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Corrigan: La Liga review

La Liga
ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Neymar rejects rumoured Real Madrid interest in favor of Barca stay

The ESPN FC crew discuss how enjoyable it is to watch Barcelona football when they are playing at their best.
ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop says Real Sociedad were lambs to the slaughter in their 4-0 defeat by Barcelona.

The winter window draws closer with each passing day, and the transfer rumour mill is starting to pick up steam. As always, Transfer Talk has the latest and greatest. See all the summer deals here.

TOP STORY: Perez obsessed, but Neymar says no

If Gianluigi Buffon is to be indulged and Lionel Messi really is an "alien," then Neymar must surely be the best human being currently playing the beautiful game. The Brazil captain earned another perfect 10 for his superb display in Barcelona's 4-0 win...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Cristiano Ronaldo retains lead over Lionel Messi after both men score

According to Rafael Benitez, Real Madrid's frontman Cristiano Ronaldo has freedom to play where he chooses.

Each week, ESPN FC projects and reviews the season-long scoring battle between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in La Liga.

Current goals total in La Liga: Ronaldo 9-4 Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo consolidated his five-goal lead over Lionel Messi, as both men netted once at the weekend.

Ronaldo converted a penalty as Real Madrid won 2-0 at Eibar. Otherwise, it was a somewhat frustrating day for the Portuguese forward, who took nine shots but hit the target with only two.

Meanwhile, Messi marked...

 By Rob Train

Pepe impresses, but Ronaldo has off day in Real Madrid win in Eibar

Real Madrid got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory against Eibar on Sunday.

It certainly wasn't pretty, but Rafael Benitez desperately needed a win and his Real Madrid side one carved one out in Eibar against a resolute, well-drilled side who did not give the visitors an inch.

Goals from Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo secured a 2-0 win that was essential after Barcelona had thrashed Real Sociedad 4-0 on Saturday to open up a nine-point advantage over Real in the table.

Benitez rang the changes in Eibar, bringing James in from the cold, benching Karim Benzema and Casemiro...

Rafa Benitez and Real Madrid need a convincing win at Eibar

Real Madrid head coach Rafa Benitez is remaining positive despite almost surrendering a four-goal lead against Shakhtar.

"Football coaches always buy suitcases with wheels," goes the Spanish saying. The short-term nature of their job is well reflected by the fact that too often they hardly have time to unpack before they're fired, and in most cases they keep moving from one club to another during their careers.

Wheeled suitcases are indeed a must in their trade. For one, some could safely bet that Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez has taken a few long hard looks at his luggage in the last week, since Barcelona...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo to get on the score sheet -- projection

Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo is the modern game's greatest individual rivalry.
Lionel Messi vs. Cristiano Ronaldo is the modern game's greatest individual rivalry.

Current goals total in La Liga: Ronaldo 8-3 Messi

A week after they went head-to-head in El ClasicoLionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are expected to be back in league action this weekend.

Messi and Barcelona play first, at home to Real Sociedad on Saturday. A day later, Ronaldo and Real Madrid visit Eibar.

According to ESPN's projection model, Ronaldo is the slight favourite to score a single tally, while the stats suggest that Messi is likelier to have a multigoal game...

 By Rob Train

Casemiro must replace Toni Kroos in Real Madrid's best XI

The ESPN FC crew talk to Charlie Davies about whether or not Real Madrid have lost their place among Europe's top teams.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol and Alexis Nunes weigh in on whether the politics surrounding Real Madrid are damaging the team.

It has been a long audition, but Casemiro's performances this season should lead to a curtain call for Toni Kroos in the Real Madrid engine room. After the 4-0 Clasico debacle and given Casemiro's current form, there is simply no way to justify the German's inclusion in the side at the expense of the Brazilian.

In a recent interview, the man who unearthed Casemiro, Nilton Moreira, said: "Ever since he was small we saw him as a Dunga or a Mauro Silva because of his marking and his distribution."