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Barcelona focus turns to Luis Suarez

Barcelona about an hour ago
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50-50 Challenge: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

El Clasico 7 days ago
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Cobos: Neymar stronger in 2014-15

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about an hour ago

All eyes on Luis Suarez with Barcelona now at full strength

Despite Barcelona's 4-2 triumph over Espanyol on penalties in the Catalan Super Cup, the ESPN FC crew question the Blaugrana's results against top teams this season.

Still smarting from defeat in the Santiago Bernabeu at the weekend, Barcelona were at least able to focus on a new competition on Wednesday night when they won the inaugural Catalonian Super Cup on penalties after a 1-1 draw with city rivals Espanyol over 90 minutes.

While it will not count at the end of the season as an important title, the game at least allowed several players to get Saturday's loss out of their system and got the club to refocus after the Clasico setback.

Up next is the...

 By Lee Roden
9 hours ago

Some of Barcelona's future stars are more ready than others

Defiant Barcelona manager Luis Enrique looks ahead to his side's Copa Catalunya match against Espanyol.

Barcelona's academy is about to face its most rigorous test. The transfer ban imposed on the club until January 2016 means that in the immediate future, reinforcements must come from within rather than signed from outside. While the Blaugrana have an undeniably exceptional record of promoting youth, they are now forced to do so as a rule rather than through choice -- risking the possibility of moving players up a grade to soon.

Wednesday's Super Copa de Catalunya clash against Espanyol was an ideal...

2 days ago

Troubled Luis Suarez can hardly bemoan his Ballon d'Or snub

ESPN FC's Craig Burley explains why he believes Luis Suarez should be on the Ballon d'Or shortlist, but thinks his World Cup biting incident against Giorgio Chiellini may have been a contributing factor for his snub.

Is it a surprise the 23-man short list for the Ballon d'Or ignored Barcelona's Luis Suarez as one of the best players in the world?  On one hand, he is a one-in-a-million player who scored 33 goals in 39 matches in all competitions last season. On the other, he has a problem controlling himself on a football pitch.

Specifically, he bites people. He has done so three times and has only just returned from a third ban for such an offence.

The initial reaction was one of shock when Suarez's name...

2 days ago

Classy Celta promise no let-up for Luis Enrique's Barcelona after Clasico woe

Barcelona remain atop La Liga with Sevilla and Real Madrid closely behind, but ESPN FC's Sid Lowe believes the Catalans are playing at a speed lower than normal.
Celta Vigo have enjoyed a fine start to La Liga and are sixth ahead of their trip to leaders Barcelona this weekend.

After the chastening defeat in the Clasico on Saturday, and the breadth of criticism that has come the way of Luis Enrique since, the Barcelona coach would probably have liked a nice, straightforward visitor to the Camp Nou to get back on the road to victory. He doesn't look like getting it.

Celta Vigo come to town on Saturday as one of the form teams in Spain, and even if they weren't filled with the motivation of facing their former boss in Enrique (who led Los Gallegos to a creditable ninth position...

3 days ago

Five things we learned in La Liga this weekend

The ESPN FC panel discuss which La Liga squad may have the edge as the league progresses after FC Barcelona's defeat.

1. "Hay Liga" -- for now at least

Barcelona's excellent opening to the season and the issues suffered by likely challengers Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid through the first weeks had some optimistic pundits among the Catalan media already predicting in mid-September that a win for the Blaugrana in the season's first clasico could potentially "determine" the title race.

The situation looks a lot different now, with nine games gone. After Saturday's 3-1 defeat, Barca are just a point clear of Madrid,...

5 days ago

Real Madrid trample over Barcelona as Clasico lives up to all the hype

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Shaka Hislop analyse the latest edition of El Clasico, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid overpowered Barcelona on their way to a 3-1 triumph.

MADRID -- We love football, we are addicted to it for life, partly because it produces the most unbelievable scripts.

We love matches where a team is on the ropes, battered like a 99-pound weakling by a vicious middleweight champion, but somehow produces resilience, luck or an unpredictable knockout blow. You know the matches, you could name them. The Champions League finals of 1999 and 2005 spring to mind as iconic examples.

Then there are games like this, where the sport needs the team trailing...