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Feb 19, 2015

Messi, Luis Enrique truce on shaky foundations

MADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and coach Luis Enrique appear to have agreed an uneasy truce but hostilities could break out again if the Argentina forward’s form dips and the club stumbles as the season reaches a crucial stage.

A series of inspirational Messi performances have helped Barca put together a streak of 11 wins in all competitions since a 1-0 La Liga defeat at Real Sociedad on Jan. 4, matching their best run under former coach Pep Guardiola in 2008-09.

Feb 19, 2015

Preview: Suarez stunner could be catalyst for more goals

MADRID (Reuters) – Luis Suarez’s stunning goal last weekend was outshone by the exploits of hat-trick man Lionel Messi but the bicycle kick strike could be just what the Uruguay forward needed after a stuttering start in Spain.

Messi netted a record-equalling 23rd La Liga treble in the 5-0 victory at home to Levante before Suarez came off the bench and acrobatically smashed in what was only his fourth La Liga goal in 14 appearances this term.

Feb 16, 2015

Messi hits record treble, Atletico lose at Celta

MADRID (Reuters) – Lionel Messi marked his 300th La Liga appearance with a record-equalling hat-trick and an assist for Neymar as Barcelona stayed hard on the heels of leaders Real Madrid with a 5-0 romp at home to Levante on Sunday.

While Messi continued to rewrite the record books with another masterclass, third-placed Atletico Madrid’s hopes of a second straight title were dealt a blow when the champions were beaten 2-0 at mid-table Celta Vigo.

Feb 15, 2015

Soccer-Messi hits record treble, Atletico lose at Celta

MADRID, Feb 15 (Reuters) – Lionel Messi marked his 300th La Liga appearance with a record-equalling hat-trick and an assist for Neymar as Barcelona stayed hard on the heels of leaders Real Madrid with a 5-0 romp at home to Levante on Sunday.

While Messi continued to rewrite the record books with another masterclass, third-placed Atletico Madrid’s hopes of a second straight title were dealt a blow when the champions were beaten 2-0 at mid-table Celta Vigo.

Feb 14, 2015

Soccer-Real fail to dispel doubts despite beating Depor

MADRID, Feb 14 (Reuters) – Real Madrid returned to winning ways after last week’s drubbing at Atletico Madrid but failed to convince and were whistled by their own fans during a 2-0 victory at home to Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday.

La Liga leaders Real were looking for an inspiring performance before Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Schalke 04 and were fortunate not to drop points with another drab display following the humiliating 4-0 defeat at the Calderon.

Feb 10, 2015

Ronaldo slump hurts Real as in-form Messi drives Barca

MADRID (Reuters) – When Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo collected his third FIFA Ballon d’Or award last month he was enjoying a run of form that was spectacular even by his standards and the European champions were riding high.

Four weeks later and the Portugal captain is mired in a rare slump, Real have been dumped out of the King’s Cup by Atletico Madrid and their lead over Barcelona at the top of La Liga has been cut to a point after Saturday’s humiliating 4-0 drubbing at their city neighbours.

Feb 9, 2015

Confident Barca target King’s Cup final berth

MADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona are playing with a swagger that suggests they may be peaking at just the right time and will look to transfer that form into a berth in the King’s Cup final starting on Wednesday.

The record winners with 26 domestic Cup triumphs, Barca go into their semi-final, first leg at home to Villarreal on the back of Sunday’s 5-2 La Liga romp at Athletic Bilbao which lifted them to within a point of leaders Real Madrid.

Feb 9, 2015

Soccer-Confident Barca target King’s Cup final berth

MADRID, Feb 9 (Reuters) – Barcelona are playing with a swagger that suggests they may be peaking at just the right time and will look to transfer that form into a berth in the King’s Cup final starting on Wednesday.

The record winners with 26 domestic Cup triumphs, Barca go into their semi-final, first leg at home to Villarreal on the back of Sunday’s 5-2 La Liga romp at Athletic Bilbao which lifted them to within a point of leaders Real Madrid.

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.