Some players just have an aura about them, a mystique that lifts the play of everyone around them, whether or not they’re on the pitch. The second-most expensive footballer of all time has to fit that bill, probably. How else do you explain Barcelona defeating Espanyol 2-0 to advance 2-1 on aggregate in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey on Thursday at the Camp Nou?
Three Stunning Moves Later, Benfica 16-Year-Old Scored One Of The Most Spectacular Goals Of The Year
You could tell it by the way his teammates just kind of stood around and watched — Hugo Nunes was about to score and no one was going to stop him. During a match at the Al Kass U17 International Cup earlier this week in Qatar, there was no way the Benfica youngster was going to be denied against Guangzhou Evergrande.
Hugo Nunes, a striker for the Benfica youth team, pulled off three spectacular moves in succession to score one of the most thrilling goals of the year at any level. That he’s 16 just makes it all the more enjoyable to watch.
The South American Under-20 Women’s Football Championship (which serves as CONMEBOL’s qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup) is underway in Ecuador with Brazil looking to secure their eighth-straight championship in the tournament’s eighth edition.
The junior Seleção are exceedingly dominant in this competition, and the 2018 staging of the contest has been carried out in much the same vein. Brazil topped Group B play with four wins from four matches, scoring 13 goals while conceding zero.
24-year-old Englishman Ravel Morrison appears to be finding his feet in Mexico after arriving at Club Atlas on loan from Italian side Lazio last August. The former Manchester United prodigy had a stop-start beginning to life in Liga MX, but he’s now scored three goals in his last three appearances for Atlas.
On Sunday, January 14, Morrison opened his Clausura account with a stunning free kick against Pumas.
Is the magic gone at Real Madrid? That’s an impossible thing to say about the back-to-back world champions, but a shocking Copa del Rey quarterfinal elimination at the hands of Leganes (a club from the outskirts of Madrid that plays its home matches in front of 11,000) is the lowest it’s gotten for Zinedine Zidane when coupled with the 19-point gap in La Liga.
The French manager went with an understrength side after defeating Leganes 1-0 away in the first leg, although understrength still means starts for Sergio Ramos, Isco, Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio.
Arsenal advanced to the Carabao Cup final after defeating Chelsea 2-1 Wednesday at the Emirates Stadium. An opening 12 minutes of comedic defending from both sides led to goals from Eden Hazard and Antonio Rudiger — the defender scoring an unfortunate own goal to bring Arsenal level — but Granit Xhaka popped up to score the winner on the hour mark.
You can read about the Sevilla-Atletico Madrid Copa del Rey tie on just about any soccer website in existence, but it is only HERE AT THE18 that you can read a full breakdown on Sergio Escudero's first-minute volley goal vs. Antoine Griezmann's 13th-minute volley goal.