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Transfer Rater: Cavani to Real Madrid

Transfers
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 By Matt McGinn

Luckless Madrid aren't in crisis, but Zidane must address slow start

The FC crew dive into Madrid's shock 1-0 loss to Real Betis, and what Zidane can do to turn the ship around quickly.
Real's poor recent run of form continued, as Cristiano Ronaldo's return to league action couldn't prevent a narrow loss.
Real's poor recent run of form continued, as Cristiano Ronaldo's return to league action couldn't prevent a narrow loss.

Matt McGinn is ESPN FC's Real Madrid blogger. Twitter: @McGinn93

There was a curious sense of inevitability as Real Betis' Tony Sanabria steered a last-gasp diving header beyond Keylor Navas.

The Paraguayan's 94th-minute finish becomes the latest winning goal ever scored by a visiting team at the Bernabeu, pipping Lionel Messi's dramatic winner in El Clasico last season by two minutes. The goal did not come from an isolated attacking foray, but a precision-engineered 20-pass move in which 10 players touched the ball in a 71-second spell of uninterrupted possession.

Real...

Too much stability at the Bernabeu? Real Madrid's poor start in La Liga

The ESPN FC crew discuss Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane and what has gone wrong at the Bernabeu.

News announced on Wednesday that Karim Benzema had renewed his Real Madrid contract until June 2021 was generally welcomed as further evidence of the club's new policy of squad stability, right up until the 1-0 defeat to Real Betis hours later suggested that maybe things had become too comfortable around the Bernabeu.

Benzema was following Marcelo, Isco and Dani Carvajal in agreeing new contracts, all up to June 2022, in recent days. Coach Zinedine Zidane has also confirmed he has agreed to extend...

 By Rob Train

Cristiano Ronaldo far from his best in La Liga losing return for Real Madrid

Real's poor recent run of form continued, as Cristiano Ronaldo's return to league action couldn't prevent a narrow loss.
Real's poor recent run of form continued, as Cristiano Ronaldo's return to league action couldn't prevent a narrow loss.
The FC crew dive into Madrid's shock 1-0 loss to Real Betis, and what Zidane can do to turn the ship around quickly.

Real Betis upset the odds and recorded their first victory in 20 years at the Bernabeu -- fairly and squarely -- as Real Madrid's inauspicious start to their La Liga title defence took another body blow. Tonny Sanabria is the man who won't have to pay for dinner in Sevilla any time soon with the Paraguay international scoring a stoppage-time winner.

Positives

Real did not play poorly and created plenty of chances. Of their 27 shots, though, only seven were on target, and as the enormity...

Marco Asensio's road to Real wasn't easy but he's now poised for greatness

Relive Asensio's wonder goal during the Super Cup, and delve into the FC crew's thoughts about his future at Real Madrid.
The FC crew evaluate Real Madrid's win over Sociedad, including Gareth Bale's goal and the emergence of Borja Mayoral.
Zinedine Zidane believes Gareth Bale can use jeers from fans to improve his game, just as Zidane did during his playing days.
Zinedine Zidane admits he is not surprised by the comparisons made between Marco Asensio and Lionel Messi.

Watch him play and there's an unadulterated freshness to him, a nothing-is-impossible vibe that gets crowds -- even those used to watching Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Luka Modric on a weekly basis -- on their feet.

It's fun. It's innocent. It's a kid playing unbridled football and doing it with joy. Sometimes it feels as if Marco Asensio popped out fully formed, perhaps straight from a Japanese cartoon, as if he'd been playing alongside Captain Tsubasa until last year. But that's not who...

Transfer Rater: Edinson Cavani to Real Madrid, Lucas Lima to Man United

Rumours
The latest transfer rumours from around the world.

Things change in the blink of an eye in football. The Football Whispers Index takes the latest transfer rumours and gives them a score out of five; the higher the score, the more realistic and reliable the whisper.

Here are today's top five emerging whispers. And keep an eye on Transfer Talk for all the latest gossip.

Edinson Cavani to Real Madrid

The Uruguay striker has found himself at odds with Paris Saint-Germain's new high profile recruit, Neymar, as the Brazilian looks...

 By Rob Train

Mayoral proving he can take Morata's place backing up Benzema in Madrid

The FC crew evaluate Real Madrid's win over Sociedad, including Gareth Bale's goal and the emergence of Borja Mayoral.

Speaking before Real Madrid's 3-1 victory in Anoeta, Zinedine Zidane expressed his faith in Karim Benzema's understudy, Borja Mayoral. That faith manifested itself in a first start of the season for the 20-year-old striker and Zidane reaped his reward as Mayoral scored one and forced a second off Sociedad defender Kevin Rodrigues, handing his side a 2-1 lead at the break.

Mayoral might not have been in Zidane's line-up at all but for the late withdrawal of Toni Kroos from the squad, forcing the...