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Corrigan: La Liga review

La Liga

Lionel Messi to win Ballon d'Or, but does Ronaldo deserve his place?

FIFA officially release the three footballers in the running for the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2015.

The three-man shortlist for the 2015 FIFA Ballon d'Or has been announced with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo alongside Neymar.

While Messi is likely to walk away with the prize, Ronaldo's place in the final three is more on reputation that anything he's achieved, and he may even lose out to Neymar in the final vote. In truth, Luis Suarez probably deserves a place on the podium more.

Here ESPN FC looks at the three players in with a chance of being named "best in the world," as well as three...

Neymar and Suarez not affected by Messi return; Real made to work

The ESPN FC crew discuss how enjoyable it is to watch Barcelona football when they are playing at their best.

Dermot Corrigan recaps what you need to know from the weekend's La Liga action, with Barcelona cruising, Real Madrid forced to work hard and Saul starring for Atletico.

1. Lionel Messi return has not affected Neymar and Luis Suarez's form

There was a feeling that Neymar and Luis Suarez really enjoyed their time in the spotlight during Leo Messi's two months out injured, but there was also some concern among Blaugrana fans and pundits that the superstar's return might cramp their styles a little.


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

ESPN FC's Craig Burley takes a look at how Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi fared in their La Liga fixtures this past weekend.

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...