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AFP

Decision time for Zidane as Bale awaits chance for reconciliation

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Madrid (AFP) – Gareth Bale’s relationship with Zinedine Zidane will come to a crossroads when Real Madrid play Liverpool in the Champions League final on Saturday.

The pair have not seen eye-to-eye for some time, ever since Zidane jettisoned the Welshman for Real’s last 16 first leg game at home to Paris Saint-Germain in February.

“It’s their turn” – McDermott urges Liverpool to draw on spirit of ’81

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Madrid (AFP) – When Liverpool last beat Real Madrid to win the European Cup, Terry McDermott was the tournament’s top scorer and neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Mohamed Salah were even born.

The 1981 final at the Parc des Princes in Paris, decided by Alan Kennedy’s late goal, earned Liverpool a third European crown in five seasons, at around the midway point of the club’s most dominant era.

Liverpool can beat Real if they conquer their nerves – Alonso

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Madrid (AFP) – Xabi Alonso believes Liverpool can beat Real Madrid and be European champions but only if they cope with the pressure of playing in a Champions League final.

Alonso won Europe´s premier tournament with Liverpool in 2005 and Real in 2014, having spent five years playing for both of this season´s finalists.

Morata misses out on Spain World Cup squad

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Madrid (AFP) – Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata was left out of Spain’s World Cup squad, announced on Monday.

Morata paid the price for a disappointing debut season in the Premier League as Spain coach Julen Lopetegui picked Iago Aspas and Rodrigo Moreno up front, along with Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa.

Morata misses out on Spain World Cup squad

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Madrid (AFP) – Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata was left out of Spain’s World Cup squad, announced on Monday.

Morata paid the price for a disappointing debut season in the Premier League as Spain coach Julen Lopetegui picked Iago Aspas and Rodrigo Moreno up front, along with Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa.

Iniesta and Torres depart Barcelona and Atletico in style

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Madrid (AFP) – Two Spanish giants bid farewell to their boyhood clubs on Sunday as Andres Iniesta waved goodbye to Barcelona and Fernando Torres went out with a bang at Aletico Madrid.

Torres scored twice on his final appearance for Atletico, even if a Lucas Hernandez red card helped Eibar claim a 2-2 draw on the last day of the La Liga season.

Iniesta and Torres depart Barcelona and Atletico in style

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Madrid (AFP) – Two Spanish giants bid farewell to their boyhood clubs on Sunday as Andres Iniesta waved goodbye to Barcelona and Fernando Torres went out with a bang at Aletico Madrid.

Torres scored twice on his final appearance for Atletico, even if a Lucas Hernandez red card helped Eibar claim a 2-2 draw on the last day of the La Liga season.

‘Kid to a legend’: Torres bids Atletico farewell with two goals

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Madrid (AFP) – Fernando Torres scored twice on an emotional final outing for Atletico Madrid on Sunday but was denied a victorious farewell as Eibar snatched a 2-2 draw.

Torres struck in each half much to the delight of his adoring fans at the Wanda Metropolitano but a Lucas Hernandez red card helped Eibar claim a point on the last day of the La Liga season.

Ronaldo and Bale score in Real draw as Zinedine son makes debut

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid’s final Champions League rehearsal was running perfectly on Saturday until Cristiano Ronaldo was substituted and Villarreal scored twice to snatch a 2-2 draw.

Gareth Bale and Ronaldo put Real in cruise control at the Estadio de la Ceramica but the Portugese, along with Luka Modric, was taken off shortly after the hour and Villarreal came surging back.

Ronaldo and Bale score in Real draw as Zinedine son makes debut

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid’s final Champions League rehearsal was running perfectly on Saturday until Cristiano Ronaldo was substituted and Villarreal scored twice to snatch a 2-2 draw.

Gareth Bale and Ronaldo put Real in cruise control at the Estadio de la Ceramica but the Portugese, along with Luka Modric, was taken off shortly after the hour and Villarreal came surging back.

