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Trending: LVG denial, Alonso to retire?


Are Sevilla in the title race?

La Liga
ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Louis van Gaal unretires, Xabi Alonso to hang up boots?

The ESPN FC panel share their thoughts on the FA's discussions regarding retrospective bans for diving.
FC's Stewart Robson and Paul Mariner have differing opinions on how Diego Costa's teammates will view him after his absence.

Here are the latest stories for Wednesday.

LA LIGA: Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has come out to deny that he is retiring from football and revealed that Valencia have made an approach for his services.

- Carlo Ancelotti says the key to Zinedine Zidane's success at Real Madrid is his relationship with the players, telling ESPN FC that his predecessor Rafa Benitez struggled even though he "probably has more experience and more knowledge of the game."


A Diego Costa return to Atletico Madrid is ideal for all, but unlikely

FC's Stewart Robson and Paul Mariner have differing opinions on how Diego Costa's teammates will view him after his absence.

Back in the summer, with Atletico Madrid in desperate need of adding firepower, they sensed there was an opportunity that could not be missed. Diego Costa had just endured a difficult second season with Chelsea. He looked fed up, had not settled into life in London and was exasperated with the weather. For all intents and purposes it seemed a deal was imminent that could be perfect for all parties involved.

Atleti's pursuit was a public one, much to Chelsea's annoyance. Los Rojiblancos president...

Sorry, Premier League, but Sevilla's win vs. Real Madrid shows La Liga rules

The FC guys debate whether or not Real Madrid dropping points at the weekend has opened the door for Sevilla and Barcelona.

As much as Sevilla's last-gasp victory over Real Madrid late on Sunday night was an ideal catalyst to the La Liga title race, it also served as a wake-up call to those of the one track mind who, incorrectly, think that the Premier League has anything to teach Spain about competitiveness.

At least anything worth learning.

This was Sevilla and Real Madrid's third meeting in 11 days. Normally what happens if there's a quality or technical intelligence gap between the staff, whether players or...

Why Lionel Messi won't leave Barcelona for Manchester City

Alison Bender and Gab Marcotti discuss Lionel Messi's contract situation, amid rumors Manchester City are interested.

Lionel Messi has once again been linked with a world-record move to Manchester City, but it's difficult to see him leaving Barcelona. While his new contract remains unsigned -- his current terms expire in 2018 -- there will continue to be speculation, although there are plenty of reasons why he won't leave Camp Nou.

Messi has never been more at home

Only Messi himself could say when he's been happiest, but there's a feeling that he's as happy as he's ever been right now -- both on the pitch at home....

 By Rob Train

Zinedine Zidane's forward-thinking means Real are still title favourites

Gabriele Marcotti is joined by Alison Bender to tackle your questions on Real Madrid, La Liga and Pep Guardiola's dilemma.

"We knew this would happen someday."

Zinedine Zidane was philosophical after Sevilla finally brought Real Madrid's 40-game unbeaten streak to a dramatic end at the Sanchez Pizjuan on Sunday as the home side struck twice late on to secure a 2-1 victory.

The Frenchman's appraisal was true to the party line he has been towing since the start of the season and his side's loss on Sunday a timely reminder that the record-breaking undefeated run could not continue ad infinitum.

Dropping two points deep...

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo levels La Liga penalty record vs. Sevilla

Zinedine Zidane has said that he knew Real Madrid would eventually have to lose as they sunk to a 2-1 defeat at Sevilla.

MADRID -- Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty in Real Madrid's 2-1 loss to Sevilla on Sunday saw him equal Hugo Sanchez's record for most spot kicks scored in La Liga with 56 -- while keeping him well ahead of long-time rival Lionel Messi in this aspect.

Ronaldo, recently crowned Ballon d'Or winner and FIFA Best player of 2016, did not have his best game in open play at the noisy Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan, missing a number of relatively clear chances. But he did calmly convert the 67th minute penalty, despite...