Tag: La Liga

Soccer-Barca coach Martino breaking Neymar in gently

Soccer-Barca coach Martino breaking Neymar in gently

By Iain Rogers

MADRID, Aug 26 (Reuters) – Barcelona have been keen to avoid overburdening new signing Neymar yet Wednesday’s Spanish Super Cup second leg at home to Atletico Madrid may see him included in the starting lineup for the first time.

Coach Gerardo Martino has left the Brazil forward on the bench until the final half hour of all three of the Spanish champions’ competitive games this term following his close-season move from Santos for 57 million euros ($74.09 million).

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Martino: Messi needs rest but won't be substituted regularly

Martino: Messi needs rest yet won't be substituted regularly

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino says he will not continually substitute Lionel Messi despite admitting that the Argentine must accept the need to be rested this season.The new Barca boss replaced Messi during the club’s 7-0 thrashing of Levante on the opening day of the season in La Liga, and, ahead of the Blaugrana’s Supercopa clash with Atletico Madrid, Martino says he will not be making a habit of withdrawing the four-time Ballon d’Or winner.”I think it’s a matter of compromise from both parties, we’ve talked approximately it, & Leo understands what it is about, yet of course I won’t substitute him five times in a row,” Martino told reporters. “It’s approximately balance. I am the coach & I make the decisions, yet I seldom take such drastic action without speaking to my players first.”It doesn’t affect my authority if I alter my stance on something. If I have to reconsider a decision, I will.”Barcelona heads into the first leg of the Supercopa knowing it has beaten Atletico Madrid in each of their last six meetings. Despite the one-sided record though, Martino insists the Catalans will be in for a difficult encounter, with Atletico — which boasts former Barca striker David Villa — beating Real Madrid to claim a place in the tie while opening the La Liga campaign with a 3-1 victory on Sunday against Sevilla.”Obviously we are expected to win the Supercopa, so we will try to make sure we obtain the result against Atletico Madrid, yet it is not guaranteed,” Martino said. “Anything can happen over the 180 minutes it is different from the league where we have 38 fixtures over the course of the season.”

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Soccer-Valencia close to completing deal for Colombia's Pabon

Soccer-Valencia close to completing deal for Colombia's Pabon

MADRID, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Valencia have paid the buy-out clause to secure the services of Colombia striker Dorlan Pabon from Monterrey, though the Mexican club are disputing the details of the deal, the Spanish side said on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old forward, who played part of last season on loan with La Liga side Real Betis, will come in to assist fill the gap left by the sale of Roberto Soldado to Tottenham Hotspur.

“Pabon will be a Valencia player as we have deposited his buy-out clause of $10 million,” Valencia president Amadeo Salvo told a news conference.

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Soccer-Casillas situation at Real a worry for Del Bosque

Soccer-Casillas situation at Real a worry for Del Bosque

By Mark Elkington

MADRID, Aug 20 (Reuters) – Spain coach Vicente del Bosque will be watching for Carlo Ancelotti’s next Real Madrid starting XI with greater interest than usual after the Italian opened the La Liga campaign with Iker Casillas on the bench.

The 32-year-old goalkeeper, long-standing captain for both club & country, saw Diego Lopez surprisingly chosen ahead of him at home to Real Betis on Sunday, Ancelotti’s competitive debut at the helm.

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Soccer-Giovani inspires Villarreal to comeback win

Soccer-Giovani inspires Villarreal to comeback win

* Villarreal grab 3-2 win at Almeria

* Rayo spoil Elche’s La Liga return in 3-0 win (Updates after late games)

By Mark Elkington

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'La Liga is boring' – Simeone slams Barca and Madrid domination

'La Liga is boring' - Simeone slams Barca & Madrid domination

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has branded La Liga “a tedious championship” due to Barcelona & Real Madrid’s domination.Los Colchoneros finished third in Spain last term to only the Clasico duo & capped a brilliant campaign with triumph in the Copa del Rey against their city rivals.However, when asked whether his side could muster a title challenge this time out, the Argentine was quick to lament the two giants’ domestic dominance.”No, I absolutely do not,” the 43-year-old told reporters. “Madrid & Barcelona play a different league. This is a tedious championship.”We’ll have to wait for television distribution to alter because now the league is only between two teams.”Two of Atletico’s next three games is against Barca – which conquered Levante 7-0 on Sunday – in the Supercopa de Espana, either side of a clash with Rayo Vallecano.

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Soccer-Costa helps Atletico forget about Falcao

Soccer-Costa helps Atletico forget approximately Falcao

MADRID, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Brazilian striker Diego Costa proved there was life after Radamel Falcao at Atletico Madrid as he scored twice to assist the King’s Cup winners to a 3-1 win at Sevilla in their La Liga opener on Sunday.

Colombia forward Falcao was sold to Monaco for more than 50 million euros ($66.66 million) in May after scoring 28 league goals for Atletico last season.

Costa had reportedly moreover been a multi-million euro target for Liverpool, yet last season’s third-placed finishers hung on to the powerful frontman & last week extended his contract to 2018.

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Soccer-Isco uses his head to impress on Real debut

Soccer-Isco uses his head to impress on Real debut

MADRID, Aug 18 (Reuters) – Real Madrid new boy Isco went some way towards justifying his 30 million euro signing on fee when he set up the equaliser & then scored the winner against Real Betis on his competitive debut on Sunday.

The Spanish Under 21 international fed Karim Benzema for the 26th-minute leveller in Real’s La Liga opener at the Bernabeu, & then rose to power a header under the crossbar four minutes from time for a 2-1 victory.

The diminutive playmaker is more noted for his ability with his feet than with his head, yet broke through from midfield to head home from Marcelo’s curling cross.

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Soccer-Caballero error gifts Valencia win over Malaga

Soccer-Caballero error gifts Valencia win over Malaga

* Valencia beat Malaga 1-0

* Real Sociedad sweep Getafe aside 2-0 (Updates after late games)

By Mark Elkington

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