In-Depth Feature

Zidane’s Plan To Limit Lionel Messi Backfires Spectacularly

When the starting lineups for Saturday’s El Clasico were announced, there was really only one surprise in the 22 players named for battle: Zinedine Zidane’s decision to drop Isco to the bench in favor of Mateo Kovacic. For many, Isco has been Real’s best player over the past year — a footballer of sublime skill, technique and playmaking ability — while Kovacic’s inclusion meant one thing only: Lionel Messi limitation.

Where El Clasico Ranks Among Top TV Viewership Events

The showdowns between Real Madrid and Barcelona, taking place at least twice per year, are the premier sporting events in Spain. Millions around the world tune in to watch the two richest teams in the world’s most popular sport face off in perhaps the world’s greatest rivalry. Earlier this week, we took a look at how the number of worldwide El Clasico viewers compared to the Super Bowl, the biggest event in Spain compared to the biggest event in the U.S.

Before Messi Was Abusing Defenders, He Was Abusing Extremely Confused Defenders

Lionel Messi was never a little-known quantity. When he scored nearly 500 goals for Newell’s Old Boys as a young boy, people took notice. That’s why Barcelona made the highly unusual decision to sign a 13-year-old foreign player. That’s why, aged 17 years, three months and 22 days, he became Barcelona’s youngest-ever representative in an official competition. It’s why he represented La Albiceleste, the two-time world champions, at 18.

Zlatan-Adriano Partnership Remains One Of Modern Football’s Greatest What Ifs

When Zlatan Ibrahimovic arrived at Inter Milan from Juventus for nearly $30 million in August 2006, the 24-year-old Swede was thrilled over the possibility of forming a devastating and prolonged partnership with 24-year-old Brazilian striker Adriano. The two had dominated Italian football since 2004, and the Nerazzurri looked set to rule the competition for years to come with two of the world’s most feared young forwards.

Not All Goals Are Created Equal: 3 Dramatic Strikes Change Complexion Of Serie A

Goals change games. That’s pretty much football 101. That’s how the game works. But not every goal is created equal. This week in Serie A, the true value of a goal was shown to be different on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. So let’s take a look at the three goals that defined the weekend and why they differed so widely. 

The Full Results Of The 2018 FIFA World Cup Draw

The World Cup draw was completed this morning at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow with the 32 finalist nations placed into eight groups of four. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will kick off on June 14 at Luzhniki Stadium with a match featuring host-side Russia and Saudi Arabia. We now know the makeup of the entire field for the competition as well as the group stage matches that'll captivate the planet next summer. Here are the full results from the 2018 FIFA World Cup draw.