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50-50 Challenge: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

El Clasico 2 days ago
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Cobos: Neymar stronger in 2014-15

Barcelona 2 days ago
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10 hours ago

Real Madrid trample over Barcelona as Clasico lives up to all the hype

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Shaka Hislop analyse the latest edition of El Clasico, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid overpowered Barcelona on their way to a 3-1 triumph.

MADRID -- We love football, we are addicted to it for life, partly because it produces the most unbelievable scripts.

We love matches where a team is on the ropes, battered like a 99-pound weakling by a vicious middleweight champion, but somehow produces resilience, luck or an unpredictable knockout blow. You know the matches, you could name them. The Champions League finals of 1999 and 2005 spring to mind as iconic examples.

Then there are games like this, where the sport needs the team trailing...

11 hours ago

Player Ratings: Barca defence a shambles & Messi off-colour in Clasico

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Shaka Hislop analyse the latest edition of El Clasico, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid overpowered Barcelona on their way to a 3-1 triumph.

Barcelona were deservedly defeated 3-1 by Real Madrid at the Bernabeu after Carlo Ancelotti's men stormed back from Neymar's early opener to prevail thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Karim Benzema. In doing so, they wrecked Luis Suarez's long-awaited debut, although the former Liverpool man did offer glimpses of what's to come in a Barcelona shirt. At the back, though, the visitors were fraught with problems.

El Clasico: Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona

- Clasico: How the world reacted
- Three Points: Unlikely heroes
- Player Ratings: Barcelona
- Player Ratings: Real Madrid
- Ancelotti: We wanted it more
- Enrique: I don't regret starting Luis

The hosts used their undeniable firepower up front to overcome the initial setback...

 By Rob Train
12 hours ago

Player Ratings: Benzema the hero as Madrid crush Barcelona

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Shaka Hislop analyse the latest edition of El Clasico, as Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid overpowered Barcelona on their way to a 3-1 triumph.

Real Madrid put on a performance to match any seen in the history of the Clasico at the Bernabeu on Saturday. The home side went behind to Neymar's early goal but rebounded to carve out a 3-1 win that should have been even more emphatic.

Tactically, Carlo Ancelotti outdid his Barcelona counterpart Luis Enrique by deploying two wide men in Isco and James Rodriguez, who had the desired effect of pulling Barca's back line out of shape. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos bossed the midfield contest -- Enrique...

13 hours ago

Three Points: Real Madrid vs. Barcelona

ESPN FC's Martin Ainstein reports from Madrid on Real's 3-1 victory over Barcelona in this season's first El Clasico.

Three quick thoughts after Real Madrid shrugged off an early goal from Neymar to defeat Barcelona 3-1 and move within one point of the La Liga leaders.

El Clasico: Real Madrid 3-1 Barcelona

- Clasico: How the world reacted
- Three Points: Unlikely heroes
- Player Ratings: Barcelona
- Player Ratings: Real Madrid
- Ancelotti: We wanted it more
- Enrique: I don't regret starting Luis

1. Pepe and Benzema the heroes

The Clasico kicked off with about 1.3 billion euros of talent on show and both teams chock-full of global superstars. But it was two less sung -- and much criticised -- figures who proved most pivotal in Madrid's come-from-behind victory.

Karim Benzema's goal, his side's third, really killed the game. The Frenchman...

18 hours ago

Unsung hero Diego Godin warrants a mention as a Ballon d'Or contender

Cristiano Ronaldo's club stats this year could make him a lock for the Ballon d'Or, but does Portugal's poor performance at the World Cup hurt his chances? FC's Sid Lowe and Steve Nicol debate.

In the wake of Atletico Madrid's thumping 5-0 win over Malmo on Wednesday, there were a few tongue-in-cheek comments by fans about a certain Uruguayan. No, not that one; Atletico Madrid's own Diego Godin.

"Diego Godin for Ballon d'Or," were the cries from the Vicente Calderon faithful. Strange when you consider their side had just put five past the Swedish champions and that local lad Koke scored one and set up three to pick up the man of the match award.

Yet Godin's was the name on their lips, and...

1 day ago

Exclusive interview: Gerard Pique on El Clasico, Luis Suarez and Barcelona

Alison Bender explains It's all about Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi ahead of Real Madrid and Barcelona's clash in El Clasico.

Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or in January, and since then his form has only gone even further off the scale. Thus he's currently the world's No. 1 player by a still greater distance.

Just as a matter of interest, his record in Clasicos is: played 21, won five, drawn six ... lost 10.

His former Manchester United teammate, Gerard Pique, on the other hand, can boast a ridiculously good stat. Since returning to Barcelona, the 27-year-old World Cup-winning defender has lost only four of his...