Laporta makes Messi promise, declares confidence in Koeman

Joan Laporta made clear his plans for Barcelona at the official ceremony to start his second spell as club president.Joan Laporta has promised to do everything he can to persuade Lionel Messi to stay at Barcelona, as well as offering an assurance to head coach Ronald Koeman amid speculation over his future. Laporta was officially unveiled as Barca’s new president at a ceremony on Wednesday, having seen off competition from Victor Font and Toni Freixa during an election staged on March 7. It will be his second time in the…

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Zidane accepts half-time changes may have cost Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane held his hands up and accepted his half-time tinkering may have cost Real Madrid in their 1-1 draw at home to Real Sociedad on Monday. Madrid were the more threatening of the teams in the first half at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, with Mariano Diaz hitting the crossbar from close range in a lucky escape for the visitors. But, seemingly unhappy with his team’s performance, Zidane altered his setup at the interval to go with a back three, only for Portu to ghost in at the back post…

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Pique: Barca can change season completely with second straight win against Sevilla

Gerard Pique believes Barcelona have the opportunity to turn their entire season around by knocking Sevilla out of the Copa del Rey having beaten the same side in LaLiga on Saturday. The first part of a huge double-header went Barca’s way in a 2-0 away triumph as Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi scored to take Ronald Koeman’s men to second. The Blaugrana are now only two points behind league leaders Atletico Madrid, albeit having played two games more, and have their confidence renewed heading into Wednesday’s home Copa semi-final second…

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Madrid are a machine against the big teams: 20 points from 24 against top sides

If Real Madrid could play against Spain’s best teams every week, they would be untouchably dominant in LaLiga Santander. Los Blancos’ latest 2-0 win over Celta Vigo at the weekend was just the latest evidence supporting the argument that, as far as Real Madrid are concerned, there’s no better fixture than one against a top side. Having seen off the Galicians, Real Madrid have already played against the other eight sides accompanying them in the top part of the table, taking 20 of the 24 points on offer. Atletico Madrid,…

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Real Madrid go top of La Liga after comfortable victory over Celta Vigo

Real Madrid moved one point clear at the top of the La Liga table on Saturday after their 2-0 win over Celta Vigo at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. It’s a league lead that could last little more than 12 hours, though, with Atletico Madrid (who have three games in hand) travelling to Alaves on Sunday with visions of returning to Spanish football’s summit. Sergio Ramos sat out the visit of Eduardo Coudet’s men with a reported stomach illness, but the hosts maintained their stout defensive form behind Raphael Varane…

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