Lionel Messi scored his 400th La Liga goal on Sunday, a total his coach Ernesto Valverde called “monstrous”, as Barcelona terrorised Eibar to reclaim their five-point cushion at the top of the table.
Messi drove the ball into the bottom corner after being teed up by Luis Suarez, who added two goals to his own tally either side of the Argentinian marking another historic record at the Camp Nou.
“It’s monstrous,” said Valverde, after the 3-0 victory. “It’s easy to say but you have to score them one after the other, it’s a long-term job.
“His numbers are stratospheric, incredible. He is from another galaxy.”
Victory saw Valverde’s side restore their advantage over Atletico Madrid, who had briefly cut the gap to two points after beating Levante earlier in the day.
“There is a lot of time left,” Valverde said. “It is a good cushion but nothing is done yet.”
Real Madrid won too, beating Real Betis, to ensure Spain’s big three all prevailed in the same round for only the fourth time this season. Real remain 10 points adrift of Barcelona. Continue reading “Messi set another record as Barcelona extend Laliga lead”
Cristiano Ronaldo has urged long-time rival Lionel Messi to be more like him and push his limits by challenging himself in another league than Spain.
“I’d like him to come to Italy one day. I hope he accepts the challenge like me, but if he’s happy there then I respect that,” Ronaldo told the Italian press on Monday.
The two strikers have been rivals for the past decade winning five Ballon d’Or trophies each before their domination was broken by World Cup runner-up Luka Modric last week.
Asked if he missed the 31-year-old Argentinian, who has spent his entire senior career at Barcelona, Ronaldo replied: “No, maybe it’s him who misses me …
“I’ve played in England, Spain, Italy, Portugal and for my national team, while he’s still in Spain.
“Maybe he needs me more… For me, life is a challenge, I like it and I like to make people happy. Bet Now
“He’s a fantastic player and a good guy, but I don’t miss anything here. This is my new life and I’m happy.
“I left my comfort zone and took on this challenge here in Turin, everything has gone well, I’ve proven I’m still an incredible player,” said Ronaldo. Continue reading “Messi should try something new or come to Italy – Ronaldo”
Sevilla moved back to the top of La Liga on Sunday as they capitalised on the stuttering form of their rivals by beating Real Valladolid 1-0.
Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona all failed to win on Saturday as Real were shocked 3-0 by Eibar before Atletico and Barca played out a 1-1 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano.
The way was open for Sevilla to take advantage and they made no mistake, Andre Silva continuing his excellent form this season by heading in the winner at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
“Nobody expected us to be in this position of course,” coach Pablo Machin said. “But we are going to fight. We deserve to have all these points and that is why we are first.”
Hosts Sevilla certainly rode their luck, twice needing VAR to deny Real Valladolid an equaliser, with the first cancellation particularly fortunate. Enes Unal’s strike was ruled out as the offside Toni Villa was deemed to be obstructing the goalkeeper’s view. Various Betting Options are available on NaijaBet for today’s games
The victory puts Sevilla one point above Barcelona at the summit, two clear of Atletico and six ahead of Real, who are languishing in sixth. Continue reading “Sevilla sit on top of La Liga after narrow win over Real Valladolid”
Santiago Solari will become Real Madrid’s permanent coach until the end of the season, according to papers filed with the Spanish football association, the sports channel ESPN reported on Monday.
The 42-year-old Argentine has led the team to four wins in four games since replacing Julen Lopetegui at the helm of the European champions two weeks ago.
Spanish rules prevent an interim coach from staying in charge for longer than 15 days, which expire on Monday, without being appointed on a permanent basis.
The Spanish Football Association (RFEF) said that Madrid had filed papers to hire Solari on that basis.
With victories over Melilla in the Copa del Rey, Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League, and Real Valladolid and Celta Vigo in La Liga, Solari has enjoyed the best start of any manager in the club’s history. Place bet on Live matches 24/7
Lopetegui was sacked after a run of form that saw Madrid sink to ninth in the table, but after Sunday’s 4-2 win at Celta, the capital club are sixth, four points behind leaders Barcelona.
