Reuters Soccer Blog

World Soccer views and news

Barcelona v Atletico: Is there a more entertaining fixture?

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You are guaranteed goals when Barcelona take on Atletico Madrid each season, and Saturday’s encounter at the Nou Camp was no exception as the European champions romped to a 5-2 victory.

Barca were 4-0 up within 41 minutes after goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi, Daniel Alves and Seydou Keita, before Atletico pulled one back through Sergio Aguero.

Diego Forlan made it 4-2 late on but any thoughts of a late rally disappeared when an inspired Messi grabbed his second at the end.

Whereas most managers think Rorke’s Drift or the Alamo when they go the Nou Camp, Atletico coach Abel Resino went to trade blows with Barca, lining up five attacking players ahead of one holding midfielder.

Shamrock prepare for Real visit

Click the video above for a look at how Shamrock Rovers are preparing for the visit of Real Madrid — a match the entire soccer word will be keeping an eye on, with Cristiano Ronaldo set to make his debut for the Spanish club.

Interesting line about Real’s continued interest in Franck Ribery. Do they really need him still. Raul seems to suggest they’d still like him…

Kaka deal highlights Serie A decline

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The departure of Kaka from AC Milan to Real Madrid marks the end of the Italian era in European football. Not only can Italian clubs not attract the best players in the world to play in Serie A but now, when they unearth a talent like Kaka, they can’t stop them from leaving.

Italians used to describe their Serie A as ‘il campionato piu bello del mondo’ , the most beautiful championship in the world. It was not just because Italians love nothing more than talking themselves up — Serie A was the first league in the world to sign up top foreign stars, bringing in international talent at a time when the English league, for example, stretched no further than Scotland in search of players.

Vlog on the Pitch: Florentino’s new era at Real Madrid

Florentino Perez began his second spell as Real Madrid president on Monday and immediately signed up Zinedine Zidane and Jorge Valdano for the project.

Those appointments are all very well, but the question we all want answering is which players Florentino is going to bring in. Will he content himself with one major signing, a la Zidane, or will he, as some have speculated, sign basically a whole new team.

Game, set and match: Real 2 Barça 6

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If Chelsea were cautious in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Barcelona, what will they do after seeing this display?

Spain’s sports journalists will be doing their best to outdo one another in superlatives after a performance that ranks right up there with the 5-0 Barça managed at the Bernabeu with Johan Cruyff in their team in 1974.

Metzelder may make it in Madrid after all

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I nearly fell out of my chair on Sunday night when I realised the identity of the Real Madrid player who had surged into the box and sent across a perfectly-weighted centre for Raul to score the equaliser against Sevilla.

Christoph Metzelder? What on earth is he doing up there?

The 28-year-old defender is trying to win back his place in the German national side but has only played in eight of the Spanish champions’ 33 league matches this season and has said he is considering moving on if he doesn’t get more time on the pitch.

Aguero magic could pose problem for Atletico

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The sort of performance Sergio Aguero turned in to inspire victory over Barcelona could be a curse as well as a blessing for Atletico Madrid, who are only going to find themselves under more pressure to sell him to one of Europe’s powerhouse clubs come the end of the season.

The gifted 20-year-old, nicknamed “Kun” after a Japanese comic book hero, scored two superb goals, including a dramatic 89th minute winner, as Atletico twice came from behind to stun the visiting Primera Liga leaders 4-3.

So are we set for another all-English Champions League final?

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There’s still a long way to go to the final in Rome but from what we saw over the first legs of the opening knock-out round of the Champions League a lot of people will be expecting another all-English affair at the Olympic Stadium.

If you take Mark’s dad as an authority, and I’m sure he knows as much as anyone, serie A sides are unlikely still to be challenging but is there anyone else capable of preventing another Premier League tour match?

Real Madrid v Liverpool — what a difference two months make

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Back in December, when the draw for the first knock-out round of the Champions League was made, Liverpool could be forgiven for feeling pretty pleased with the prospect of renewing their acquaintance with Real Madrid. How different things look now.

Back then, Liverpool were top of the Premier League, six points ahead of a Manchester United side facing a fixture pile-up and struggling for form. Real Madrid, in apparent disarray after sacking coach Bernd Schuster, were 12 points behind Barcelona, having just lost 2-0 to their arch-rivals.

Can new Atletico coach do a Guardiola?

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Atletico Madrid’s decision to appoint Abel Resino as coach in place of the mild-mannered Javier Aguirre should help placate disgruntled fans and unsettled players.

Whether it will help them fulfil their aspirations of European success is a trickier question.

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