Written by Will Parchman

Can anyone beat this? We’re down to four Champions League sides now, with Chelsea-Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid-Bayern left to duke it out for CL supremacy. Fun stuff.

But Did You Know: The fastest Champions League goal of all time belongs to Roy Makaay, who scored for Bayern (!) against Real Madrid (!!) in 10 seconds (!!!) on March 7, 2007. Let’s hope (maybe?) for a repeat in the semis. Wait. Are we supposed to root for one of these teams? Sounds dangerous. On second thought, let’s not do that.

In four words, that Makaay goal was…

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Written by Travis Clark

Few rivalries in club football seem to showcase everything about the beautiful game quite like El Clasico does.

And Sunday’s iteration was no different, showcasing the best and worst of the world’s most popular sport — it had glorious goals, ridiculous histrionics, wailing at officiating, moments of breathtaking beauty, while featuring arguably the game’s best players in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Barcelona ultimately triumphed thanks for a pair of second half penalties, as Messi’s hat trick wrote a new chapter in an already peerless career. Official highlights are above. And check out the top of La Liga’s standings after the jump.

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Written by Will Parchman

Olímpic de Xátiva, which plays in the third tier of the mazy Spanish system, beat Laudio on penalties (8-7!) in the last round of the Copa del Rey to make it to Week 6 of the competition. In the most recent draw, Olímpic found out its next opponent would be Real Madrid. And they went understandably bonkers.

The greatest part? You can hear club president Alfonso Rus audibly squeal in the background as the tie was announced. Magic of the cup. Vamos Olímpic.

 

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Written by Reshad Bahadori

All is back to normal at Real Madrid. Ronaldo is back to doing step-overs for no reason and Bale is twirling around with the ball. Los Blancos have Sevilla today and Juventus on Nov. 5. Here’s to hoping they can rebound strong after the tough loss over the weekend. Check out Zidane getting megged by Alonso after the jump.

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Written by Will Parchman

In lieu of calling this rivalry The SUPERDUPER CLASICO or whatever tripe the Galaxy and Chivas USA are dreaming up next, watch this video and be amazed.

This is field-level access stuff. We’re talking team bus, mixed zone interviews, the warm-up… everything short of Messi preening himself in front of a mirror. Scope it.

 

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Written by Will Parchman

Meet Takuhiro Nakai, a 9-year-old Japanese kid somebody has already deemed “the next Ronaldo.” Because that person has no foresight or common sense or a soul, for that matter. THE NEXT RONALDO. Let’s… man. I’m lightheaded all the sudden. Just going to sit down over here and fan myself with this 18th-century Damselfan for a minute.

OK. I think I’ve recovered. Anyway, Nakai is a child and Real Madrid recently signed him to a contract that presumably involves gum and Twizzlers. I can only imagine Perez pushing a cache of M&M’s across an oak table at this kid sitting there in his business suit brokering the deal of the century. People sign 9-year-olds? Whatever.

Anyway, this video is high in the entertainment scale, because watching a three-foot-tall child rainbow over another three-foot-tall child is just hilarious.

 

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Written by Will Parchman

What you’re watching is Real Madrid’s second goal against Copenhagen in an easy Champions League walkover for the Spanish giants. And it’s kind of ridiculous. Benzema back heels to Di Maria, who rabonas perfectly to a streaking Ronaldo, who heads home from close range. It’s everything good about the flair side of the game.

But it also illustrates a troublesome point about Real Madrid that came to the fore during a horribly lackluster 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid in the league last weekend. Especially after Gareth Bale came on in the second half, Real Madrid controlled possession but was aimless with it. They weren’t able to counter and they weren’t able to sit on possession with any tactical congruity, and the attack duly suffered.

As much as this has been written over the past decade-plus, Real Madrid is still a team of individuals masquerading as a coherent side of world class teammates. They are teammates only in the strictest sense.

I love rabonas and stepovers and individual flair. I think it’s one of the best parts of the game. But that has to be married with some sort of tactical sense on a broader scale, and Real Madrid is still in the incubatory stages of figuring that out. When Bale was introduced last weekend, he played up top and drifted every which way without any seeming purpose. With Ronaldo occupying Bale’s natural position (and even Ronaldo sways violently between positions) Bale drifted in the way the lost do. It’s as though Madrid’s overseers gave no more thought to his transfer than his latent value with Spurs and assumed that would transfer to Spain somehow. I don’t know that it will.

In any case, Real Madrid will win a lot of games this year, but it will probably be by sheer force of talent as much as it will because they’re playing any kind of formation that makes sense. In this sense, the all-whites are still chasing their eternal foes to the east.

 

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Written by Will Parchman

After he scored twice against Getafe on Sunday, CR7 became the quickest player to 150 La Liga goals ever (sorry Messi and YOU CAN TAKE A NAP OVER THERE GARETH) and he’s now scored more goals against Getafe than any other team in La Liga at 13. So there’s that.

And here’s this, a video of his top five back-heel goals of all time. That Rayo goal though. And apologies for the horrible music, but you have to expect goals montage + Ronaldo = trashy EuroPop, don’t you? Ronaldo was born to this music. When he’s running low on energy he hooks himself up to an Avicii IV and he’s good to go again.

 

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Written by Will Parchman

Real Madrid smashed Turkish side Galatasaray 6-1 on the first day of the Champions League’s glorious return to our living rooms. Gareth Bale started the game on the bench and played the final 26 minutes, which allowed him to watch Ronaldo score a hat trick. And bag goals like this.

You can’t fool me with your fake hugs, guys (and why is Gareth Bale always pantomiming gritting his teeth, even though they don’t touch? Is this like a gorilla doing a really awful job of intimidating his rival?). A BREAKING NEWS source told me Bale has fashioned a voodoo altar for Ronaldo in his bedroom, replete with some of Ronaldo’s hair gel, a compact mirror and one of his calf muscles. Don’t dispute my sources. Ironclad.

 

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Written by Will Parchman

It’s not easy being the new guy. It’s kind of expected that, when confronted with this new challenger to his throne in Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo would respond with a dizzying blizzard of moisturized fists and manicured nails and hair products and balled up electric green hot pants that can hurt really really bad if the metal button part hits your knuckle.

So it’s fun to see Bale respond to a rugged challenge in an innocuous keep-away training game by nutmegging Ronaldo seconds later. CR7 has his pomade and eye shadow. Bale has his army of pink clothes. This is the greatest cat fight of all time.

 

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