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All Boys
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Instituto de Córdoba
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Boca Unidos
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Real Madrid

Stats suggest Bale is Madrid's fall guy

Tactics & Analysis

Five key stats from Clasico

Spanish Primera División

Luis Enrique's forgotten Real Madrid years

La Liga

Cunningham's last stand at Camp Nou

Real Madrid

Clasico could decide La Liga destiny

50-50 Clasico Challenge

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale and Luka Modric will benefit from 'FIFA virus'

The FC team discuss whether Gareth Bale should stick it out at Real Madrid or head back to the Premier League.

Major tournaments aside, any international break in Spain is likened to an illness. The "FIFA virus", they call it. Gone are the days when international call-ups were celebrated as an achievement. Now clubs, those who pay the players' wages, are wary that key men can pick up injuries putting their efforts into the success of their respective country.

All major clubs suffer from the "virus" and Real Madrid are no exception. With 17 first-team players called up to represent their countries this week,...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Harry Kane goals, Gareth Bale exit, U.S. team, Spain strikers, Netherlands

England head coach Roy Hodgson says he's delighted for Harry Kane after the Tottenham striker scored on his England debut against Lithuania.

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

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

They hype surrounding Harry Kane was hard to miss ahead of his England team debut vs. Lithuania. The Premier League goal-scoring leader headed home the Three Lions' fourth goal of the match just seconds after coming on in their 4-0 victory.

How many career goals will Harry Kane score for England?

The U.S. national team returned to competition this week vs. Denmark....

Carlo Ancelotti's success in Europe tainted by lack of domestic titles

The ESPN FC crew react to reports suggesting Spain international and Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas is in talks to leave the club.
The FC team discuss whether Gareth Bale should stick it out at Real Madrid or head back to the Premier League.
Real Madrid's Champions League title last May was Carlo Ancelotti's third as a manager.
Real Madrid's Champions League title last May was Carlo Ancelotti's third as a manager.

It wasn't exactly a new scenario for Carlo Ancelotti, so he pointed to an old excuse. Real Madrid had just been beaten 2-1 by Barcelona in the latest Clasico, leaving the Italian again looking up at another leader in a title race, and he duly deflected by pointing to the quality of the display and competitions beyond the domestic front.

"We are disappointed, but it is better to have better feeling in the way we played," Ancelotti said. "We can have more confidence in the future games in the...

Gareth Bale is Real Madrid's fall guy despite replicating his 2013-14 form

ESPN FC's Spain correspondent Sid Lowe lays out the reasons why Gareth Bale has been made a target for criticism among Madrid supporters this season.

When two of a country's leading newspapers -- and renowned supporters of Real Madrid -- rail against a player of their beloved club, it won't be long before the fans are baying for blood. Despite netting a match-winning brace the game previous, the daggers were out for Gareth Bale once again after the Clasico. AS awarded only referee Mateu Lahoz a lower rating on the day than the Welshman and Marca refused outright to even give the 25-year-old a score.

It's true that Bale had a disappointing night...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

If Gareth Bale isn't staying at Real Madrid, where could he go next?

The ESPN FC panel answer your tweets on Gareth Bale's future, the decline of English players and Chelsea's Premier League lead.

Gareth Bale must be glad for this international break. Having suffered angry Real Madrid fans trying to kick lumps out of his soft-top Bentley in the early hours of Monday, a return to the sleepy calm of his heartland could only have been welcome.

The Wales national team's hotel in Cardiff Bay is just six miles from Whitchurch, the northern suburb of the Welsh capital where Bale grew up. In this part of the world, everyone is rooting for him. Even Thursday's flight to Israel and a vital Euro...

 By Rob Train

Real Madrid will appreciate current international break due to recent form

The FC team discuss whether Gareth Bale should stick it out at Real Madrid or head back to the Premier League.

The latest international break has come just at the right time for Real Madrid. The 2-1 loss at Camp Nou against Barcelona may have opened up a four-point lead at the top of the table in the Catalan club's favour, but the two-week La Liga shutdown permits Carlo Ancelotti and his staff to analyze Real's recent poor run of results with no "big" games on the horizon.

Of course, there is the FIFA curse to consider: a club manager is never entirely happy when his playing staff are away in the hands of...