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Jun 5, 2014

Soccer-World-Spain’s Costa a potential thorn in Brazil’s side

MADRID, June 5 (Reuters) – A World Cup final featuring hosts Brazil and holders Spain is not an unlikely scenario and Diego Costa could find himself playing a starring role for his adopted country against his native one on July 13.

The Brazil-born forward, who made the final Spain squad despite a series of niggling muscle injuries that have dogged him in recent weeks, raised hackles among his compatriots when he accepted an invitation late last year to play for the world and European champions.

Jun 5, 2014

Soccer-World-Spain’s dominance faces ultimate test in Brazil

MADRID, June 5 (Reuters) – Spain’s desire for glory on the international stage is as strong as ever but the champions will need something special if they are to become the first Europeans to win the World Cup in the Americas.

The only nation from the continent to triumph in soccer’s global showpiece outside Europe, thanks to their triumph in South Africa four years ago, La Roja got an indication of the task facing them when they were humbled 3-0 by hosts Brazil in last year’s Confederations Cup final.

May 25, 2014

Real hopeful of new era of European domination

LISBON (Reuters) – When Real Madrid’s team of Zinedine Zidane-inspired “galacticos” won the Spanish club’s ninth European crown in 2002 it was supposed to mark the beginning of another golden era of European domination.

As it turned out, and despite hundreds of millions of euros spent on players, it took the world’s richest club by income another 12 years to win the coveted 10th title, or “decima”, a record-extending feat they finally achieved with Saturday’s 4-1 extra-time win against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final in Lisbon.

May 25, 2014

Soccer-Real hopeful of new era of European domination

LISBON, May 25 (Reuters) – When Real Madrid’s team of Zinedine Zidane-inspired “galacticos” won the Spanish club’s ninth European crown in 2002 it was supposed to mark the beginning of another golden era of European domination.

As it turned out, and despite hundreds of millions of euros spent on players, it took the world’s richest club by income another 12 years to win the coveted 10th title, or “decima”, a record-extending feat they finally achieved with Saturday’s 4-1 extra-time win against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final in Lisbon.

May 24, 2014

Ancelotti trumps Simeone to secure Real’s 10th title

LISBON (Reuters) – Real Madrid overcame Atletico in the Champions League final because coach Carlo Ancelotti was able to adjust his tactics and go on the attack in time to rescue the game while his opposite number Diego Simeone had no cards left to play

Ancelotti fielded a cautious starting lineup at Lisbon’s Stadium of Light, with Sami Khedira in a deep-lying central role despite having only recently returned from knee surgery, and Real were outplayed for long periods in the first half.

May 24, 2014

Analysis – Ancelotti trumps Simeone to secure Real’s 10th title

LISBON (Reuters) – Real Madrid overcame Atletico in the Champions League final because coach Carlo Ancelotti was able to adjust his tactics and go on the attack in time to rescue the game while his opposite number Diego Simeone had no cards left to play

Ancelotti fielded a cautious starting lineup at Lisbon’s Stadium of Light, with Sami Khedira in a deep-lying central role despite having only recently returned from knee surgery, and Real were outplayed for long periods in the first half.

May 24, 2014

Soccer-Ancelotti trumps Simeone to secure Real’s 10th title

LISBON, May 24 (Reuters) – Real Madrid overcame Atletico in the Champions League final because coach Carlo Ancelotti was able to adjust his tactics and go on the attack in time to rescue the game while his opposite number Diego Simeone had no cards left to play

Ancelotti fielded a cautious starting lineup at Lisbon’s Stadium of Light, with Sami Khedira in a deep-lying central role despite having only recently returned from knee surgery, and Real were outplayed for long periods in the first half.

May 23, 2014

Ronaldo fit but Benzema, Pepe doubts, Ancelotti says

LISBON (Reuters) – Real Madrid top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo is fit for Saturday’s Champions League final against Atletico Madrid but forward Karim Benzema and centre back Pepe remain doubtful, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday.

Ronaldo, who has a record 16 goals in the latest edition of Europe’s elite club competition, has had a series of niggling muscle injuries in recent weeks and has not played since limping out of a La Liga match at Real Valladolid on May 7.

May 23, 2014

Soccer-Ronaldo fit but Benzema, Pepe doubts, Ancelotti says

LISBON, May 23 (Reuters) – Real Madrid top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo is fit for Saturday’s Champions League final against Atletico Madrid but forward Karim Benzema and centre back Pepe remain doubtful, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday.

Ronaldo, who has a record 16 goals in the latest edition of Europe’s elite club competition, has had a series of niggling muscle injuries in recent weeks and has not played since limping out of a La Liga match at Real Valladolid on May 7.

May 23, 2014

Soccer-Atletico still waiting on Costa, Arda fitness

LISBON, May 23 (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid are still sweating on the fitness of Diego Costa and Arda Turan and a decision on whether they can play in Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid has not yet been taken, coach Diego Simeone said on Friday.

Costa, Atletico’s top scorer, and playmaker Arda limped out of last weekend’s La Liga title decider at Barcelona with hamstring and hip injuries respectively and there were fears they would not be available for the showpiece in Lisbon.