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 By Rob Train
12 hours ago

Karim Benzema overcomes doubters to prove his Real Madrid worth

The ESPN FC crew discuss what could prevent Real Madrid from winning the Champions League.

"Raining cats and dogs" is an apt expression for the recent weather in Madrid and also brings to mind a key moment in the Real Madrid career of Karim Benzema.

It was the middle of the 2010-11 season and Jose Mourinho's preferred striker, Gonzalo Higuain, had been ruled out for months with a back problem. Mourinho, in his inimitable style, had been removing toys from his managerial pram for the previous six months over the club's reluctance to sign his main squad priority: another striker.

Among a...

21 hours ago

Real Madrid remain first as Chelsea close and Atletico lead new entries

Matchday 5 saw the Champions League's biggest stars, including Messi, Ronaldo, Aguero and Ibrahmovic, inspire their clubs.

The European champions stay at the top but the side led by their former coach are closing in on them in the latest edition of Shaka Hislop's Power Rankings.

1. Real Madrid (no change)

After a routine win at Eibar, in which Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to take his league tally to a staggering 20 goals in 11 games, Madrid were indebted to the Portuguese for yet another goal -- his 72nd in the Champions League -- to beat Basel as they made it five group wins out of five.

2. Chelsea (+1)

Invincible?...

 By Chris Wright
1 day ago

World's most oblivious pitch invaders disrupt Ronaldo and company

Plucky fans coming on to the pitch in a desperate bid to snag a selfie with their footballing idols is swiftly becoming a commonplace phenomenon, especially when star-studded teams like Real Madrid are concerned.

However, this pair of pitch-invading fans who disrupted Real's 1-0 victory over Basel on Wednesday evening were hardly what you'd call stereotypical, with the dynamic duo slowly sauntering into the middle of the game like they'd inadvertently rambled off a public footpath and on to a farmer's...

1 day ago

Toni Kroos and Isco drive Real Madrid past Basel

Cristiano Ronaldo scores his 71st career Champions League goal as Real Madrid continue march to back-to-back European titles.

It wasn't vintage Real Madrid, but the European champions did enough to make it five wins from five in the group stages, secure top spot and equal a club record 15 straight victories in all competitions as they came through a tricky test in Switzerland.

Cristiano Ronaldo netted the winner in the first half, his 26th of the season, to see off a well-organised Basel side at St Jakob Park and keep Carlo Ancelotti's winning machine in motion. Their current record-equalling run started against the Swiss...

2 days ago

Liverpool's next generation under threat as Real plot transfer swoop

Spain's under-18 captain, Pedro Chirivella, represents Liverpool's future at the heart of midfield. But now Real Madrid have come knocking...

With just over a month to go until the transfer window opens, the chatter and gossip continues. Today's Transfer Talk awaits...

Real after Liverpool wunderkind?

Times are tough at Liverpool, with the loss of the inimitable Luis Suarez being keenly felt at Anfield as Daniel Sturridge's thighs are shot and Brendan Rodgers' defence struggle to remember what they are paid to do.

It's not about to get any easier for the beleaguered coach to build a new generation, however, as the Daily Mail reports...

 By Rob Train
2 days ago

Plenty for Ancelotti to consider as Real prep for Basel

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno believes Carlo Ancelotti needs to focus on the bigger picture for Real Madrid rather than have Cristiano Ronaldo chase a goal-scoring record.

Real Madrid travel to Basel on Wednesday as one of the six sides already qualified for the knockout stages of this season's Champions League. The defending champions have little at stake in the St Jakob Stadium -- avoiding defeat by four goals or more will secure top place in Group B for Carlo Ancelotti's side -- while Basel have it all to play for. If the home side is victorious, and Liverpool fail to beat Ludogorets, the Swiss league champions will qualify themselves.

On current form, the...