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Author Archive for Sid Lowe

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Andrés Iniesta begins glorious goodbye as an era draws to a close | Sid Lowe

Departing legend belongs to us all – tears, applause and another moment of quiet awe marked a fitting cup final farewellThere were two minutes to go in the final, his final, when Andrés Iniesta began the long walk goodbye.Slowly, swallowing hard, eyes …

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‘Monumental’ Iago Aspas shows World Cup credentials against Barcelona | Sid Lowe

The Celta striker is incredibly popular at his boyhood club and, as he showed against the league leaders, he’s incredibly good at football tooEvery day when the tide goes out on the beach of Moaña where the Atlantic reaches deep into Galicia, María joi…

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Fun, ‘finta’ and why it is impossible not to love Joaquín at Real Betis | Sid Lowe

Ask the Spanish about Joaquín and they’ll remember the jokes, the dances, the stories. But there’s more to him than thatYou must be Joaquín, they said, and he was: unique, no one quite like him, a cheeky scamp with a glint in his eye, a grin on his fac…

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‘A historic humiliation for Barcelona’ – Roma win stuns Spanish press

The Spanish media, like Barcelona, were struggling to come to terms with the 3-0 defeat at Roma. It was ‘a failure with no excuses’“And the worst thing,” said El Mundo, “is that it was deserved.” The “disaster” – deserved. The “disgrace” – deserved. Th…

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Levante go wild after breathless win drops rivals off edge of La Liga cliff

Málaga, Las Palmas and Deportivo La Coruña will almost certainly be relegated after Paco López returned to his boyhood club to mastermind their stunning surge towards safety“Keep calm,” Levante’s manager, Paco López, said but he knew better than anyone…

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Zinedine Zidane insists Real Madrid’s derby with Atlético still matters | Sid Lowe

Diego Simeone’s side retain faint hopes of winning La Liga but both teams seem more concerned with European ambitions when they meet at the BernabéuOn the eve of the Madrid derby Zinedine Zidane was asked to whom the game mattered more. “Both,” he said…

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Old foes Juventus and Real Madrid ready to cross swords again | Sid Lowe

The Italian and Spanish champions have a history of clashing in the Champions League – including two finals won by MadridPedja Mijatovic was hit by a revelation in the middle of the night before the 1998 European Cup final. Unable to sleep, he walked i…

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Without Messi, Barça looked beaten; with him, they look unbeatable | Sid Lowe

Sevilla had been agonisingly close to beating Barcelona but substitute Lionel Messi came on after an hour to score an equaliser in the dying minutesIt took FC Barcelona 358 days to lose their record and 54 seconds to get it back again. Saturday night, …

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Risky business for Panama but Hernán Darío Gómez feels the love

The minnows’ coach has had little preparation time for this week’s games but is looking ahead to facing England and Belgium in RussiaHernán Darío Gómez said there was a moment of “fright” followed swiftly by “pride” when the draw for Russia pitched his…

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Game over in La Liga: Atlético’s title hopes fade in league that stands still | Sid Lowe

Atlético’s 2-1 defeat at Villarreal means Barcelona are likely to be crowned champions of a league in which the same old faces have occupied the same old places for quite some timeAnd so it ends? If, that is, it hadn’t already – and if it ever really s…

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‘So much money, so poor’ – Spanish press lays into Manchester United

Sevilla’s ‘magical night’ was hailed by the Spanish media, who called United ‘a walking monument to mean spiritedness’Wissam Ben Yedder felt like breaking into song, so he did. At the end of the game at Old Trafford, he and his Sevilla team-mates stood…

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Sevilla’s Sergio Rico: ‘The bravery of nine-year-old Antonio has helped me’

The goalkeeper talks about a young Sevilla fan who has had surgery to remove two brain tumours and what he has learned from spending time with him before the game against Manchester UnitedThe day Sergio Rico joined Sevilla they were in the second divis…

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Valencia all but back in Champions League as hard graft pays off | Sid Lowe

It may be only two years since the club were last in Europe’s premier contest but it feels like a watershed as a return looms“They’re all talking about that long run in the dressing room,” Gabriel Paulista said. It had been 14 years, after all. On Satu…

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Lionel Messi the difference but Barcelona’s teamwork key to beating Atlético | Sid Lowe

A Lionel Messi free-kick won the match for Barcelona but their teamwork and sacrifice is what saw them past Atlético MadridDiego Simeone was sitting under the main stand at Europe’s largest stadium but for a moment, he was back in a playground 10,000km…

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It’s time to dream of Europe for La Liga’s trio of great overachievers | Sid Lowe

At the start of the season, Eibar, Getafe and Girona all had the same objective: survival. Now it can shift to EuropeThe alarm went off again at Ipurúa on Wednesday, siren echoing around the Ego valley as if there was an air raid coming, but it was not…

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Quini: a tale of kidnap, ransom and forgiveness in Barcelona

The former Spain and Barcelona striker Quini died aged 68 on Tuesday and in remembering his illustrious career there is no doubt that one extraordinary notorious incident stands outEnrique Castro, ‘Quini’, left the Camp Nou, drove home, set the video t…

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Manchester United were dull but does Mourinho have a duty to entertain?

The Sevilla stalemate drew mention of betraying United’s identity. José Mourinho is entitled to play the way he believes will get results but football should be about more than successSome Manchester United fans saw a wonderful game in Seville; it just…

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Bridging the gap: four things Chelsea can do to beat Barcelona

Containing Jordi Alba, getting physical, parking the bus or going for broke: what can Antonio Conte’s men do to give themselves a sporting chance against the La Liga leaders?“As an opponent I suffered the Alba-Messi society often; let someone else suff…

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Alavés are performing another miracle with salvation in sight | Sid Lowe

It took until the sixth game for Alavés to win and by then two coaches had gone. Now survival in La Liga is within reachIn the words of one player, Abelardo Fernández is “an ordinary bloke” but he is doing extraordinary things, from revolution at the M…

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Valverde’s Barcelona balancing act turns crisis talk to treble talk

The coach used Neymar’s exit as a chance to reboot the faltering giants as Chelsea may find out on TuesdaySometimes football really is life. On Tuesday Barcelona face Chelsea in the Champions League at Stamford Bridge where in 2009 Andrés Iniesta score…