‘Stop Spreading Sh*t’: Isco Hits Out at Spanish Paper After Claims of Him Refusing to Warm Up Emerge

​Real Madrid and Spain midfielder Isco lashed out at Spanish paper ​Diario AS following the publication’s claims of him refusing to warm up during Saturday’s Clasico after defender Nacho Fernandez was sent on.

The Primera Division’s defending champions suffered a 3-0 loss at home to Barcelona, with Dani Carvajal getting sent off for a goal-line handball that resulted in a converted penalty from Lionel Messi.

Zidane had two substitutes – Marco Asensio and Gareth Bale – ready to go on prior to the sending off, but was forced to change plans to fill the void left by Carvajal and had Nacho go on instead.

Spanish radio station Cadena SER reported that Isco stopped warming up after that, and the story was further reported by AS.

Real Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga

Isco, though, rubbished the accusations via his Twitter account.

He tweeted: “Stop spreading sh*t, my other two team-mates [Asensio and Bale] were [still] going to go on… Since when can you make four substitutions?”

Madrid, meanwhile, look to be well out of the title race. Saturday’s loss leaves them 14 points behind leaders Barcelona, and there is the possibility of them struggling to finish the season in the top four, with Sevilla trailing closely behind.

Zidane’s men do have a game in hand on Barca, but it might count for absolutely nothing if results don’t turn around quickly.


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Real Madrid 0-3 Barcelona: Catalans Outclass 10-Man Madrid in El Clasico

Barcelona beat arch rivals Real Madrid in emphatic fashion thanks to second-half goals from Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Aleix VidalReal Madrid were reduced to 10 men in the 62nd minute when Dani Carvajal was sent off for preventing a certain Barcelona goal with a goalline handball.

​Real Madrid looked to be ahead within the opening two minutes when Ronaldo’s header bounced off the underside of the crossbar and over the line, but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside. 

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Nine minutes later the Portuguese forward squandered a golden opportunity to put Real Madrid 1-0 up, Toni Kroos cutting the ball back to Ronaldo who produced an air-kick, missing the ball completely to the relief of the way away fans. 

Barcelona’s first real chance came in the 30th minute when Lionel Messi picked out Paulinho, the Brazilian unleashed a fierce strike towards the Real Madrid goal but Keylor Navas tipped the ball over the crossbar to keep the scoreline level. 

The final effort of the first half was the closest to breaking the deadlock. Marcelo whipped in a cross that was met by the head of Karim Benzema, the former Lyon striker’s effort glanced off the far post as Ter Stegen watched on helplessly. 

Seven minutes after the interval Barcelona were in front. Ivan Rakitic found Sergi Roberto in the Real Madrid box and the Spaniard played a first time cross into the path of Suarez, who slotted the ball past Navas to put the Catalans ahead. 

The key moment of the match came in the 62nd minute. Messi found Suarez and the Uruguayan fired an effort off the post, the ball then rebounded back into the path of Paulinho, whose goal bound header was saved by Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal. 

The referee spotted the incident and sent the Spanish full-back off as well as awarding a penalty to Barcelona. Messi stepped up to take the resulting spot kick and beat Navas with ease from 12 yards to spark wild celebrations among the away fans.  

Real Madrid did put Barcelona under late pressure as Gareth Bale saw a couple of efforts saved by Ter Stegen. The German goalkeeper made a total of four saves in the final 10 minutes to keep Los Blancos at bay.

Barcelona put the cherry on top of their comfortable win over Madrid when Aleix Vidal added a third Barcelona goal in secend-half stoppage time. Barcelona are now 14 points ahead of Zinedine Zidane’s side and look to have sealed the Primera Division title before the Spanish winter break. 

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Spanish Report Claims Liverpool Star Is ‘Keen to Reach Verbal Agreement With Real Madrid’

Liverpool hotshot Mohamed Salah apparently has his heart set on joining Real Madrid and is eager to verbally agree a move to the Bernabeu.

That is according to Spanish source ​Don Balon.

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League

Salah, who leads all scorers in the Premier League this season, scored his 15th top flight goal in the Reds’ 3-3 draw against Arsenal on Friday, and looks to be the most potent threat in England at the moment.

It’s no surprise he’s now being linked with Real, given his remarkable form in front of goal. And it’s even being reported that Los Blancos could give up their pursuit of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard in order to land the Egyptian.

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane recently voiced his praise for Salah, describing him as a great player whom he rates a lot. But the manager stopped short of stating his intent as it relates to an approach.

“He’s still young and is improving all the time,” said the former France international. “I don’t talk much about other players, but he is a player I rate a lot.”

“Salah is a great player. He showed that at Roma, now at Liverpool.”

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League

Salah’s international coach Hector Cuper reckons that the 25-year-old will soon move to the Bernabeu, and Egypt legend Mido reckons it will happen as well.

“I’ve received confirmed news revealing Real Madrid’s interest in Salah, but let’s not rush things,” Cuper said on Egyptian TV earlier this month. “To me, he is in an amazing position right now.”

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5 Classic Clashes Between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu

Real Madrid and Barcelona will clash in La Liga for the first time since April on Saturday, in what is a ‘must-win’ match for Zinedine Zidane’s side if they wish to keep the title race alive.

