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Cobos: Neymar stronger in 2014-15

Barcelona 39 minutes ago
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Mitten: Barca's Dani Alves issue

Barcelona about an hour ago
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Ten years of Lionel Messi

Barcelona 7 days ago
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39 minutes ago

Less a diver, Neymar is stronger and more disciplined in 2014-15

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta acknowledges the importance of their upcoming clash with rivals Real Madrid.

Soccer is played standing up. Neymar seems to have learned this in his second season in Europe, with his number of goals scored taking off, while the number of fouls suffered and cards received falling in a consistent manner.

Through only 10 official games for Barcelona in the 2014-15 season, Neymar has already scored 10 goals. In his first season at the Catalan club, he needed 21 games to reach the same number of goals.

It is proof that Neymar this time prefers to continue the play rather than...

 By Andy Mitten
about an hour ago

Barcelona's Dani Alves conundrum a harbinger of future right back issues

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique was pleased with the team's performance in a 3-1 win over Ajax in the UEFA Champions League.

Barcelona's Dani Alves is quite happy to be linked with some of football's biggest clubs, and it does his reputation no harm when Manchester United are reportedly interested. The thinking is that United manager Louis van Gaal is prepared to dispense with current right back Rafael and that Alves will be on a free transfer when his contract runs out in June. He is allowed to start talking with other clubs in January and such stories stoke demand for the player with a global reputation, but the reality...

 By Michael Cox
4 hours ago

Realigning stars: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo face changing roles

The ESPN FC team debates who is better, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, and what is more valuable to the team, goals or assists?

In advance of this weekend's Clasico, the winners of the past six Ballon d'Ors are changing roles-thanks both to new teammates and their own limitations.

FC BARCELONA

Lionel Messi: For years, Messi has been the heart and soul -- also head, feet and legs -- of the Barcelona attack. One of the world's most ruthless goalscorers, he dominated Barca's striking play by taking or creating 40 percent of the team's shots since 2010. But with Neymar and Luis Suarez on the flanks of Barca's 4-3-3, Messi...

6 hours ago

Clasico coverage - Luis Suarez needs to prove his worth at Barcelona

Can Barcelona's front line be considered one of the greatest of all time once Luis Suarez joins Lionel Messi and Neymar?

Luis Suarez will have been back from his four-month ban for 10 days when his autobiography "Crossing The Line" is released next month. The publishers are British; the target market was intended to be Liverpool fans who adored the Uruguayan. In it, he'll be repentant about some of his errors on a football field.

Ahead of Saturday's Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona, in which Suarez will likely make his highly anticipated return with his new club, Barcelona -- "He'll play!" according to the...

1 day ago

Finally, El Clasico and Luis Suarez's debut are upon us

The ESPN FC team debates who will be victorious in the upcoming match between the world's elite, Real Madrid or Barcelona.

The time is finally here. After weeks of anticipation, Barcelona are finally able to focus all their efforts on Real Madrid at the incredibly hostile Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

The 3-1 victory over Ajax at the Camp Nou on Tuesday was definitely not the Catalans' best performance of the season but, ultimately, three important points were added to their tally, bringing the eventual qualification for the knockout stages reassuringly closer.

Whether Luis Enrique wants to admit it or not, his lineup...

1 day ago

Cristiano Ronaldo's form covers Real Madrid's issues -- Steve McManaman

ESPN FC's Sid Lowe questions whether it is possible to make Cristiano Ronaldo any more determined to win than he already is.

Former Real Madrid winger Steve McManaman believes the current European champions have been weakened by the sale of Angel Di Maria and Xabi Alonso but says the current form of Cristiano Ronaldo can offset the losses.

Di Maria was named man of the match in Los Blancos' Champions League final win vs. Atletico Madrid in May but left the Bernabeu for Manchester United in August. Alonso, meanwhile, joined Bayern Munich, and McManaman says that the signings of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez have not covered...