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 By Rob Train
3 days ago

Asier Illarramendi's career at Real Madrid needs a kickstart

ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes breaks down what Luka Modric's injury will do to the Real Madrid midfield.

Many professional footballers wait for that "lucky break" -- a golden chance to add the prefix make-or to their first-team situation. One of few exceptions is Asier Illarramendi, who either stands to benefit hugely from the injury sustained by club teammate Luka Modric, or find that his prospects at Real Madrid are as limited as a Spanish comedy film script.

The Basque midfielder's role at the Bernabeu has gone beyond an audition, and the 24-year-old now faces gallows humour at best. Signed in the...

3 days ago

Patience needed as Vicente Del Bosque takes Spain into a new era

Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque discusses his team's 1-0 defeat by Germany, La Roja's third loss since the World Cup.

Vicente Del Bosque has been here before.

In 1981 as his Real Madrid playing career began to wind down, his status as an admired -- indeed, much-loved -- ball-playing midfielder transformed into that of the player the crowd found it most easy to moan about.

The easiest player to blame.

There were some in the media who could see that this was really nothing more than the 30-year-old being used as a whipping boy for much wider problems. At the time Del Bosque told El Pais, Spain's leading quality...

3 days ago

Cesar Azpilicueta plays down 'club vs. country' row with Chelsea, Spain

Spain head coach Vicente Del Bosque has revealed that Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa could be in danger of losing their places in Spain's lineup.

Chelsea and Spain right-back Cesar Azpilicueta says Blues boss Jose Mourinho has never pressured him not to play for his country, while maintaining that his club and international colleagues Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa are fully committed to the cause for La Roja.

Mourinho had been at loggerheads with Spain coach Vicente del Bosque after centre-forward Costa missed four club games after playing for the European champions during October's international fixtures.

Del Bosque then appeared to try and...

By ESPN Staff
4 days ago

Del Bosque: It's been a bad year

Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque discusses his team's 1-0 defeat by Germany, La Roja's third loss since the World Cup.

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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
4 days ago

Joachim Low happy to finish Germany's year with one more win

Germany manager Joachim Low spoke after his side capped of a World Cup winning year with a 1-0 victory over Spain.

Germany manager Joachim Low was happy to conclude his side's World Cup-winning year with one more victory, a 1-0 triumph in Spain on Tuesday.

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In 2014, Germany remained unbeaten through the World Cup, but then lost a rematch of the final with Argentina in a friendly in September and also dropped a Euro 2016 qualifier in Poland in October.

But Die Mannschaft got back on track on Tuesday in Vigo, with Toni Kroos' late strike providing the difference in a rainy affair.

Low, however, still...