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Real Madrid

Real Madrid Report Card: A summary of Real's La Liga season so far

Real Madrid director Emilio Butragueno says the team's aim is to become the first side to retain the UEFA Champions League trophy.

With La Liga winding down for the winter break, who has starred for Carlo Ancelotti's men, and what does the second half of the campaign have in store? Here's a look at how Real have fared so far.

Grade: A

Your Season So Far -- In A Sentence

After a sluggish start, Madrid have been unstoppable, with a record-breaking run of straight wins in all competitions that puts them top of La Liga and into the knockout stages of the Champions League. They're also the champions of the world.

Highlight

The...

 By Rob Train

Sergio Ramos a viable candidate for Ballon d'Or 2015

Shaka Hislop picks his ten best teams in the world based on their current form.

Before the financial crisis assaulted the Spanish economy, Christmas used to start somewhere around September. Adverts for El Gordo -- the largest festive lottery draw in the world -- would be smeared over Metro stations even earlier with the long-running pitch to punters: "What if it lands here?"

This year, it landed very much in the capital, and few would bet against the Ballon d'Or doing likewise when the draw is made in Switzerland in a couple of weeks' time. Speculation about who will win...

Power Rankings: Real Madrid end 2014 on top of the world

Shaka Hislop picks his ten best teams in the world based on their current form.

Shaka signs off for the winter break with his final ranks of the year and, as they have been for pretty much the entire second half of 2014, Real Madrid are top.

1. Real Madrid (no change)

Los Blancos end 2014 on top of the world after they clinched the Club World Cup with a victory vs. San Lorenzo that was so straightforward that they didn't even need Cristiano Ronaldo to score! Madrid have won 22 straight games and deservedly top the rankings at the winter break!

2. Bayern Munich (no change)

So...

 By Alex Shaw

European Report Cards: How has your team fared so far this season?

The ESPN FC crew discuss Borussia Dortmund's domestic struggles after a 2-1 defeat to Werder Bremen, finishing 2014 joint-bottom with Freiburg in the Bundesliga.

With football across Europe winding down for the winter break, it's time to have a look back at the campaign so far. We asked our ESPN FC bloggers to tackle seven questions on their side. Who's your side's unlikely hero, and who has work to do?

Each team's grade for the season so far is below -- and click on the team name for a comprehensive summary.

Click here for the verdict on all 20 Premier League teams.

LA LIGA:

Atletico Madrid: A-

Barcelona: C+

Real Madrid: A

BUNDESLIGA:

Bayern Munich: A

Man United target Gareth Bale still has plenty to offer Real Madrid

ESPN FC's Craig Burley is at odds with the latest Gareth Bale to Manchester United rumours as United are currently in the rebuilding process.

Gareth Bale may have enjoyed a highly decorated year at Real Madrid in 2014 but the Welshman still has plenty of chapters to his life at the Santiago Bernabeu before he even contemplates a move back to the Premier League.

With the winter transfer window edging closer, rumours and reports have been growing surrounding a move to Manchester United for the jet-heeled forward but those reports can be taken with a pinch of salt -- for the time being.

The Old Trafford club is reported to be weighing-up...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

#FCtalkingpoints: Lampard, Rodgers, transfers, Real Madrid, West Ham

ESPN FC analyst Craig Burley breaks down all the drama at Anfield, which culminated with Martin Skrtel's stoppage-time equaliser that earned Liverpool a draw against Arsenal.

Football always inspires debate, and this weekend was no exception. Here are five burning questions on the ESPN FC radar following the weekend.

Vote and comment below or on Twitter using the hashtag #FCtalkingpoints.

Brendan Rodgers is no stranger to off-the-wall comments, but his latest following Liverpool's 2-2 draw with Arsenal is borderline insane.

"Our performance today was better than when we won here 5-1 last year," said Rodgers.

Transfer season is almost upon us, and there has been no shortage of tasty rumours floating through ESPN FC's Transfer Talk blog. Here are a few...