Lionel Messi could make an earlier return than expected against Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday but Barcelona has hardly missed him.
Four wins out of four, including a stroll past Inter Milan and a hammering of Real Madrid so severe it cost their coach his job, mean Messi reunites with a team enjoying its strongest run of the season, ironically without its star striker.
Barca will certainly be delighted, relieved even, when his recovery is complete. The club has named Messi in their squad for the match at the San Siro, even if he is yet to be given the medical all-clear.
It could be his involvement is either as a substitute or even delayed until Sunday, when Barca host Real Betis in La Liga.
Perhaps it will depend on how much Barca need him and, in that respect, Messi’s absence has been less pronounced than many predicted 15 days ago when he tumbled and broke his right arm against Sevilla. Champions League latest odds are available on site
Circumstances have helped. After Inter, came Real, who were in a mess, Cultural Leonesa, who play in Spain’s third tier, and Rayo Vallecano, who are 19th in the table. But wins, in any form, cannot be overlooked. Real’s against Real Valladolid on Saturday was their first in six league games. Continue reading “Messi might make UCL returns against Inter Milan”
A Spanish magistrate leading an investigation into alleged irregularities in Neymar’s move to Barcelona in 2013 said on Wednesday the Brazilian superstar could face up to six years in prison.
“The term imposed, in principle, could be between four and six years,” said a decree issued by judge Jose Maria Vazquez Honrubia, a copy of which was seen by AFP.
Neymar, his parents, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu and his predecessor Sandro Rosell are all awaiting trial over alleged corruption concerning Neymar’s move to the Spanish La Liga giants in 2013.
The Brazilian international forward is now with Paris Saint-Germain in France’s Ligue 1.
The case, which follows a complaint by DIS, a Brazilian group which part-owned the rights to Neymar, surrounds allegations of “corruption” and “fraud” in the player’s move to Barcelona. Bet Now
Neymar moved to the Spanish La Liga giants in May 2013 for a reported fee of 57.1m euros. Although no financial details of the deal were revealed by either Barcelona or his Brazilian club FC Santos, Neymar’s parents were said to have received receive 40m euros and FC Santos 17.1m. Continue reading “Neymar might end up in prison over Barca move – Spanish magistrate”
Sergio Ramos insists Real Madrid’s players have been told nothing about a change of coach after their 5-1 defeat to Barcelona on Sunday left Julen Lopetegui on the brink of the sack.
Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick as Madrid were ripped apart at Camp Nou and familiar failings in defence were exposed again.
Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal scored either side of Suarez’s treble while a Marcelo goal briefly threatened a comeback early in the second half.
The European champions have now managed only one victory from their last six matches and reports in the Spanish press on Sunday night indicated Lopetegui could be removed as soon as Monday, with Antonio Conte ready to take charge.
“We have to wait, they have not told us anything,” Ramos said after the match. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
“These are decisions not made by us so we have to keep a cool head, look at ourselves and try to change things to get better results.
“We will see what happens in the coming hours and tomorrow but the players are always with the coach to the death.” Continue reading “Ramos says players are in the dark about the future of Lopetegui”
Barcelona’s lowest ebbs are invariably followed by questions about Lionel Messi but the issue of over-reliance may become clearer over the coming weeks.
The sight of Messi on the ground, grasping his right arm, during Barca’s win over Sevilla on Saturday prompted reactions inside Camp Nou normally reserved for the conceding of goals.
Hands behind heads, fingers over mouths, the concern became real shortly after the final whistle when the club confirmed Messi had fractured his radial bone.
His absence leaves Barca vulnerable when they need him most, for a run of fixtures that includes Inter Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday, the Clasico against Real Madrid on Sunday, before a return match against Inter in Italy at the start of next month.
If he takes longer than expected to recover, he could miss tricky games against Real Betis and Atletico Madrid in La Liga too. Place bet on LIVE EVENTS 24/7 on NaijaBet
Barcelona has grown used to accusations of dependence, not least when results have taken a turn for the worse.
