Inside La Liga: Matchday 1 2018-19

After a long summer break, the new La Liga football season has finally arrived!  Thanks to the departure of some great footballers, along with the serious discussion of moving regular season games to North America, the 2018/19 season already has viewers on the edge of their seats.   Keen to not disappoint, Matchday 1 was full of surprises, courtesy…

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The enganche and the artistry of Juan Roman Riquelme

In Argentina, the enganche is revered like nowhere else. The relationship between the two is long and largely joyful, but it has been torturous sometimes, which is not surprising considering the expectation is that of otherworldly genius. The enganche helps the team flow. He lurks on the edge of the midfield, not quite a striker. He has…

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Zinedine Zidane and change in Madrid

Most managers dream of Champions League wins, but when you’re at the helm of one of the biggest clubs in the world, a European title is not enough if you can’t back it up with domestic dominance. It’s a tall order for any club. But this is the requirement that is set forth by Madridistas.…

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From Dortmund to despair: the fall of Málaga

Five years ago, Málaga were minutes away from a Champions League semi-final when fate intervened. Manuel Pellegrini’s side had defied all expectations to make it to the last eight in their first season in the competition, finishing top in a group including Milan and Zenit before knocking out former winners Porto in the round of…

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Real Betis: the historically rich hipster’s delight

Everyone loves a hipster club. The type that attack with abandon, the one with an innovation manager at the helm. Typically clubs outside the big guns in the league, they canvass support from unlikely regions due to their style and the excitement they produce. In the La Liga, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atlético Madrid may…

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The Valencia resurgence: with love, from Marcelino

Not since the 2014-15 season have Valencia been this good. Those were heady times indeed: Peter Lim took over ownership, promising to reverse the financial problems that had plagued the club in previous years. There was plenty of managerial instability and the departure of big names, but Lim promised fresh air, starting with the financing…

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Ronaldo hits 50 career hat-tricks

PLUS: Hughes gets first Soton win, Serie A hots up and Cardiff fume at Derby’s snow show. 50 career hat-tricks for Cristiano Ronaldo The Real Madrid star scored a hat-trick for the 50th time in his career during his side’s 6-3 win over Girona. It’s 19 goals in his last 10 matches for Ronaldo, who…

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Girona: an adventure of a lifetime

There’s plenty of subtext behind Girona’s performances this season, both as a team and as a club. The fact that they are in contention for direct Europa League qualification – battling with the more seasoned Sevilla and Villarreal, while steering clear of the perennial inhabitants, Celta Vigo, Athletic Club, and Real Sociedad – adds to…

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