but they didn't win it last year, and no one really expects them to win it in 2017-18. A turbulent preseason ended with a 5-1 aggregate defeat to Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, and there's a feeling that -- not for the first time, admittedly -- a golden generation of players is finally declining.

BarcelonaBarcelona
Real BetisReal Betis
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They begin their league campaign...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Lionel Messi to sign new deal soon as Luis Suarez ruled out injured

La Liga correspondent Sid Lowe reports from Spain on the league-wide response to the terror attack in Barcelona.

Friday's latest stories from the world of football in ESPN FC's What's Trending...

BARCELONA: Vice-president Jordi Mestre has reassured fans that Lionel Messi will soon sign a contract extension.

Luis Suarez will be out of action for "at least four to five weeks" after suffering a knee injury late in Barcelona's loss to Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup.

- Barcelona will wear black armbands for their match at the Camp Nou on Sunday following the attack in the city on Thursday in...

 By Sid Lowe

Amid Barcelona's transition, Messi is more important than ever before

The ESPN FC panel assess how Luis Suarez's absence with affect Barcelona's formation and tactics as La Liga commences.
Steve Nicol and Sid Lowe discuss Barcelona's transfer needs as the club continue to pursue Coutinho and Dembele.
For the first time as a Barcelona defender, Gerard Pique admits he feels inferior to Real Madrid after their Super Cup defeat.
The guys answer your tweets on Barcelona's needs and wants and if Ernesto Valverde is merely a placeholder coach.

Lionel Messi admits that there is a simple trick he tries when the going gets tough and the game is slipping away. He looks for Andres Iniesta and says: "come closer."

On Wednesday night, as Real Madrid overran Barcelona, he couldn't -- Iniesta was 600 km away, injured -- and, when the league campaign begins on Sunday evening at home to Betis, he won't be able to either. Messi won't see his teammate unless he glances to the stands. Nor will he see Luis Suárez, who has a knee problem. And as...