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Author Archive for Sid Lowe

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Oh. My. God. Messi, a hat-trick and a stadium left in suspended animation

The Barcelona forward was applauded by both sets of fans in the 4-1 victory over Betis – not because he scored three times, but because of how he scored“Truth is, I don’t remember anything like this,” Lionel Messi said but nor do they and their reactio…

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Cristiano Ronaldo: the king of Europe who has normalised the abnormal

Animal-like in intensity and absurd with his goals, the Juventus forward could take his tally of European Cup wins to sixNext time, Cristiano Ronaldo might have to use two hands. At the end of the first leg against Atlético Madrid, he departed the Wand…

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Zinedine Zidane returns as Real Madrid manager after Santiago Solari is sacked

• Frenchman signs contract until June 2022• Solari has been offered a new role at the clubZinedine Zidane has made a remarkable return as Real Madrid manager, only 10 months after leaving the club. The Frenchman replaces Santiago Solari as first-team c…

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Zinedine Zidane responds to the call to save Real Madrid from darkness | Sid Lowe

With infighting rife, the man who brought Madrid such riches in Europe has made a remarkable return to the BernabéuDarkness descended on Real Madrid, the metaphor visiting them on a Sunday night in Valladolid, light not let in until the following eveni…

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Real Madrid’s unhappy birthday sees club with nothing left to play for

Defeat to Ajax ended a run of three Champions League wins, days after Copa del Rey and La Liga hopes evaporatedToday is 6 March, Real Madrid’s birthday, but there is nothing to celebrate. This week has been the worst in their 117-year history: three ho…

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‘Worst night on record’: Spanish media on Real Madrid’s Champions League exit

• Madrid out of Champions League after 4-1 home loss to Ajax• AS say ‘three months in the desert’ now await clubReal Madrid’s mourners filed out in silence while Ajax danced on their grave. As the north end of the Santiago Bernabéu roared to the sound …

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Barça revel in Messi’s clásico stranglehold over Real Madrid

Two Bernabéu victories mean Barcelona now lead the head-to-head between the sides for the first time since 1932“Playing and winning here really turns me on,” Gerard Piqué said. When the final whistle went on Saturday night’s clásico, he led Barcelona’s…

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Getafe inch closer to making the unbelievable dream a reality | Sid Lowe

The tiny club for whom every defeat is a ‘death’ are in La Liga’s top four and, amazingly, they might actually stay thereDie meister, die besten, les grandes equipes, the Getafe?! You can almost hear the needle scratch, the eyeballs pop out and the jaw…

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Fear and loathing without Aspas as ‘pathetic’ Celta drift towards the rocks | Sid Lowe

Their talisman is injured and Celta Vigo are slumping badly at the wrong time, just as others are arresting their slidesCelta de Vigo’s fans saw hope disappear before their eyes. An hour had gone and José Luis Morales had just scored Levante’s third bu…

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Atlético Madrid investigate after former youth coach admits sexual abuse

• Manuel Briñas admits offences while he was working at school• No accusations made by players against former coach, now 88Atlético Madrid have severed their relationship with the man who ran their youth system for 20 years and launched an investigatio…

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Meet the new Villarreal boss. Same as the old Villarreal boss | Sid Lowe

Slumping in La Liga, Villarreal have attempted to turn back time by re-hiring Javier Calleja 50 days after giving him the boot“I know it’s not normal, that it doesn’t feel right, but Fernando Roig does the opposite of everyone else,” Fernando Roig said…

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How did Barcelona end up signing Kevin-Prince Boateng? | Sid Lowe

The arrival of the former Milan forward makes some sense, but also hints at a certain improvisation in Barça’s planningBarcelona’s latest signing is football royalty, just not the way they expected. Late on Monday night, in the club store just across t…

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Jorge Molina and his remarkable road to the brink of Europe with Getafe | Sid Lowe

Right now, it’s not unrealistic to suggest Getafe’s well-travelled striker could contribute if he got the call to represent SpainJorge Molina set out in an old Seat 850, sitting proudly behind the wheel of a car that hadn’t come off the production line…

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Jorge Molina and his remarkable road to the brink of Europe with Getafe | Sid Lowe

Right now, it’s not unrealistic to suggest Getafe’s well-travelled striker could contribute if he got the call to represent SpainJorge Molina set out in an old Seat 850, sitting proudly behind the wheel of a car that hadn’t come off the production line…

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‘Vooooooosh’: Iñaki Williams and a run like nobody has run before | Sid Lowe

The Athletic Bilbao forward is not a prolific scorer but, against Sevilla, his incredible sprint and finish astonished San Mamés When the ball came to Iñaki Williams and he spun, turning it sharply around Sergi Gómez and into the centre circle, a singl…

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Flashpoints of 2018: Julen Lopetegui sacked by Spain on eve of World Cup

Continuing our series on controversies that defined the year, the Spain manager is fired twice in 138 days, the second time by Real MadridThe call came, a five-minute warning, and then the bombshell landed. It did so about the same time as Aeroflot fli…

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Aritz Aduriz offers a one-step solution to Athletic Bilbao’s season of gloom

Striker stuns San Mamés with remarkable penalty but a late collapse means the unthinkable looms for La Liga stalwartsIt was just a penalty, some might say, but it wasn’t. It was two, for a start. And two like that in a moment like this.Your club – and …

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Why Villarreal are starting to get that sinking feeling again | Sid Lowe

The Yellow Submarine are one of only six clubs whose salary limit is over €100m: they’re too good to go down. As in 2012Sergio Asenjo just sat there shaking his head. The goalkeeper who has suffered four cruciate knee ligament tears – three in his righ…

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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…