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Author Archive for Sid Lowe

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‘His Magnum opus’: even for Lionel Messi, this was special | Sid Lowe

This weekend Messi did something unusual: he did something he hasn’t done before, exceeding his own expectationsSunday morning and military machines rolled down the Castellana, armoured vehicles on the move. Snipers stood on roofs and helicopters circl…

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Ousmane Dembélé: the disconnected kid with a knack for vital goals | Sid Lowe

The 21-year-old has appeared disengaged and immature at Barça – but he has a habit of scoring when it mattersBy night, he plays video games and eats junk food; by day, he rides to the rescue, saving the same men who have been trying to save him from hi…

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Real Madrid deny Sergio Ramos failed to comply with anti-doping regulations

• Der Spiegel report makes allegations against Madrid player• Club denies claims and says report is ‘lacking in substance’Real Madrid have denied that Sergio Ramos failed to comply with anti-doping regulations following reports that accuse him of twice…

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Ivan Rakitic: ‘We saw Football’s Coming Home and thought: yeah, but you still have to play us’

The Barcelona and Croatia midfielder talks about playing England at the World Cup with a virus, how to stay calm when taking penalties and exhaustionIvan Rakitic packed his bag, kissed his family goodbye and said see you on the 15th. It was early June …

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Real Betis’s Barcelona tribute act is even better than the real thing | Sid Lowe

Before the match, Real Betis’s manager had to apologise for his admiration for Barça. After beating them, Barcelona’s players spoke of their admiration for himIn the final moments before the first half began on Sunday afternoon, Real Betis’s manager, Q…

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Real Betis’s Barcelona tribute act is even better than the real thing | Sid Lowe

Before the match, Real Betis’s manager had to apologise for his admiration for Barça. After beating them, Barcelona’s players spoke of their admiration for himIn the final moments before the first half began on Sunday afternoon, Real Betis’s manager, Q…

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Six teams, 11 hours, nine goals, and the ghost haunting a Saturday in Madrid

Barcelona finally shrugged off the ghost of Butarque but Atlético and Real had their own battles as La Liga’s threads all came together in Madrid“The Ghost of Butarque: that’s a good name for a novel,” Ernesto Valverde said. It was coming up to midnigh…

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Six teams, 11 hours, nine goals, and the ghost haunting a Saturday in Madrid

Barcelona finally shrugged off the ghost of Butarque but Atlético and Real had their own battles as La Liga’s threads all came together in Madrid“The Ghost of Butarque: that’s a good name for a novel,” Ernesto Valverde said. It was coming up to midnigh…

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Luis Suárez and Barcelona leave Madrid floundering again in clásico | Sid Lowe

In the last decade, Barcelona had beaten Real Madrid 5-0, 4-3, 3-2, 4-0, 3-1 and 6-2. Now they can add a 5-1 to that listSofi Balbi couldn’t be there the day her husband became only the second footballer to score a hat-trick in 70 clásicos going back a…

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El clásico feels the pain of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo absence

Barcelona host a struggling Real Madrid but the absence of the world’s best players marks a dimming of this game’s star powerJulen Lopetegui will make it to the clásico between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou on Sunday but, for the first time…

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Real Madrid’s Marcelo: ‘Lack of respect? I’m always here, showing my face, talking to you’

After the win against Viktoria Plzen, Marcelo became involved in a 10-minute exchange with journalists on criticism and ‘jealousy’This time the football boot was on the other foot. Marcelo says that some of the criticism aimed at Real Madrid’s players …

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Luis Enrique’s methods begin to succeed as Spain look to start a new dynasty

Three successive tournaments without a knock-out win have followed the golden era started by Luis Aragonés, but the latest coach has already started to make onlookers take noteSpain’s players were at the movies last week. On Tuesday afternoon, across t…

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Rodrigo Moreno: ‘England was good to me … I had no choice but to adapt’

These days Rodrigo Moreno leads the line for Valencia and Spain but a spell at Bolton was vital in getting him thereRio de Janeiro, Madrid, Lisbon, and … Bolton. And straight to Burnley from there. The first professional game played by Rodrigo Moreno…

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Alavés revel in beautiful madness and pile pressure on Lopetegui’s Madrid | Sid Lowe

Manu García’s last-gasp goal gave Alavés their first home win over Real since 1931 as the visitors lost their third game in four“I was crapping myself,” admitted Alavés coach Abelardo Fernández. A few metres to his right, so was Real Madrid manager Jul…

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Barcelona in a whirl over rotation and a defence leaking goals | Sid Lowe

Attempting to rest Lionel Messi before Barça’s Champions League trip to Spurs did not go to plan for Ernesto ValverdeThe first part of Ernesto Valverde’s plan for Wembley lasted under an hour. The idea was to rest Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets, read…

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La Liga: boring, uncompetitive and all that. Hang on … | Sid Lowe

Just seven weeks in, no one is winless in Spain and no one is unbeaten either. Is this season competitive rather than cheap?On Saturday afternoon, leaders Barcelona only managed a 1-1 home draw against 15th-placed Athletic Club Bilbao and had to come f…

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‘Barça bad, Madrid worse’ – the night the underdogs bit back in La Liga

Leganés stunned Barcelona at Butarque before Sevilla smashed Real Madrid at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán – Wednesday night was one to remember in SpainThere are only two teams in Spain and both of them lost on Wednesday night.Barcelona manager Ernesto Val…

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The heat is on as conflict deepens in fight for Spanish football’s soul | Sid Lowe

Temperatures are rising on and off the pitch, with opposition building to that US plan and kick-off times doing little to helpAt the one end of the ground that is an end and not just a wall, a small gang of Rayo Vallecano fans in bright high-vis jacket…

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Spain looks north as Sociedad and Athletic take giants to the wire

Two historic, special clubs battled Madrid and Barça at grounds that embrace traditions rather than turn their backs on itIt’s exactly 100km from Anoeta to San Mamés as the car drives, passing Ipurúa halfway, sitting pretty in the Ego valley. Visible f…

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Spain looks north as Sociedad and Athletic take giants to the wire

Two historic, special clubs battled Madrid and Barça at grounds that embrace traditions rather than turn their backs on itIt’s exactly 100km from Anoeta to San Mamés as the car drives, passing Ipurúa halfway, sitting pretty in the Ego valley. Visible f…