Written by Will Parchman

cheech

For about 87 minutes, the Champions League quarterfinal second leg between old rivals Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid went predictably. Plenty of kicking, not much in the way of coherent interchange. Real Madrid tried some things – Ronaldo stepovers, James runs, Pepe frogstomps – and Atleti tried a couple quick-hitters, but it was no use. Much like the first leg, the game was fun but hopelessly disjointed.

And then Chicharito scored with minutes left and Madrid exploded.

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Written by Travis Clark

This Sunday serves up another edition of El Clasico, as Barcelona hosts Real Madrid in one of, if not the best rivalry in world soccer.

To commemorate the upcoming game where past editions have featured great goals, amazing skill and epic hissy fits and brouhahas, scope out some of the best goals from meetings over the years, from the likes of Johan Cruyff, Diego Maradona, Roberto Carlos and Lionel Messi.

Barcelona is currently in first place in La Liga, a point ahead of Real Madrid, adding even more gravitas to Sunday’s encounter. Some fun preview reads include a web chat with Guardian’s Spain expert Sid Lowe, Paste Soccer’s 25 most memorable moments from the rivalry and a tactical preview.

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Written by Will Parchman

sane

Predictably, Schalke was bullied out of the Champions League by Real Madrid on Tuesday. Unpredictably, Schalke made Real Madrid score five goals over two legs to do it. Trailing 2-0 on aggregate after a disappointing home loss two weeks ago, Schalke faced dire straits at the Bernabeu.

And yet the German knockout krill was resplendent anyway. Schalke led (deservedly) for a not insignificant portion of the match, and Real Madrid needed to plunge its hand deep into is moneybag just to lose 4-3. At home. Booed off by your own fans. Schalke was vibrant, exciting, alive. Real Madrid looked bored defensively and reactive in the attacking third but advanced anyway on aggregate.

Pleased they were not.

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Written by Will Parchman

About a year and a half ago, we brought you the news that Real Madrid had signed a nine-year old WONDERPHENOMCHILD named Takuhiro Nakai. Our initial crack reporting that Real had lured Nakai to the club with a contractual promise of Twizzlers and gum has never been refuted. Keep that in mind. Important.

Now, Nakai is 11, which is roughly how the progression of time works. And he’s still making other small children look stupid, which is roughly how development works. So forget everything you know about Martin Odegaard. Nakai is prepping to make his first team debut in a couple months. Eleven is the new 19.

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Written by Will Parchman

It’s still amazing to me that these work, but the world is a maelstrom of strange, so here we are. This British gent dressed up like Cristiano Ronaldo in the tradition of men who do such things, and got a number, nearly got into a fight with a child and did some other things.

Take a dash of cringe, mix it with the funny, splash in British humo(u)r and here we are. What the world really needs is fake Emile Heskey picking up girls by kicking them in the face with errant free kicks.

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Written by Travis Clark

Who saw this coming?

Earlier this season, Bayern Munich looked unstoppable in both the Bundesliga and Champions League. So to see the Champions League holders pummeled 4-0 at home on Tuesday at the hands of Real Madrid was something of a shock.

Sergio Ramos! scored twice, as did Ronaldo (can’t wait to see him against the USMNT), as Real Madrid advanced to the final for the first time since 2002.

Check out the highlights to see how it unfolded.

 

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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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