When Ernesto Valverde left Messi on the bench for the 1-1 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao last month, the argument was given added weight by him coming on and making the assist for their equaliser.
“This is Barcelona,” Messi afterwards. “We have a strong team and we have enough not to have to depend on one player.” Continue reading “Messi injury will give Dembele chance to prove their worth at Barca”
Real Madrid and Barcelona cannot avoid heading into next week’s Clasico under pressure but each has two games to lift the mood at least, ahead of the pivotal clash at the Camp Nou.
Eight games into La Liga and both Julen Lopetegui and Ernesto Valverde are feeling the heat, forced to defend poor runs that have seen their teams manage a combined total of two wins from their last 10 games.
Madrid’s slump feels the more entrenched, given they are without a goal in 360 minutes, discounting injury time, and three of their last four matches have ended in defeat.
While Barca can point to their riveting win at Wembley over Tottenham, and then a point gained in Valencia, Madrid have endured successive setbacks away to CSKA Moscow and Alaves.
They have two home games to clear the fog, and winnable ones too, against Levante in La Liga on Saturday before Viktoria Plzen visit on Tuesday in the Champions League. Bet Now on NaijaBet
A pair of victories, and just as importantly, some goals, would earn Lopetegui much-needed breathing space. Continue reading “Barcelona and Real hopes for revival as Clasico looms”
Paul Scholes says even Lionel Messi would struggle to shine in the current Manchester United team and that the struggling club are being laughed at by their rivals.
The former United and England midfielder has been a frequent and vocal critic of his old club, who are languishing in eighth place in the Premier League – five points adrift of any other member of the “Big Six”.
They had to watch Manchester City win last season’s title in record-breaking fashion and Pep Guardiola’s men are flying high at the top once more, alongside Liverpool and manager Jose Mourinho’s former club Chelsea.
“That shouldn’t make any difference but it does,” Scholes said. “United now feels like Liverpool from years ago, like we’re making all the same mistakes as they did. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
“We were watching Liverpool and City from afar and smirking as they changed managers and players every year, never getting anything right. It feels like we have turned into a Liverpool or a Man City.
“I feel like people at Liverpool and Man City are looking at us and laughing like we did at them many years ago.” Continue reading “Messi would struggle to shine at Man United – Scholes”
Barcelona’s Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal says he is not happy because of his lack of playing time at his new club.
Vidal joined from Bayern Munich this summer but has had just two starts for the Catalans – and been substituted both times.
“How can I be happy if I don’t play, and me of all people?” Vidal told reporters after joining up with his national team, on Tuesday.
“I am somebody who has always fought, been at the best teams in the world, won everything and who wants to continue winning at Barcelona,” Vidal said. Place bet on tonight’s games on NaijaBet
Coach Ernesto Valverde has opted to start young Brazilian midfielder Arthur in the team in recent matches, with Vidal not playing at all in Barca’s 1-1 draw at Valencia in La Liga on Sunday and appearing for just three minutes against Tottenham in the Champions League last week.
“I am fine physically and happy. In the past few games I have been a bit annoyed but that is how it is, we will keep battling. There are a lot of important games ahead and we will see,” Vidal was quoted as saying.
Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale and Manchester City’s Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne were among the first 10 nominees for the Ballon d’Or award announced on Monday.
Bale, who scored two goals in Real’s triumph in the final of the Champions League against Liverpool, joins his club teammate Karim Benzema among the first wave of 30 nominees for the year’s best player.
De Bruyne was nominated for helping his club win the Premier League and his country reach the World Cup semifinals.
The winner of the prestigious award organised by France Football magazine will be announced on December 3. Naija and Bet
Having lost out in the Fifa best player of the year award to Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo takes his place among the 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or that were being unveiled in stages throughout Monday.
The Juventus forward, currently facing allegations of rape dating back to 2009 that he strenuously denies, has already won the Ballon d’Or five times and is the current holder of the award. Continue reading “Ballon d’Or nominees: Bale, De Bruyne in first 10 list”
Barcelona conceded twice in 68 seconds and Real Madrid was three down at halftime as La Liga’s two title favourites were each stunned by surprise defeats on Wednesday night.
