The return of UEFA Champions League and the beginning of the knockout stages marks a joyous time for any soccer fan. This season’s Round of 16 promises to be one of the most exciting yet. Matchups like Real Madrid vs. PSG, Juventus vs. Tottenham and Chelsea vs. Barcelona would be amazing finals for the event, but we’re lucky enough to have them in February and March. You're not going to want to miss any of the action.
Sitting fourth in La Liga and bounced in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals, Real Madrid heads into Wednesday’s Champions League Round of 16 first leg tie against Paris Saint-Germain a wounded animal.
This assist from Roberto Firmino to Mohamed Salah for Liverpool's second goal against Southampton is everything. After scoring the first via a Salah assist, Firmino returned the favor in style. The match ended 2-0 to Liverpool, with Firmino's assist the major highlight.
After enduring a January full of transfer rumors, Javier Hernandez is responding with his finest form of the season. The Mexican striker found the back of the net again with a well-placed header for West Ham on Saturday. The Chicharito goal vs Watford was his third goal in four matches.
Tottenham’s torrent form at Wembley continued; Arsenal’s did not. Spurs won the North London derby 1-0 on Saturday thanks to a Harry Kane header and the Gunners’ hopes of securing the Arsene Wenger Memorial Trophy for finishing in the top four are all but dead.
Gianluigi Buffon, a legend of the game, set another milestone on Friday. The Italian goalkeeper made his 500th league appearance for the Bianconeri in a 2-0 win for Juventus vs Fiorentina at Stadio Artemio Franchi. Buffon also had a clean sheet — thanks to a little help from VAR and the woodwork.
Robin van Persie grew up in Rotterdam, where 15-time Dutch champions Feyenoord are something like a religion. Van Persie joined the club’s youth system as a 16-year-old after spending his formative years with Feyenoord satellite club Excelsior. He made his debut at 17 and spent three seasons with the first team before his transfer to Arsenal.
We all know Lionel Messi is brilliant. Sometimes, though, we just need a reminder. José Gayà was our guinea pig to give us a reminder of how clever the little Argentine is with a superb Messi nutmeg of the Valencia defender during the Copa del Rey semifinals on Thursday.
El caño de Messi a Gayà es mucho más emotivo si le metés la música de Titanic de fondo. pic.twitter.com/xzbvlwrmKO
Philippe Coutinho scored his first goal for Barcelona after coming on as a halftime substitute in their Copa del Rey semifinal second leg against Valencia Thursday. Coutinho scored four minutes after coming on as Barcelona eased into the final with a 3-0 aggregate victory.
Coutinho’s finish was sure a tidy one, but the majority of the credit has to go to Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan brilliantly worked a bit of space before turning provider for Barca’s all-important away goal at a packed Mestalla.
We haven’t heard from Dimitar Berbatov in a while, but that’s probably because he’s at the age where all of his footballing contemporaries have now retired. After last appearing for Greek club PAOK in 2016, the Bulgarian was out of football for a year before signing a one-year deal with Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters last August.