When FC Barcelona signed 12-year-old prospect Cristobal Munoz from a youth side affiliated with Malaga last March, the deal was heralded by Barcelona-based daily Sport as the capture of “the hottest young prospect in Spanish football.”
Dani Carvajal's fantastic reflexes prove he is a better goalkeeper than Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet, and Twitter knows it. He gave proof in the latest edition of El Clásico as he epically saved a header by Barça’s Paulinho.
The only problem is, Carvajal is not a goalkeeper. So the referee blew the whistle, sentenced a penalty kick and sent Carvajal off via a direct red card.
El Clasico is the biggest rivalry in sports, featuring the biggest stars in the biggest venues with some of the biggest prizes in soccer generally on the line. So who are the El Clasico top scorers, the players who shine when the lights are brightest and the pressure is on? We made a list, and it has some pretty impressive names on it.
On the pitch, Luis Suarez is insane. It’s part and parcel of his playing style. He doesn’t offer the aesthetic subtleties of his Barcelona teammates, but instead harnesses the inner energies of a footballing Babadook to terrorize defenses with whatever means are at his disposal.
During Saturday’s El Clasico, there was a two-minute spell — between the match’s 54th and 56th minutes — that brilliantly encapsulated the art of Suarez.
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.
Barcelona opened up a nine-point gap at the top of La Liga with an astounding 3-0 victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Saturday. Real now trail the leaders by 14 points, a seemingly insurmountable margin when coupled with what transpired over the final 45 minutes in Madrid.
On Saturday, match week 17 in La Liga will boil down to one match and one match only: the El Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu. Though Barcelona dares not think about losing the world’s greatest rivalry game, manager Ernesto Valverde is obviously correct in saying, “I don’t think a Clasico victory will give us the title.”
A Spain World Cup ban is an unbelievable possibility. FIFA is very emphatic when it comes to football federations' independence: they simply will not tolerate any government – or any other third parties, for that matter – influencing national soccer federations.
Similar to the rumors warning that Peru was in danger of a similar ban a few weeks ago, now FIFA admittedly has Spain in sight.
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.
In January, Carlos Vela will leave Real Sociedad for Los Angeles FC to prepare for the upcoming MLS season. Vela, who has been at Real Sociedad since 2011, made his final appearance for the Spanish club Wednesday.
In the 90th minute, Vela capped off an excellent career with one last goal. Did he kiss the badge? Of course he kissed the badge.