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May 15, 2014

Barca, Atletico set for thrilling La Liga showdown

MADRID (Reuters) – La Liga is set for one of its most thrilling finishes when Barcelona host leaders Atletico Madrid in a winner-takes-all showdown at the Nou Camp on the final day of the campaign on Saturday.

Only twice in the history of Spain’s top flight has the title been decided with a direct head-to-head clash on the last day and when the calendar was set last year few would have expected Atletico to be competing with vastly wealthier rivals Barca for the championship at this stage.

May 15, 2014

Preview – Barca, Atletico set for thrilling La Liga showdown

MADRID (Reuters) – La Liga is set for one of its most thrilling finishes when Barcelona host leaders Atletico Madrid in a winner-takes-all showdown at the Nou Camp on the final day of the campaign on Saturday.

Only twice in the history of Spain’s top flight has the title been decided with a direct head-to-head clash on the last day and when the calendar was set last year few would have expected Atletico to be competing with vastly wealthier rivals Barca for the championship at this stage.

May 15, 2014

Soccer-Barca, Atletico set for thrilling La Liga showdown

MADRID, May 15 (Reuters) – La Liga is set for one of its most thrilling finishes when Barcelona host leaders Atletico Madrid in a winner-takes-all showdown at the Nou Camp on the final day of the campaign on Saturday.

Only twice in the history of Spain’s top flight has the title been decided with a direct head-to-head clash on the last day and when the calendar was set last year few would have expected Atletico to be competing with vastly wealthier rivals Barca for the championship at this stage.

May 11, 2014

Soccer-La Liga goes down to the wire after leaders held

MADRID, May 11 (Reuters) – Atletico Madrid and Barcelona will play a La Liga title decider at the Nou Camp stadium next weekend after the front runners drew on Sunday to set up one of the most dramatic finishes in Spain’s top flight for more than 60 years.

On a day of nerve-jangling tension, when leaders Atletico came desperately close to a late goal that would have clinched the championship, the Madrid club had to come from behind to rescue a 1-1 draw at home to Malaga while second-placed Barca were held to a 0-0 stalemate at Elche.

May 11, 2014

Tennis-Sharapova rallies past Halep to win Madrid title

MADRID, May 11 (Reuters) – Maria Sharapova recovered from a woeful start and fought back to overwhelm rising talent Simona Halep 1-6 6-2 6-3 in the Madrid Open final and claim her 31st career title on Sunday.

Russian Sharapova, a former world number one, needed to draw on all her experience on clay in the Spanish capital to see off the 22-year-old Romanian fourth seed, who was appearing in the final of a premier event for the first time.

May 9, 2014

Nadal coasts past Berdych to reach Madrid semis

MADRID (Reuters) – World number one Rafa Nadal thumped Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-2 on Friday to set up a semi-final against the Madrid Open’s surprise package, unseeded fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista.

Defending champion Nadal has not been at his dominant best on his favored clay this year, losing in the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

May 9, 2014

Tennis-Nadal coasts past Berdych to reach Madrid semis

MADRID, May 9 (Reuters) – World number one Rafa Nadal thumped Tomas Berdych 6-4 6-2 on Friday to set up a semi-final against the Madrid Open’s surprise package, unseeded fellow Spaniard Roberto Bautista.

Defending champion Nadal has not been at his dominant best on his favoured clay this year, losing in the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

Apr 30, 2014

Ancelotti close to delivering Real’s elusive ‘decima’

MADRID (Reuters) – In mild-mannered Italian Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez may finally have found the man capable of sculpting his expensively assembled squad into a unit capable of delivering an elusive 10th European crown.

Ancelotti’s side produced a devastating performance at Bayern Munich on Tuesday to humble the holders 4-0 and advance 5-0 on aggregate to their first Champions League final since they won a record-extending ninth continental title in 2002.

Apr 30, 2014

Soccer-Ancelotti close to delivering Real’s elusive ‘decima’

MADRID, April 30 (Reuters) – In mild-mannered Italian Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez may finally have found the man capable of sculpting his expensively assembled squad into a unit capable of delivering an elusive 10th European crown.

Ancelotti’s side produced a devastating performance at Bayern Munich on Tuesday to humble the holders 4-0 and advance 5-0 on aggregate to their first Champions League final since they won a record-extending ninth continental title in 2002.

Apr 29, 2014

Costa Rica in safe hands with “Falcon” Navas

By Iain Rogers

(Reuters) – Costa Rica may have little chance of World Cup success but in Keylor Navas, who plays his club football in Spain for Levante, they know that at least their goalkeeper is among the best in the business.

The 27-year-old was even hailed recently as the world’s number one by Levante coach Joaquin Caparros and his performances this season prompted the official La Liga website (www.ligabbva.com) to proclaim him “the league’s best” ahead of the likes of Victor Valdes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois.