Iker Casillas signs new FC Porto deal and will end playing career with club

Iker Casillas has signed a new contract with FC Porto which he says will see him end his professional career with the club. The 167-time capped Spain international goalkeeper will turn 38 in May and his new deal – one year plus an option for another – could take him to the age of 40, when Casillas says he will retire. Casillas has been with Porto since 2015, having spent the entirety of his career until that point with Real Madrid. He has continued to impress this season, with Porto…

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Will Zidane make Real Madrid a force again?

Zinedine Zidane

There was widespread surprise amongst residents of planet football in March as Frenchman Zinedine Zidane announced he would return as manager of Real Madrid just 10 months after leaving the La Liga kingpins. The former player walked in May of last year after guiding Blancos to a third straight Champions League trophy, but the club has struggled to find success following the Frenchman’s departure and were delighted to see him sign a deal that would keep him in charge until 2022. Zidane arrives at the Bernabeu with the 33-time Spanish…

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Real Madrid sign Brazilian defender Eder Militao from Porto for €50m

Real Madrid have agreed to sign defender Eder Militao from Porto at the end of the season for his buy-out clause of €50m. Both clubs announced the move on Thursday and the Spanish club say the 21-year-old Brazil international will sign a contract until 2025 with them. The centre-back is Real Madrid’s first signing following the return of Zinedine Zidane as manager. Militao, who has won one cap for Brazil, began with his hometown club São Paulo before moving to Porto in August 2018. This season he has helped the Portuguese champions reach the quarter-finals…

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Zinedine Zidane returns to coach Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane has made a surprise return to coach Real Madrid less than a year after leaving the Spanish giants in the wake of one of its great European successes. The 46-year-old Frenchman led Real to three consecutive Champions League trophies during his first spell in charge at the Bernabeu but then stepped down in May 2018. Zidane replaces sacked former teammate Santiago Solari, who was promoted to the role of Real coach after Julen Lopetegui was dismissed following a poor run of form in October. https://twitter.com/realmadrid/status/1105158556976861184 “Real Madrid appreciates…

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“We miss Cristiano,” Luka Modric admits Real miss Juventus talisman

Real Madrid’s failure to replace Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals has contributed to their struggles this season, says midfielder Luka Modric. Real, chasing a fourth European title in a row, host Ajax in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday having won 2-1 in Amsterdam. But they come into the game on the back of three consecutive home defeats – including two by Barcelona last week. “Given what he did for us and this club, we miss Cristiano,” said Modric. Ronaldo was top scorer, or joint top scorer,…

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Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos gets two-game European ban for ‘deliberate booking’

Sergio Ramos has been given a two-game ban by Uefa “for clearly receiving a yellow card on purpose” during Real Madrid’s Champions League tie at Ajax. Ramos fouled Kasper Dolberg in the 89th minute with Real 2-1 up, meaning he is suspended for the last-16 second leg. The Spain defender, 32, told reporters afterwards he would “be lying if I said I didn’t force [the booking]”. Uefa opened an investigation and gave him an additional one-match ban for obtaining a booking deliberately. By picking up a suspension at this stage, Ramos reduced…

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Sergio Ramos charged with getting booked deliberately against Ajax

Sergio Ramos has been charged by Uefa with “receiving a yellow card on purpose” in Real Madrid’s Champions League last-16 first leg with Ajax. Ramos fouled Kasper Dolberg in the 89th minute with Real leading 2-1, meaning he is suspended for the second leg. Uefa opened an investigation into the Spaniard when, after the match, he told reporters he would “be lying if I said I didn’t force [the booking]”. The case will be dealt with on 28 February. By picking up a suspension at this stage Ramos reduces the risk of…

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New four-team Supercopa de Espana set to be played abroad

The Supercopa de Espana – Spain’s version of the Community Shield – is set to take on a four-team format and be played abroad. The 2018 edition between Barcelona and Sevilla was played as a one-off game in Morocco, having previously been staged over two legs in Spain. The new proposal would see the Copa del Rey finalists and top two in La Liga meet in a four-team tournament. Spanish football bosses hope the new format would generate more interest. “In this way, we get the brand of the Spanish…

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Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale faces possible 12-match ban over gesture in derby