Barca’s 2-1 loss to relegation fighters Leganes was the greater shock but Madrid’s beating was more emphatic, blown away 3-0 by Sevilla after a torrid 39 minutes at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
For both, it was their first defeat of the season and for both, defensive fragility was the key factor, which will be a major concern with the second round of Champions League games to come next week.
By the end, Atletico Madrid, who had cruised to victory over Huesca on Tuesday and play Real on Saturday, were the biggest winners. After a stuttering start, Diego Simeone’s side will jump above Real with a win at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Sevilla can be a formidable opponent on their own patch but few expected Leganes to inflict what was only Barcelona’s second league defeat in 17 months. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
“We are in a very difficult moment that was unexpected,” Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said. Continue reading “Leganes thump Barcelona, Sevilla sinks Real Madrid”
Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone will “sooner or later” become coach of Serie A giants Inter Milan, his sister and agent claimed on Sunday.
“I think it’s only a matter of time. He loves the club, the atmosphere and living in Milan. Inter is a side he would really love to coach,” Natalia Simeone said in quotes in the Italian press.
Former Argentina international Simeone spent two years as a player with Inter, whom he joined from Atletico Madrid in 1997, winning a Serie A title and the Uefa Cup.
He then went on to play for four years with another Italian club, Lazio, before returning to Atletico Madrid. Place bet on LIVE matches 24/7
“Diego said it too, sooner or later, he’ll end up at Inter,” said Natalia.
“Inter is a team that he would like to coach so much, but he has remained very close to Lazio, too.” Continue reading “Simeone will love to coach Inter later says agent”
Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has criticised the introduction of the video assistant referee (VAR) in Spain this season, saying it disrupted the natural flow of games and that he would prefer to see the use of goal-line technology instead.
Suarez scored a goal in Barca’s 8-2 win over Huesca on Sunday which was initially ruled out for offside but later awarded after the referee consulted VAR, leaving the Uruguayan unconvinced by the system.
“VAR stifles celebrations,” Suarez said in an interview on Wednesday.
“Defenders are now asking for something the whole time. I would prefer to just have goal-line technology. With VAR, the game can lose naturalness,” he added.
“Perhaps a play starts with an involuntary handball, you counter-attack and score, then they review the play and rule it out.” Continue reading “Video assistant referee (VAR) disrupts flow of game – Suarez”
When Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid in July it was the end of an era at the Santiago Bernabeu as the European champions said goodbye to their all-time top goalscorer and best player.
But although Julen Lopetegui’s side failed to sign a replacement, they have started the season flying with three wins from three games.
Joint top of the table with arch-rivals Barcelona, both boasting 100 percent records, it has been a seamless transition into the post-Ronaldo period at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real thrashed Leganes 4-1 at home on Saturday, taking their tally to 10 goals in three games in the Spanish top-flight. Place bet on Live matches 24/7 on NaijaBet
Although a relatively easy start to the season has helped, Real have started playing with joy and it looks as if pressure has been lifted off the team’s shoulders.
“The truth is that now Madrid are playing with 11 and not 10 plus one, like in the last nine years,” wrote Spanish newspaper.
“Now if a player receives a bad pass they try to encourage the teammate who made the error. Before it was different, Cristiano Ronaldo was understandably demanding, but everything is a lot friendlier now.” Continue reading “Unity will be a vital key for Real to forget Ronaldo”
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scored twice each as La Liga champions Barcelona turned on the style to hammer Huesca 8-2 on Sunday and join Real Madrid as the only teams in the league to win their opening three games.
Top-flight debutants Huesca took a shock early lead in their first league visit to the Nou Camp when Colombian forward Cucho Hernandez deflected the ball in from point-blank range but Messi soon dampened the celebrations of the visiting supporters by cannoning a shot in off the post to level in the 16th.