Ronaldo and Bale score but Real slip to draw at Villarreal

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid’s final Champions League rehearsal was running perfectly on Saturday until Cristiano Ronaldo was substituted and Villarreal scored twice to snatch a 2-2 draw.

Gareth Bale and Ronaldo put Real in cruise control at the Estadio de la Ceramica but the Portugese, along with Luka Modric, was taken off shortly after the hour and Villarreal came surging back.

Ronaldo and Bale score but Real slip to draw at Villarreal

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid’s final Champions League rehearsal was running perfectly on Saturday until Cristiano Ronaldo was substituted and Villarreal scored twice to snatch a 2-2 draw.

Gareth Bale and Ronaldo put Real in cruise control at the Estadio de la Ceramica but the Portugese, along with Luka Modric, was taken off shortly after the hour and Villarreal came surging back.

Griezmann set for Atletico goodbye in Europa League final

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Madrid (AFP) – Antoine Griezmann’s first major trophy with Atletico Madrid may well prove to be his last if they can overcome Marseille in the Europa League final on Wednesday.

Griezmann’s future has dominated the build-up to this week’s showpiece match in Lyon, with the striker widely expected to join Barcelona in the summer.

Koke strike sees off Getafe as Atletico warm up for Europa League final

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Madrid (AFP) – Koke’s early goal proved enough for Atletico Madrid to claim a 1-0 win at Getafe on Saturday as they extended their lead over Real Madrid in the race to finish second in La Liga.

Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak also saved a late penalty from Faycal Fajr as Diego Simeone’s men warmed up for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Marseille by denting Getafe’s hopes of playing continental football next season.

Zidane sidesteps talk of Neymar Real move

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane on Friday sidestepped talk of a bid for the world’s most expensive footballer Neymar.

“I dont know, I don’t think so. What we are thinking about at the moment is the Champions League final,” Zidane told a press conference when asked about a possible move for the Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil star.

Barca hold on for draw against Real – five things we learned

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Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona emerged from a thrilling Clasico the more satisfied on Sunday as the 10-man Catalans edged closer to a first unbeaten La Liga season following a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergi Roberto both missed the second half at Camp Nou, the first injured, the second sent off, as Gareth Bale’s late strike rescued Real a point.

Barca hold on for draw against Real – five things we learned

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Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona emerged from a thrilling Clasico the more satisfied on Sunday as the 10-man Catalans edged closer to a first unbeaten La Liga season following a 2-2 draw with Real Madrid.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergi Roberto both missed the second half at Camp Nou, the first injured, the second sent off, as Gareth Bale’s late strike rescued Real a point.

Atletico beaten at home by Espanyol

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Madrid (AFP) – Atletico Madrid lost at the Wanda Metropolitano for the first time in La Liga as Espanyol snatched a surprise 2-0 victory on Sunday.

Oscar Melendo and Leo Baptistao each scored in the second half to end Atletico’s unbeaten run in the stadium they moved into at the start of the season.

Barca desperate to maintain unbeaten La Liga record – Digne

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Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona defender Lucas Digne has admitted he and his team-mates are desperate to avoid surrendering their unbeaten La Liga record to Real Madrid on Sunday.

Barca are four games away from adding a first invincible La Liga season to their domestic double but this weekend they host a Real side in form, and buoyed by their run to the Champions League final.

Barca desperate to maintain unbeaten La Liga record – Digne

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Madrid (AFP) – Barcelona defender Lucas Digne has admitted he and his team-mates are desperate to avoid surrendering their unbeaten La Liga record to Real Madrid on Sunday.

Barca are four games away from adding a first invincible La Liga season to their domestic double but this weekend they host a Real side in form, and buoyed by their run to the Champions League final.

‘Clasico of honour’ – Real look to crash unbeaten Barca’s party

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid can transform their own season by beating Liverpool in this month’s Champions League final, and on Sunday they can dent Barcelona’s by becoming the first team to defeat the Catalans in La Liga.

This ‘clasico’ at Camp Nou will have minimal impact on the league, with Barca already crowned champions and Real’s passing interest in pipping Atletico to second place diminished by their ambitions in Europe.

‘Sad’ Wenger defends Ozil after Atletico defeat

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Madrid (AFP) – Arsene Wenger was left devastated by Arsenal’s Europa League defeat to Atletico Madrid on Thursday but made a staunch defence of midfielder Mesut Ozil.

Ozil’s performance was heavily criticised by former Arsenal defender Martin Keown, who said the German had cried “crocodile tears” after the game, and was “not fit to wear the shirt”.

‘Sad’ Wenger laments missed chances for Arsenal

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Madrid (AFP) – Arsene Wenger admitted Arsenal paid the price for their wasteful finishing as they were denied a place in the Europa League final by Atletico Madrid on Thursday.

Diego Costa’s strike at the end of the first half proved decisive at the Wanda Metropolitano where a 1-0 victory secured Atletico a 2-1 win on aggregate.

Koscielny doubtful for World Cup after Achilles injury

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Madrid (AFP) – Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny looks set to miss the World Cup after the France international suffered an Achilles injury during Thursday’s Europa League semi-final defeat by Atletico Madrid.

The 32-year-old centre-back was stretchered off in tears after just 12 minutes of his side’s 1-0 second-leg loss at the Wanda Metropolitano, with manager Arsene Wenger confirming he faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Koscielny doubtful for World Cup after Achilles injury

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Madrid (AFP) – Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny looks set to miss the World Cup after the France international suffered an Achilles injury during Thursday’s Europa League semi-final defeat by Atletico Madrid.

The 32-year-old centre-back was stretchered off in tears after just 12 minutes of his side’s 1-0 second-leg loss at the Wanda Metropolitano, with manager Arsene Wenger confirming he faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Real and Benzema deliver when it matters to reach Champions League final

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid and Karim Benzema have each endured rather underwhelming seasons so far by their own high standards but both know how to rise to a big occasion.

Benzema’s double knocked out Bayern Munich on Tuesday and sent Real through to their fourth Champions League final in five years, thanks to a 2-2 draw on the night and a 4-3 win on aggregate.

Real and Benzema deliver when it matters to reach Champions League final

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid and Karim Benzema have each endured rather underwhelming seasons so far by their own high standards but both know how to rise to a big occasion.

Benzema’s double knocked out Bayern Munich on Tuesday and sent Real through to their fourth Champions League final in five years, thanks to a 2-2 draw on the night and a 4-3 win on aggregate.

‘You have to suffer’ – Zidane hails gritty Real win

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid scrapped their way into a third consecutive Champions League final on Tuesday and coach Zinedine Zidane said he would not have wanted it any other way.

After their last-gasp win over Juventus in the quarter-finals, Real were left hanging on against Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu as Karim Benzema’s double secured a 2-2 draw and 4-3 win on aggregate.

‘You have to suffer’ – Zidane hails gritty Real win

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid scrapped their way into a third consecutive Champions League final on Tuesday and coach Zinedine Zidane said he would not have wanted it any other way.

After their last-gasp win over Juventus in the quarter-finals, Real were left hanging on against Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu as Karim Benzema’s double secured a 2-2 draw and 4-3 win on aggregate.

Heynckes says Bayern played best match for years

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Madrid (AFP) – Coach Jupp Heynckes said Bayern Munich played their best match for years but were undone by a mistake from goalkeeper Sven Ulreich to allow Real Madrid to reach the Champions League final.

“We are very disappointed,” Heynckes said. “My team played an outstanding game.

Heynckes says Bayern played best match for years

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Madrid (AFP) – Coach Jupp Heynckes said Bayern Munich played their best match for years but were undone by a mistake from goalkeeper Sven Ulreich to allow Real Madrid to reach the Champions League final.