Gareth Bale could be banned for up to 12 games over his goal celebration in Real Madrid’s La Liga encounter against rivals Atletico Madrid. The league’s organising body said the Wales forward faces a sanction for a “provocative gesture” made after scoring Real’s third goal and his 100th for the club in the 3-1 victory at the Wanda Metropolitano last week. The incident will be referred to the Spanish soccer federation’s competition committee, who will then decide if Bale should be punished. The statement said Bale “lifted his right arm near…

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Eden Hazard hints at Real Madrid move yet again

Eden Hazard has once again fuelled rumours of a departure from Chelsea after revealing a “decision” regarding his future had been made, with Real Madrid thought to be his preferred destination. “I know what I am going to do. I have made a decision,” Hazard told the French radio station RMC. The interview was originally recorded two months ago as part of a documentary about his career, but it was only released this week. Speculation over Hazard’s future has been rife with the player admitting in November over a conflict in…

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Barcelona undecided about Messi involvement in El Clasico

Barcelona have named Lionel Messi in the squad to face Real Madrid in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey semi-final first leg, but will “wait until the last moment” to decide if he plays. The Argentine returned to training on Tuesday after suffering a thigh injury in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Valencia. “It is true that sometimes we have had doubts with players and we have waited until the last moment,” said manager Ernesto Valverde. “It’s the same with Messi.” Wednesday’s tie at the Nou Camp will be the first of three El…

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Why Alvaro Morata is not the answer to Chelsea’s lack of goals

Back when at Real Madrid, he was the future of the Santiago Bernabeu, and indeed of Spanish football.  In 2012/13 he had made his breakthrough under Jose Mourinho, making regular appearances and even starting in el clasico, playing a key role in a 2-1 victory, and made 12 league appearances that year, netting twice. 2013/14 saw further progress, 23 league matches, scoring 8 goals as Carlo Ancelotti joined the club and Morata found his place in rotation with Karem Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Angel Di Maria and an emerging…

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Toni Kroos ruled out for up to a month with muscle problem

Real Madrid fear midfielder Toni Kroos will miss a month of action after suffering a torn adductor muscle against Real Sociedad. The German international limped out of the closing moments of Sunday’s defeat against La Real and joins a growing injury list at the European champions. “Following tests carried out on our player Toni Kroos today by the Real Madrid Medical Services, he has been diagnosed with a grade 2 tear of the adductor muscle in his left leg,” read a Madrid statement. “His recovery will be monitored.” Next up…

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Pepe makes return to Portuguese football with Porto

FC Porto have confirmed the signing of former Real Madrid defender Pepe on a two-and-a-half year deal following his exit from Besiktas. The central defender has agreed a contract until the summer of 2021 with the Portuguese champions, who are currently in the last 16 of the Champions League. The 35-year-old won two league titles with Porto in a stint between 2004 and 2007, before subsequently joining Madrid, where he won two La Liga crowns and three Champions League titles. Pepe 🔵⚪ Bem-vindo a casa / Welcome home / Bienvenido…

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Real Madrid sign Brahim Diaz from Manchester City

Spanish teenager Brahim Diaz has signed for Real Madrid from Manchester City on a six-and-a-half-year contract. The 19-year-old midfielder joined City from Malaga aged 14 in 2013 and made 15 first-team appearances, but has played only four times this season. The Spain Under-21 international’s most recent outing came in the Carabao Cup quarter-final at Leicester last month. 👋 Welcome to @realmadrid, @Brahim Díaz!#WelcomeBrahim | #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/Eh2VLy6xYN — Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) January 6, 2019 Real, who lost 2-0 at home to Real Sociedad on Sunday and are fifth in La Liga,…

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Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale ruled out with yet another injury

Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale has been ruled out of action for an unknown period of time with a calf problem, the club confirmed. Bale was forced off at half-time against Villarreal on Wednesday as Madrid were held to a 2-2 draw. But the club have confirmed the problem is minor. Grade-one tears are the least severe of the three classifications. A statement read: “After tests carried out today on our player Gareth Bale by the medial services of Real Madrid, he has been diagnosed with a grade-one injury in…

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Keylor Navas commits future to Real Madrid amid transfer speculation

Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas has renewed his contract with the club for an extra year, taking his new deal to June 2021. The Costa Rican has fallen out of favour since the arrival of Thibaut Courtois and, since the appointment of Santiago Solari as head coach, his minutes have dwindled further. Navas had been expected to seek a move away from the Bernabeu in search of playing time, and there were reports of a £14m bid from Arsenal last week. Arsenal manager Unai Emery dismissed such speculation this week saying Navas had not been discussed…

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Mateo Kovacic eyes permanent stay at Chelsea

Mateo Kovacic has admitted he “can imagine” staying on at Chelsea, but acknowledges that Real Madrid will have the final say on his future. The midfielder joined the London club on a season-long loan from the European champions after becoming frustrated at a lack of regular playing time in Spain. Kovacic has taken to life in the English capital, playing 23 times in all competitions for Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea, and with the possibility of a permanent switch now being mooted, the 24-year-old is open to staying if all parties reach an agreement. “I…

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Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio ruled out with thigh injury

Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio will be out of action for sometime after suffering a thigh injury in his side’s 3-1 win over Kashima Antlers in the semifinal of the Fifa Club World Cup. The club revealed on Friday morning that the player has a grade II muscle strain in the right quadricep and that they are evaluating the situation. Asensio medical report.#RealMadrid https://t.co/Jx1Lnazh6Q — Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) December 21, 2018 It is unclear how long Asensio will be out for but the 22-year-old will definitely miss the…

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Manchester United draw PSG in Champions League, Liverpool to face Bayern Munich

Manchester United have drawn Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League, while Liverpool will face Bayern Munich and Tottenham will take on Borussia Dortmund. Manchester City were drawn against Bundesliga side Schalke, meaning three of the four English teams will face German opposition. Cristiano Ronaldo will return to the city of Madrid, with Juventus drawn against Atletico. Holders Real Madrid must overcome Dutch side Ajax, while Barcelona will take on Lyon and Roma will face FC Porto. The first legs of the last-16 ties will be split…

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Luka Modric wins Ballon d’or to end Ronaldo and Messi dominance

Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won the 2018 Ballon d’Or, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to claim the award in more than a decade. Modric, 33, won his third successive Champions League in May before helping Croatia to a first World Cup final. Former Brazil and AC Milan forward Kaka, in 2007, was the last player other than Messi or Ronaldo to win it. Ronaldo, who joined Juventus from Real Madrid in the summer, came second. Barcelona forward Messi finished fifth, with…

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Postponed Copa Libertadores final to be played at Santiago Bernabeu

Conmebol has confirmed that the postponed second leg of the Copa Libertadores final between River Plate and Boca Juniors will be played at the Bernabéu stadium, more than 6,000 miles away from the original venue, on 9 December. Fans of both sides will be given an equal allocation of tickets. Argentina’s two biggest teams drew the first leg 2-2 at Boca’s ground and were due to play the second match in South America’s equivalent of the Champions League final at River’s El Monumental stadium on Saturday. However, three Boca players, including the former Manchester…

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Eden Hazard drops hints at 2019 Chelsea exit

Eden Hazard has dropped his biggest hint yet he could leave Chelsea at the end of the season. The Belgium international has 18 months remaining on his contract and has been linked with both Real Madrid and Paris St Germain and admits a summer departure from Stamford Bridge is possible. Football punters have also been backing his exit with an offer from betdaq, at odds that are surely likely to only get shorter as the summer nears. Hazard himself has played up his interest in joining Real in the past, saying…

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Real Madrid confirm Solari appointment as permanent manager

Real Madrid have confirmed Santiago Solari’s appointment as their permanent manager after receiving approval from the Spanish football federation (RFEF). The 42-year-old Argentine has led the team to four wins in four games since replacing Julen Lopetegui at the helm of the European champions two weeks ago. Though the club have yet to confirm the news, Spanish rules prevent an interim coach from staying in charge for longer than 15 days, a period that expires on Monday. With victories over Melilla in the Copa del Rey, Viktoria Plzen in the…

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Real Madrid sack Julen Lopetegui after Clasico rout

Julen Lopetegui has been sacked as Real Madrid manager after just 14 matches that culminated in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to Barcelona in el Clasico at the Nou Camp. Former Real player and current coach of the Castilla Santiago Solari will “provisionally” be in charge of the first team until a successor is named, the club confirmed in a statement Monday night. The Spaniard succeeded Zinedine Zidane in June and took a training session on Monday but his fate was confirmed following a board meeting. Real, Champions League winners for the past three…

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