An own goal from Jorge Pulido gave Barca the lead and Suarez extended their lead by scoring for the first time in five games in all competitions after the video assistant referee (VAR) overturned an offside call from the linesman. Place bet on today’s on games on NaijaBet
Huesca’s Alex Gallar pulled one back before halftime to make it 3-2 but any hope of a revival from the visitors was soon killed off by three Barca goals in 11 minutes from Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic and another strike from Messi.
Jordi Alba capped a brilliant performance to score the seventh after setting up two of the earlier goals, while Suarez added No 8 with a penalty in stoppage time as Messi turned down the chance to complete a hat-trick, offering the spot-kick to the Uruguayan instead. Continue reading “Messi and Suarez show no mercy as Barca sink Huesca”
Thibaut Courtois was expected to quickly assume the role of first choice goalkeeper for Real Madrid after arriving from Chelsea for €35 million this month.
However, the Belgian World Cup semifinalist watched the European champions crush Girona 4-1 from the bench in the La Liga on Sunday at Montilivi, with Keylor Navas excelling in goal.
Every summer since 2015 Madrid has tried to sign a new goalkeeper to be their regular No 1, but Navas has doggedly held on to the position, helping the club to three consecutive Champions League titles.
The Costa Rican’s time finally appeared to be up when Courtois forced through a move to the Spanish capital from Chelsea, but thus far Julen Lopetegui has kept his faith in Navas.
He was in goal for the Uefa Super Cup game against Atletico Madrid on 15 August when Courtois was not in the squad, having only completed his move from Chelsea a few days before. Place bet on Live matches 24/7
Despite Real conceding four goals in a 4-2 defeat, Navas kept his place for the opening game of the La Liga against Getafe, which Real won 2-0. Continue reading “Keylor Navas shows Courtois who is Real’s No 1”
Real Madrid got off to a winning start in La Liga on Sunday by comfortably beating neighbours Getafe 2-0 at home with an inspiring performance from Gareth Bale in the European champions’ first league game in the post Cristiano Ronaldo era.
Bale crashed a diving header against the crossbar early on, then helped to set up Dani Carvajal’s looping header which broke the deadlock in the 20th minute, wrapping up the points with a powerful first-time finish early in the second half. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
The Wales forward was given a standing ovation by the home supporters in his first competitive game back at the Santiago Bernabeu since scoring twice in the 3-1 win over Liverpool in the Champions League final.
The result lifts the pressure on new coach Julen Lopetegui after Wednesday’s painful 4-2 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the Uefa Super Cup and sees Real join champions Barcelona on three points after one game, although Sevilla lead the standings on goal difference after their 4-1 win at Rayo Vallecano.
Lopetegui again chose Costa Rica international Keylor Navas in goal ahead of €30-million signing Thibaut Courtois and fielded Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos over Luka Modric, who was also left out of the starting line-up in the Super Cup game but came on in the second half. Continue reading “Bale shines as Real down Getafe in La liga”
Madrid defender Sergio Ramos criticised Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp’s poor record in finals in the latest installment of their long-running war of words on Tuesday.
The German recently blasted Ramos for injuring Mohamed Salah and colliding with goalkeeper Loris Karius during Liverpool’s 3-1 Champions League final defeat by Real in May.
Salah suffered shoulder ligament damage and left the pitch in tears with huge questions hanging over his participation at the World Cup in Russia. UEFA Super Cup various betting options are available on site, Bet Now.
It later emerged that Karius had suffered a concussion, and following the incident, he made a couple of blunders to concede two goals.
“It’s not the first final (Klopp) has lost, he should stick to his own business,” Ramos told reporters ahead of the UEFA Super Cup showdown with Europa League winners Atletico Madrid. Continue reading “Real skipper Sergio Ramos hits back at Klopp”
Barcelona battled back to defeat Sevilla 2-1 and win the Spanish Supercup on Sunday with French World Cup winner Ousmane Dembele hitting a sensational winner to help give Lionel Messi a winning start as captain.
It was Barcelona’s 13th Supercup and sixth in the last nine seasons.
