Lionel Messi admits that there is a simple trick he tries when the going gets tough and the game is slipping away. He looks for Andres Iniesta and says: "come closer."
On Wednesday night, as Real Madrid overran Barcelona, he couldn't -- Iniesta was 600km away, injured - and, when the league campaign begins on Sunday evening at home to Betis, he won't be able to either. Messi won't see his teammate unless he glances to the stands. Nor will he see Luis Suárez, who has a knee problem. And as for...
For the first time in nine years, Barcelona are inferior to Real Madrid.
That's Gerard Pique's take on the situation, anyway, after Zinedine Zidane's side followed up last season's La Liga and Champions League double by thrashing Barca 5-1 in the Spanish Super Cup.
Prior to last season, Barca had won a treble and a double under Luis Enrique. They still managed to win the Copa del Rey last year, too, and took the title race to the final day of the campaign. So how has the pendulum swung so definitively...
Real Madrid's quest to maintain supremacy over Barca in Spain looks likely this season but then again, you never know what to expect. Graham Hunter previews the 2017-18 La Liga season.
With all due respect to Neymar's quest to persuade us that his move to Paris has more to do with ambition than finance -- good luck with that one, kid -- the three biggest storylines in world football all reside in Spain.
They are the narratives of Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane.
Real Madrid racked up a comprehensive 5-1 aggregate scoreline in the Spanish Super Cup with a 2-0 victory in the Bernabeu on Wednesday to lift a second title in 2017-18, as Zinedine Zidane's side attempt to pull off an unprecedented single-season sextuple. Marco Asensio added another belter to his opening-leg strike, and Karim Benzema scored a pure striker's goal to hand Madrid victory.
Real reduced Barca to one shot in the first half and Ernesto Valverde to stunned despair on the touchline...