“We are very disappointed,” Heynckes said. “My team played an outstanding game.

Benzema scores twice against Bayern to send Real into Champions League final

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid are within touching distance of a third consecutive Champions League triumph after Karim Benzema scored twice to eliminate Bayern Munich on Tuesday and book their place in the final.

Bayern, who trailed 2-1 following last week’s opening leg in Germany, looked capable of inflicting this season’s latest European comeback when Joshua Kimmich scored early and James Rodriguez levelled shortly after the hour.

Benzema scores twice against Bayern to send Real into Champions League final

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Madrid (AFP) – Real Madrid are within touching distance of a third consecutive Champions League triumph after Karim Benzema scored twice to eliminate Bayern Munich on Tuesday and book their place in the final.

Bayern, who trailed 2-1 following last week’s opening leg in Germany, looked capable of inflicting this season’s latest European comeback when Joshua Kimmich scored early and James Rodriguez levelled shortly after the hour.

Zidane drops Casemiro, recalls Benzema for Bayern clash

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Madrid (AFP) – Zinedine Zidane sprung a surprise by dropping Casemiro for Real Madrid’s Champions League semi-final second leg against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Casemiro started on the bench for the first time in this season’s knock-out stage, with Mateo Kovacic coming into a three-man midfield alongside Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.

Real and Zidane look to overcome Bayern in Champions League semis

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Madrid (AFP) – Zinedine Zidane may have won two consecutive Champions League titles but he refuses to admit a third would brand this his very own era at Real Madrid.

Real stand on the brink of a trio of finals ahead of their second leg against Bayern Munich in the last four on Tuesday, when they will carry a 2-1 lead, and two away goals, to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Real and Zidane look to overcome Bayern in Champions League semis

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Madrid (AFP) – Zinedine Zidane may have won two consecutive Champions League titles but he refuses to admit a third would brand this his very own era at Real Madrid.

Real stand on the brink of a trio of finals ahead of their second leg against Bayern Munich in the last four on Tuesday, when they will carry a 2-1 lead, and two away goals, to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Barcelona have been far superior in La Liga, says Messi

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Madrid (AFP) – Lionel Messi revelled in Barcelona’s seventh La Liga title in 10 seasons on Sunday, saying his team were “far superior” to their domestic rivals during their double-winning campaign.

The Argentinian star scored a brilliant 30th La Liga hat-trick as Barca survived a scare to beat Deportivo La Coruna 4-2, wrapping up the club’s 25th league title with four matches to spare and keeping their hopes of an unbeaten season alive.

Barcelona have been far superior in La Liga, says Messi

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Madrid (AFP) – Lionel Messi revelled in Barcelona’s seventh La Liga title in 10 seasons on Sunday, saying his team were “far superior” to their domestic rivals during their double-winning campaign.

The Argentinian star scored a brilliant 30th La Liga hat-trick as Barca survived a scare to beat Deportivo La Coruna 4-2, wrapping up the club’s 25th league title with four matches to spare and keeping their hopes of an unbeaten season alive.

Torres misses penalty, Gameiro scores one in Atletico win

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Madrid (AFP) – Kevin Gamerio scored a second-half penalty just seven minutes after Fernando Torres had missed a spot-kick as Atletico Madrid claimed a 1-0 win at Alaves in La Liga on Sunday.

Barcelona can secure the title later on Sunday if they avoid defeat at Deportivo La Coruna, but Diego Simeone’s Atletico stayed in control of the race for second by moving four points clear of Real Madrid, who have a game in hand.

The Rest

Madrid Is Center Of Footballing Universe Again

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Madrid is the football capital of the universe again and to say that the 'Madrilenos' are pleased about that would be an understatement.

The talk over the beer and tortilla in Madrid over the weekend was not just of the two finals to be played this month, but of the European Super cup final to be played next August in Tallinn, Estonia – another Madrid derby if things go to form in the coming weeks.