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Real Madrid

Varane worthy of starting role in return leg versus Atletico

Relive all the action from the first four games of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

When the teamsheets were handed out at the Vicente Calderon an hour before Tuesday's Champions League quarterfinal clash and Raphael Varane's name was included in the starting lineup, the only answers to the questions being asked were that Pepe could not have been 100 percent match fit.

The Frenchman's place alongside Sergio Ramos at the heart of the Madrid defence was not a shock, but it did differ from the "star XI" that many had predicted. Real manager Carlo Ancelotti had his full squad injury-free...

 By Rob Train

Real Madrid board at fault for sudden Fabio Coentrao predicament

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti contends that his side were outplayed in the second half and need to up the intensity in the second leg.

UEFA's decision to appoint Milorad Mazic to referee Tuesday's Champions League clash between Atletico and Real at the Vicente Calderon has been met with heated subsequent debate. Mario Suarez invited some hot water courtesy of his post-match comments, in which the Atletico midfielder described the Serbian official as not up to the task: "The referee was very bad. It's a joke. He was not fit to keep pace with the match. It's not right to have a Serbian referee a game like this, a Champions League...

 By Rob Train

Real Madrid need weekend focus for test vs. a talented and pesky Malaga

Karim Benzema limped out of training with a knee problem and now Carlo Ancelotti says he will miss Real Madrid's La Liga game at home to Málaga.

For some time in La Liga, Malaga have fulfilled the honorary role of many people's choice of second team. When The Anchovies met Real Madrid in La Rosaleda last season, the issue of who exactly would be the most supported side on the day was a thorny one: the Andalusian city is something of a hotbed of second-side syndrome with almost as many people professing themselves fans of the Bernabeu club as fried boquerones. The sides share a legend after all: Juanito, Real's Maravilla whose name is chorused...

 By Chris Wright

Drogba, Ronaldo and Zidane combine forces for charity

It's that time of year again, when Zinedine Zidane gets out his little black book and proceeds to rope together all of his old muckers for his annual UNDP Match Against Poverty charity bonanza.

As always, the supporting cast Zidane is currently assembling already looks phenomenal, boasting star names from Cafu to Clarence Seedorf; Edwin van der Sar to Youri Djorkaeff.

Indeed, Didier Drogba became the latest player to sign up for the 12th incarnation of Zizou's fundraiser, with the Chelsea veteran...

Real Madrid dominate but Atletico are very much in the Champions League

It was a feisty affair at the Calderon as Atletico and Real Madrid drew 0-0.
It was a feisty affair at the Calderon as Atletico and Real Madrid drew 0-0.
It was a feisty affair at the Calderon as Atletico and Real Madrid drew 0-0.
It was a feisty affair at the Calderon as Atletico and Real Madrid drew 0-0.
It was a feisty affair at the Calderon as Atletico and Real Madrid drew 0-0.

MADRID -- Who knew?

Who knew that if you don't start with a loser's mentality, if you work harder, compete ferociously, commit fewer errors and prevent your opponents reaching for their favoured weaponry, you can not only escape from enemy territory without a good hiding, you can also land a few body blows?

Well, we knew. Neutral observers knew very well.

Yet it has seemed for long enough this season, while the European champions lost anaemically 1-0, 2-0 and 4-0 at the home of Spain's champions...

Atletico and Real battle to physical first-leg stalemate

Real Madrid's Dani Carvajal could face punishment from UEFA following this incident with Atletico Madrid's Mario Mandzukic.
ESPN FC's Stewart Robson assesses Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid's goalless draw at the Vicente Calderon, where he feels Atleti will need to be better with their set-pieces in the second leg.
Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak kept a clean sheet against Real Madrid with some breathtaking saves at the Vicente Calderon.
Jan Oblak shined in net for Atletico Madrid denying multiple Real Madrid opportunities in the first half as the Madrid derby sees out a 0-0 draw.
Jan Oblak shined in net for Atletico Madrid denying multiple Real Madrid opportunities in the first half as the Madrid derby sees out a 0-0 draw.

MADRID -- Three quick things from the Estadio Vicente Calderon as it finishes Atletico Madrid 0-0 Real Madrid in Tuesday night's Champions League quarterfinal first leg.

1. Game ebbs and flows but neither side deserve to win

The seventh Madrid derby of the season kicked off amid huge noise at the Calderon, but the final whistle was greeted by more muted celebrations as this tight, tense and goalless battle meant that the tie will be decided next Wednesday across town at Madrid's Estadio Santiago...