Mark's Feed
Aug 19, 2013

Barca’s Martino makes protecting Messi a priority

MADRID (Reuters) – The sight of Lionel Messi being substituted against Levante on Sunday was an early indicator that new Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino is unafraid of making bold decisions.

The 50-year-old Argentine has arrived at the Nou Camp as a disciple of the Catalan club’s trademark possession game and has said all he wants to tweak is to recover the high-intensity pressuring of rivals in the attacking third.

Aug 19, 2013

Soccer-Barca’s Martino makes protecting Messi a priority

MADRID, Aug 19 (Reuters) – The sight of Lionel Messi being substituted against Levante on Sunday was an early indicator that new Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino is unafraid of making bold decisions.

The 50-year-old Argentine has arrived at the Nou Camp as a disciple of the Catalan club’s trademark possession game and has said all he wants to tweak is to recover the high-intensity pressuring of rivals in the attacking third.

Aug 18, 2013

Barca hit seven, Isco grabs late winner for Real

MADRID (Reuters) – Gerardo Martino enjoyed his competitive debut with Barcelona more than Carlos Ancelotti’s with Real Madrid as the La Liga champions stormed to a 7-0 rout of Levante in their season opener at the Nou Camp on Sunday.

Real had to come from behind against Real Betis for a 2-1 win at the Bernabeu, new 30 million euro signing Isco heading an 86th-minute winner.

Aug 18, 2013

Soccer-Barca hit seven, Isco grabs late winner for Real

MADRID, Aug 18 (Reuters) – Gerardo Martino enjoyed his competitive debut with Barcelona more than Carlos Ancelotti’s with Real Madrid as the La Liga champions stormed to a 7-0 rout of Levante in their season opener at the Nou Camp on Sunday.

Real had to come from behind against Real Betis for a 2-1 win at the Bernabeu, new 30 million euro signing Isco heading an 86th-minute winner.

Aug 17, 2013

Caballero error gifts Valencia win over Malaga

MADRID (Reuters) – An error by Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero gifted Valencia a 1-0 La Liga win at the Mestalla on Saturday and gave new coach Miroslav Djukic an opening day victory over fellow debutant Bernd Schuster.

Argentine Caballero came off his line to meet a freekick into his area and failed to collect the ball, which instead fell at the feet of home defender Ricardo Costa who prodded it into the net in the 65th minute.

Aug 17, 2013

Soccer-Caballero error gifts Valencia win over Malaga

MADRID, Aug 17 (Reuters) – An error by Malaga goalkeeper Willy Caballero gifted Valencia a 1-0 La Liga win at the Mestalla on Saturday and gave new coach Miroslav Djukic an opening day victory over fellow debutant Bernd Schuster.

Argentine Caballero came off his line to meet a freekick into his area and failed to collect the ball, which instead fell at the feet of home defender Ricardo Costa who prodded it into the net in the 65th minute.

Aug 15, 2013

Player exodus accentuates La Liga divide

MADRID (Reuters) – A mass exodus of talent from La Liga means the 2013-2014 campaign looks more than ever to be an exclusive battle for the title between wealthy Real Madrid and Barcelona.

For years, the Spanish league has drawn players from all over the world but while Real and Barca, the world’s richest clubs by revenue, continue to attract the biggest names, the trend seems to be swinging the other way for financial reasons.

Aug 15, 2013

Villarreal return banking on Dos Santos and stability

MADRID (Reuters) – Exploiting the talents of the nomadic Giovani dos Santos will be the key to Villarreal’s attempts to reclaim their mantle as the model for smaller clubs to aspire to when they return to La Liga this weekend.

The team known as “the Yellow Submarine”, because of their canary-coloured strip, won promotion back from the second division, along with Elche and Almeria, after a year in the wilderness following a dramatic fall from grace.

Aug 15, 2013

Ancelotti’s fine start raises eyebrows over Bale quest

MADRID (Reuters) – An impressive pre-season for new Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has lifted morale at the Bernabeu in the post-Jose Mourinho era and left many fans scratching their heads.

If everything seems to be going so well, why should the club need to break the world transfer record to sign Tottenham Hotspur’s Gareth Bale, another attacking midfielder?

Aug 15, 2013

Barcelona start title defence with questions to answer

MADRID (Reuters) – Barcelona begin the defence of their La Liga crown on Sunday amid doubts over the strength of their backline, Neymar’s adaptation to European football and how new coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino will perform.

Argentine Martino was a surprise choice to replace Tito Vilanova, after Pep Guardiola’s former assistant suddenly announced he was to step down due to ill health just before the start of the pre-season a little over three weeks ago.