Lionel Messi double powers Barcelona to victory over Alavés in opener

Barcelona began the new campaign with a 3-0 win over Alavés with the help of an under-the-wall free-kick from Lionel Messi, who scored twice, and a curling shot from the substitute Philippe Coutinho. The champions had dominated the late kick-off at a quiet Camp Nou but struggled to convert chances against a shrewd Alavés, who are the last team to win a league game at the Catalans’ home, beating them 2-1 in 2016. Continue reading...

Eyes down for kick-off in La Liga, where Barcelona remain the team to beat

Real Madrid are in transition without Zidane and Ronaldo, and Atlético are still the most likely to upset the old duopoly On 16 May Barcelona met Mamelodi Sundowns in a friendly in Johannesburg. The Mandela Centenary Cup was the prize, Barcelona beat South Africa’s champions 3-1 and the highlight for the crowd at Soccer City was seeing Lionel Messi come off the bench in the second half. Related: Could La Liga’s US venture spark a Premier export? | Ed Aarons Continue reading...

La Liga set to stage match in US as battle to match Premier League grows

• Regular-season fixture could take place as early as this season
El Clásico would remain in Spain under proposals La Liga is set to stage a regular-season match in the United States, possibly as early as this year, but a clásico between Real Madrid and Barcelona is pretty much out of the question. The league said on Thursday it is planning to play a match across the Atlantic as part of a new 15-year partnership with the sports and entertainment group Relevent to promote the game in North America. The group operates the International Champions Cup, the world’s largest summer club tournament. Barcelona and Real Madrid faced each other in the tournament in Miami last year. Continue reading...

Facebook buys rights to show La Liga games in India

Company signs exclusive three-year agreement to screen all 380 Spanish top-flight football matches across south Asia Facebook has bought the rights to show Spanish top-flight football in the Indian subcontinent in the latest move by a US technology company into sports rights. The company has signed an exclusive agreement to show La Liga games featuring Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and other stars for the next three years. The deal will allow Facebook to show all 380 matches for the new season, which starts on Friday, to users in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Continue reading...

Football quiz: are you up to speed on the managerial merry-go-round?

A lot of Europe’s big clubs have appointed new managers for the season ahead. Have you followed the standout moves?

New Arsenal manager Unai Emery has previously worked at Valencia, Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain. At which club did he last just six months in 2012?

Galatasaray

Spartak Moscow

Red Star Belgrade

Dynamo Kyiv

Which two national teams has new Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa managed?

Italy and Spain

Argentina and Chile

Uruguay and Argentina

Chile and Brazil

Julian Nagelsmann will leave Hoffenheim to take over as RB Leipzig manager at the end of this season. How old is Nagelsmann?

29

31

33

35

Thomas Tuchel has become the new Paris Saint-Germain manager, replacing Emery. At which club was Tuchel given his first managerial post back in 2009?

VFB Stuttgart

Borussia Dortmund

Hansa Rostock

Mainz 05

New Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac won the German Cup last season – by beating Bayern Continue reading "Football quiz: are you up to speed on the managerial merry-go-round?"

Real Madrid’s strategy of signing World Cup stars goes back 60 years

Thibaut Courtois, Toni Kroos and Ronaldo are all part of a transfer policy first used by Santiago Bernabéu in 1958
By Craig McCracken for Beyond The Last Man It is a quadrennial tradition that Real Madrid swoop for standout performers from the recent World Cup. West German left-back Paul Breitner was an early and successful example of this policy in action when he joined the club weeks after winning the World Cup on home soil in 1974. Gheorghe Hagi, Predrag Spasić, Fernando Redondo, Robert Jarni, the Brazilian Ronaldo, Fabio Cannavaro, Mesut Özil and Sami Khedira all arrived on the back of strong World Cup performances. Thibaut Courtois, the golden glove winner in Russia this summer, is just the latest player to turn up in Madrid after impressing at the World Cup. Real Madrid’s two acquisitions after the 2014 World Cup – James Rodríguez and Toni Kroos – provide a Continue reading "Real Madrid’s strategy of signing World Cup stars goes back 60 years"

Discarded Arsenal striker close to £10m switch to West Ham United

Having failed to make a lasting imprint at Arsenal, the Daily Mail understands that Lucas Perez is supposedly close to completing a £10m switch to London-based rivals West Ham United, as it’s said that the discarded Spaniard is keen to remain a Premier League professional, despite only featuring in a mere handful of top-flight encounters […]

Counting down now..

EPL ….starting 10th August. La Liga …starting 17th August . Serie A ..starting 18th August Bundesliga ….starting 25th August.

Arsenal tailing Real Madrid’s £45m-rated Croatian midfielder

A report published by Daily Star suggests that Arsenal are tailing Real Madrid’s £45m-rated Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic, who’s is allegedly hungry to leave the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer in order to locate undisputed first-team football next season after flourishing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Kovacic, alongside Los Blancos teammate Luka Modric […]

Julen Lopetegui to join Real Madrid as head coach after World Cup

• Spain coach signs three-year contract at the Bernabéu
• Lopetegui’s side face Portugal in World Cup on FridayReal Madrid have announced that the Spain head coach Julen Lopetegui will take over as manager at the Bernabéu after 2018 World Cup in Russia. Lopetegui has signed a three-year deal with Madrid after two years with the national side, who he has guided to the World Cup in impressive fashion. Continue reading...

‘Experienced’ Stephan Lichtsteiner will ‘improve’ Arsenal

Unai Emery believes that Stephan Lichtsteiner will ‘improve’ Arsenal’s overall performances after joining the north-Londoners from Juventus for free on Tuesday, their first signing of the summer transfer window and undoubtedly one of the club’s most practiced, proven acquisitions in recent seasons. The 34-year-old right-back, who will captain Switzerland at the 2018 World Cup in […]

Stephan Lichtsteiner vows to ‘make big things’ happen at Arsenal

Arsenal unveiled their first summer signing in the shape of Stephan Lichtsteiner on Tuesday afternoon and it’s since become clear that the 34-year-old right-back is determined to ‘make big things’ happen at his new employers in the coming seasons. Joining from monopolising Serie A powerhouse Juventus on a free transfer, the Switzerland captain understands how […]