However, Sevilla squandered a golden chance to send the match into extra-time when Wissam Ben Yedder missed a last-minute penalty.
Pablo Sarabia gave Sevilla the lead after just nine minutes on a counter-attack.
Gerard Pique, who announced his international retirement with Spain on Saturday, levelled three minutes before the interval for Barcelona after he was fastest to respond to a loose ball following a Messi free-kick. Place bet on today’s games on NaijaBet
That set the stage for French star Dembele to take the headlines with a 78th minute screamer from 25 yards and again Messi played a crucial role with the key pass.
There was still time for late drama when Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen brought down Aleix Vidal in the area as the Sevilla youngster closed in on an equaliser. Continue reading “Barcelona sink Sevilla to win Spanish Supercup”
Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas says the signing of Belgium keeper Thibaut Courtois has affected his desire to remain at the triple European champions as he emphatically ruled out leaving the club in order to be assured of first-team football.
“Tell everyone loud and clear, I have as much enthusiasm for leaving Madrid as I do for dying,” Navas told reporters after Real’s 2-1 victory over AS Roma in a friendly at the Metlife Stadium in New Jersey on Wednesday.
The Costa Rica international joined Real in 2014 and has helped them win a remarkable three consecutive Champions League crowns between 2016 and 2018 as well as lifting the La Liga title in 2017. Place Bet on Live matches on NaijaBet 24/7
The keeper’s long term future has often been in doubt, however. He was on the verge of joining Manchester United in 2015 when Real’s pursuit of David de Gea fell through on transfer deadline day, while the club also failed to sign Spain goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga last January from Athletic Bilbao. Continue reading “Navas ready to stay at Real Madrid despite Courtois competition”
Portugal winger Gelson Martins has signed for Atletico Madrid as a free agent, the Spanish side said on Wednesday.
“Our club has reached an agreement with Gelson Martins, making him a new Atletico player,” said a statement from last season’s La Liga runners-up.
“The Portuguese attacker, who arrives as a free agent, has signed for six seasons.” Place bet on Live matches on NaijaBet
Martins rescinded his contract with Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon last month, one of nine players to quit the club after an attack in May on a training camp by hooded supporters, some armed with sticks, in which Dutch forward Bas Dost was injured and the dressing room was vandalised.
The incidents came at the end of a tumultuous campaign for Sporting who finished third in the Primeira Liga and reached the quarterfinals of the Europa League. Continue reading “Gelson Martins has signed for Atletico Madrid”
Real Madrid President Florentino Perez has vowed that his club will make a splash in this summer’s transfer market.
European champions Real have had a tempestuous close season with Zinedine Zidane stepping down as coach in May days after his team won the Champions League for the third year in a row.
Real’s record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus and the club have only recruited youngsters Alvaro Odriozola (22), Vinicius Junior (18) and Andriy Lunin (19) who all arrived in the Spanish capital to little fanfare.
Traditional big-hitters when it comes to making signings, especially in World Cup years, Real have been heavily linked in British and Spanish newspapers with Chelsea’s Belgian international Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois. NaijaBet
“We need to strengthen our present and our future. This is a great squad that will be strengthened by some brilliant players,” Perez told a news conference on Wednesday. Continue reading “Real will sign more brilliant players – Florentino Perez”
Five-times world player of the year Cristiano Ronaldo has signed for Italian champions Juventus from Real Madrid, the La Liga club said in a statement on Tuesday.
Ronaldo, who joined Real from Manchester United in 2008 for a then world record £80 million, is the Spanish club’s all-time top scorer with 451 goals in all competitions and won two La Liga titles and four Champions League trophies with them.
“For Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo will always be one of its greatest symbols and a unique reference for the generations to come,” European champions Real said, adding that Ronaldo had asked to be transferred. “Real Madrid will always be his home”. Naija and Bet
The transfer fee was not disclosed but Spanish media said Ronaldo had signed a four-year deal and had cost Juventus €105 million. Continue reading “Ronaldo join Juventus from Real Madrid”