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Thomas Vermaelen leads Barcelona with surprising winner vs. Malaga

After an injury-plagued 2013-14 campaign, Thomas Vermaelen continued his strong start to this season with a game-winning goal.

In Week 2 of La Liga, Barcelona achieved a narrow yet deserved victory against Malaga at the Camp Nou. Defender Thomas Vermaelen scored the only goal for the Blaugrana, who enjoyed 73 percent of possession, created a whopping 22 goal-scoring chances and attempted 19 shots, 13 of them on target.

Manager Luis Enrique fielded his strongest possible XI against a team that has been traditionally tough to crack at the Camp Nou, due to their unashamed defensive focus. That approach is helped by having...

Lionel Messi and Usain Bolt 'a good comparison,' Luis Enrique says

Bolt showing off his Olympic gold medals at Old Trafford
Usain Bolt is a well-known Man Utd fan.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique thinks Lionel Messi can be compared to Jamaica's sprinting superstar Usain Bolt, after watching his latest race on Twitter.

Messi, who picked up UEFA's 2014-15 Best Player in Europe award at Thursday's draw in Monaco, is considered by many to be the world's best football player with Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo close behind.

Meanwhile, Bolt has destroyed all before him as he wins gold medal after gold medal in the 100-meter and 200-meter races.

His latest win...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to score this weekend -- projection

Messi or Ronaldo? The ESPN FC TV panel predict who will score more goals in La Liga this season.

After both were shut out on the season's opening weekend, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are tipped to find the net in their next games by ESPN's projection model, which predicts how the two scoring rivals will fare each week and over the whole season in La Liga.

On Saturday, Messi and Barcelona host Malaga at Camp Nou, while Ronaldo and Real Madrid welcome Real Betis to the Bernabeu.

Messi Ronaldo weekend 20150828
Last season, Messi did not score at home to Malaga while Ronaldo did not play against Real Betis.

2015-16 total goals projection

Ronaldo was the preseason tip to score more goals, but the latest projection...

 By Lee Roden

Sergi Roberto to fill the Barcelona void as Luis Enrique prepares for Malaga

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno and Alexis Nunes look ahead to the Champions League campaigns for Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

From the roll call of club legends trotted out on stage to the tribute videos and prizes for Lionel Messi and Marc-Andre ter Stegen, there was a distinct Barcelona tinge to Thursday's Champions League draw.

At the risk of spoiling the party, it was one of the players from the Barca squad not honoured who is far more relevant right now. The injury Dani Alves picked up against Athletic Bilbao last Sunday means he will be unable to compete until late September and as one of the most important players...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Barcelona raising Neymar buyout to Messi levels after Man United interest

The ESPN FC crew respond to your questions on how the La Liga teams in the Champions League will perform, what transfers will occur before deadline day and more.

As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest rumours and gossip. See all the latest deals here.

TOP STORY: Neymar buyout going up after United interest

Not many people truly believe Manchester United will land Neymar this summer, though Barcelona seem to be suitably irked by the continued rumours that they feel the need to ensure the forward's future lies at the Camp Nou.

The Daily Mail reports that Barca will offer the Brazil captain a new five-year contract...

 By Tim Vickery

Man United interest in Barcelona's Neymar still a long shot for now

The ESPN FC crew respond to your questions on how the La Liga teams in the Champions League will perform, what transfers will occur before deadline day and more.

Barcelona have just sold Pedro to Chelsea. Still under FIFA suspension, they are unable to buy in anyone until next January. So, unless there are pressing financial reasons, which does not seem to be the case, the idea that they would sell Neymar -- for any price -- at this stage would seem to be pure fantasy.

Manchester United surely know all of this. So why have they been pursuing the player? The most likely explanation is that they are playing a long-term game.

Neymar has never revealed any...