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Ten years of Lionel Messi

Barcelona 4 days ago
10 hours ago

Barcelona vs Ajax: A classic Champions League affair before El Clasico

The ESPN FC team debates who is better, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, and what is more valuable to the team, goals or assists?

Barcelona will face Ajax Amsterdam at the Camp Nou on Tuesday in what will be the third-ever clash between two of the most successful clubs in the prestigious Champions League.

Inevitably, the name of Dutch master Johan Cruyff springs to mind whenever a supporter of the Catalan giants thinks of Ajax. If Barca practices the beautiful style of football that attracts admiration from every corner of the planet today, it is thanks to the influence the Flying Dutchman brought from the capital of the Netherlands...

 By Chris Wright
1 day ago

Spanish minnows go wild after drawing Barcelona in Copa del Rey

In these cynical, market-driven times, it's always nice to happen across some genuine unfettered joy in football and that's exactly what we got while eavesdropping on the very moment Segunda Division B (the Spanish third tier) minnows Huesca found themselves drawn against the mighty Barcelona in the Copa del Rey round of 32 over the weekend.

Yeah! Celebrate like you won the thing!

The first leg at Huesca's El Alcoraz stadium on Dec. 3 will mark the very first time the two teams have ever met in...

2 days ago

Player ratings: Barca's Lionel Messi is one step closer to La Liga record

After scoring against Eibar, Lionel Messi is one goal away from tying the La Liga scoring record of 251 which was set by Telmo Zarra.

Patience was the name of the game as Barca took an hour to carve open a well drilled Eibar defence, before going on to win 3-0 in this David against Goliath clash.

In a slightly pedestrian performance -- maybe due to 17 players being away on international duty to Eibar's none -- it took the still wonderful talent of Xavi Hernandez to open Eibar up before Neymar and Lionel Messi kept up their own personal scoring contest.

Most importantly the result means Barca go to the Santiago Bernabeu next Saturday...

3 days ago

Distractions no excuse for Barcelona ahead of clash against Eibar

Manager Luis Enrique has stated that Luis Suarez has improved since his first training session with Barcelona.

After a couple of weeks of endless debate during yet another international break, Barcelona will finally be back in action when they face newly promoted Eibar at the Camp Nou on Saturday.

While the contest against the Basque side will certainly not excite supporters as much as the upcoming matches against Ajax Amsterdam at home on Tuesday in the Champions League and especially away against Real Madrid in a week's time, the undeniable truth is that the Blaugranas can simply not do without the...

 By Tony Mabert
3 days ago

Raheem Sterling row, Luis Suarez regret, Serbia vs. Albania, Ebola fears

The FC crew put a bow on the soap opera that went on between England manager Roy Hodgson and Liverpool.


1. A tiring saga (Monday, Oct. 13)

Last week it was Arsenal (and to a lesser extent Chelsea) who took their turn to become embroiled in one of those club-vs.-country rows that regularly crop up during international breaks. Since Monday it has been Liverpool's turn, with England manager Roy Hodgson's claim that Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling said he was "tired" and "jaded" ahead of Sunday's win in Estonia -- in which he made an impact as a substitute -- dividing opinion sharply...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
3 days ago

#FCdebate: Are Lionel Messi's best years behind him?

Craig Burley and Shaka Hislop think there is plenty more to come from Lionel Messi. What's your opinion? Vote now!

Thursday marked the 10th anniversary of Lionel Messi's debut for Barcelona, and it's fair to say that, in the decade since, the Argentine has set new standards for an individual player. 

Can the four-time world player of the year keep it up?

It's not that we're suggesting that Messi is on the decline right now, but more that he has been so good for so long that a slowdown is inevitable at some point ... isn't it?

Messi's individual numbers are astonishing. With 249 league goals (from just 284...