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Jan 22, 2015

Soccer-United finances rosier than ever despite on-pitch woes

Jan 22 (Reuters) – A leap in commercial and broadcast revenue lifted Manchester United into second place behind Real Madrid on the list of the world’s richest clubs in 2013-14, according to Deloitte’s latest Football Money League.

Despite a poor season on the pitch, United’s income surged to 518 million euros ($599.4 million), from 424 million the previous year, with commercial revenue rising 24 percent and broadcast income 34 percent, Deloitte said on Thursday.

Jan 19, 2015

China’s Wang to take stake in Atletico – reports

MADRID (Reuters) – Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin has agreed to buy a 20 percent stake in La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, Spanish media reported on Monday.

The deal with Wang, who controls the Dalian Wanda Group conglomerate and is a keen soccer fan, will be announced in Beijing on Wednesday, according to the reports in sports dailies Marca and As.

Jan 19, 2015

Torres finds different Atletico beast on return

MADRID (Reuters) – When Fernando Torres left Atletico Madrid for Liverpool in 2007, the idea of the Spanish capital’s second club being favourites to beat record winners Barcelona in a two-legged King’s Cup tie would have been unthinkable.

Now that the 30-year-old Spain forward is back in his boyhood team on loan, he has seen at first hand how coach Diego Simeone has shaken up the status quo and transformed Atletico into genuine contenders at home and in Europe.

Jan 15, 2015

Lowly Basques Eibar outshining local heavyweights

MADRID (Reuters) – With just under half the La Liga season played, fans of tiny Basque club Eibar must be rubbing their eyes in disbelief to see their team seven points clear of regional heavyweights Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad.

Based in the eponymous industrial town of fewer than 30,000 inhabitants in a mountainous part of northern Spain, Eibar are performing miracles on their debut in the top flight, eighth on 26 points after 18 matches ahead of Friday’s match at Cordoba.

Jan 15, 2015

Soccer-Lowly Basques Eibar outshining local heavyweights

MADRID, Jan 15 (Reuters) – With just under half the La Liga season played, fans of tiny Basque club Eibar must be rubbing their eyes in disbelief to see their team seven points clear of regional heavyweights Athletic Bilbao and Real Sociedad.

Based in the eponymous industrial town of fewer than 30,000 inhabitants in a mountainous part of northern Spain, Eibar are performing miracles on their debut in the top flight, eighth on 26 points after 18 matches ahead of Friday’s match at Cordoba.

Jan 12, 2015

Atletico poised to eliminate Cup holders Real

MADRID (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid have the perfect chance to lift morale after Sunday’s La Liga defeat at Barcelona when they play their King’s Cup last 16, second leg at bitter local rivals Real Madrid on Thursday.

Atletico have a 2-0 advantage over the holders from last week’s first leg at the Calderon and knocking Real out of the competition would mark the latest triumph for the Spanish capital’s second club over their neighbours.

Jan 11, 2015

Real back to winning ways against Espanyol

MADRID (Reuters) – La Liga leaders Real Madrid returned to winning ways after two defeats, making light of playing most of the second half with 10 men to triumph 3-0 at home to mid-table Espanyol on Saturday.

Beaten 2-1 at Valencia in La Liga last weekend and 2-0 at Atletico Madrid in a King’s Cup last 16 first leg in midweek, Real took the lead at the Bernabeu when Cristiano Ronaldo set up James Rodriguez to score in the 12th minute.

Jan 10, 2015

Soccer-Real back to winning ways against Espanyol

MADRID, Jan 10 (Reuters) – La Liga leaders Real Madrid returned to winning ways after two defeats, making light of playing most of the second half with 10 men to triumph 3-0 at home to mid-table Espanyol on Saturday.

Beaten 2-1 at Valencia in La Liga last weekend and 2-0 at Atletico Madrid in a King’s Cup last 16 first leg in midweek, Real took the lead at the Bernabeu when Cristiano Ronaldo set up James Rodriguez to score in the 12th minute.

Jan 10, 2015

Luis Enrique finds Messi is ‘more than a club’

MADRID (Reuters) – As a key part of Catalan culture, Barcelona’s proud motto is “more than a club” but it could easily be applied to star player Lionel Messi given the level of control the Argentina forward exerts.

A product of Barca’s youth academy, Messi is worshipped by the fans for underpinning the club’s most trophy-laden era and decisions made by the board of directors seem to be made solely with the intention of keeping him happy.

Dec 22, 2014

Ramos caps ‘best year’ with Club World Cup award

MADRID (Reuters) – Decorated Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos has dubbed 2014 “the best year of my life” after playing a key role for the Spanish giants as they swept to four titles including a record-extending 10th European crown.

A no-nonsense centre back whose strength in the air regularly yields goals, Ramos scooped the player of the tournament award at the Club World Cup after scoring in the semi-final win against Cruz Azul and the victory over San Lorenzo in Saturday’s final.