Since losing to Real in the Supercopa de Espana at the start of the campaign, the Catalans have roared ahead of their fierce rivals and currently sit 11 points clear at the summit of La Liga; having played one game more than Los Blancos. 

Saturday’s lunchtime encounter will be the 175th competitive Clasico in La Liga. As things stand, Real have a slight edge when it comes to the head-to-head in the league, but it is extremely tight: Madrid 72 wins compared to Barca’s 69 with 33 draws overall. 

Here are some of their best Clasicos from recent years that have been played at the Bernabeu.

5. Real Madrid 4-2 Barcelona, 2005

Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo headed Madrid to a 2-0 lead within the first 20 minutes at the Bernabeu in the 150th league Clásico. Despite a period of precarious play, Madrid stunned Barcelona with a third goal on the stroke of half time when Raul turned home a low cross to make it 3-1 after Samuel Eto’o had pulled one back. 

Michael Owen met David Beckham’s pass and drilled in Madrid’s fourth on the night against the league leaders. Ronaldinho’s late strike proved to be merely a consolation goal, as Madrid reduced Barcelona’s lead to just six points with seven games left to play. 

However, Madrid failed to win the league as Barcelona managed to fend off their fierce rivals and lift the title for the 17th time. 

4. Real Madrid 0-4 Barcelona, 2015

Barcelona claimed the first Clasico spoils of the season with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Real Madrid at the home of their great rivals in 2015. From the first minute to the last, a below-par Madrid side were put to the sword as a Luis Suarez brace and goals from Neymar and Andres Iniesta sealed Barca’s 10th Clasico victory from in the last 15 meetings. 

With an estimated global audience of 400m reportedly watching the highly anticipated fixture, Luis Enrique’s side put on a performance fitting of the game’s box-office billing, dominating a Real side who rarely threatened to test the league leaders. 

3. Real Madrid 5-0 Barcelona, 1995

Barcelona had won four consecutive La Liga crowns prior to the 1995 season. This was the Barca team coached by Dutch legend Johan Cruyff that had taken the world by storm and had sown the seeds for their unique style of ‘tiki-taka’ football which would emerge over the next two decades. Real welcomed their rivals to the Bernabeu looking to end Barca’s dominance in La Liga. 

Barcelona’s side of stars was now falling apart and this capitulation of the squad coincided with the rise of Madrid. Youngsters like Raul and Fernando Hierro were set to take the stage by storm and go on to dominate world football. 

Zamorano scored a hat trick, with goals from Amavisca and Luis Enrique – who would go on to play for the Blaugrana in later years – completing the rout. Madrid went on to win La Liga that season to end Barca’s dominance; the Catalans finishing a disappointing fourth. 

2. Real Madrid 3-4 Barcelona, 2014

Another fantastic Clasico. Andres Iniesta fired Barcelona into the lead, but Real Madrid went 2-1 up thanks to a brace from Karim Benzema. 

Lionel Messi had received criticism that season for a number of ‘average’ performances, but showed the world exactly what he was capable of with a dominant display and a goal that drew the side level before half-time. His hat-trick – a second in as many matches – took him to 21 goals against Real Madrid. 

Carlo Ancelotti’s men would take the lead once more in the second half through Ronaldo, but when Ramos saw red Barcelona were able to take both the lead and the victory with Messi scoring twice from the spot. 

1. Real Madrid 2-6 Barcelona, 2009

In 2009, a Pep Guardiola led Barcelona sealed the treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey and Champions League as well as this historic victory. With just four matches of the season remaining Barcelona comfortably dispatched Juande Ramos’ side. 

Seventeen wins in 18 matches had propelled Madrid into very late contention for the title, but a win for Barcelona put them seven points clear at the top of the table.Two goals from Thierry Henry, two from Lionel Messi, and one apiece from centre-back pairing Carlos Puyol and Gerard Pique gave Real Madrid one of their most embarrassing defeats in the club’s history.

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3 Key Battles Which Could Decide Barcelona’s Clash With Real Madrid on Saturday

El Clasico is one of world football’s most iconic games, with past encounters giving football fans some of the most gruesome and exhilarating moments in the history of the sport. 

The two sides will meet once again this weekend, with – as expected – a huge amount at stake. A win for Barcelona would see them go 14 points clear of Real Madrid before Christmas and Real – who recently won the FIFA Club World Cup – will go into this game knowing that they must win in order to make up ground on their rivals.   

Here’s a look at three key battles that could decide the game between Spain’s two giants. 

3. Sergio Busquets vs Casemiro

These two holding midfielders will arguably have the most important role to play in this weekend’s Clasico. 

Busquets has been pivotal in his role for nearly a decade and has always shown consistent composure when he’s on the ball. His distribution is also second to none, and when he’s in possession he is constantly looking to put Barcelona on the front foot.

The Spaniard will be aware that he has the experience advantage over Casemiro, but the Brazil international’s physical and attacking prowess makes him a tough match for Busquets. Casemiro is aggressive in his play and isn’t shy of a tackle or two, which could catch the Barca midfielder off guard if he’s not careful. 

2. Cristiano Ronaldo vs Gerard Pique

Cristiano Ronaldo has had a fairly underwhelming Primera Division campaign so far – scoring just four times in 11 games. However, if there was ever an occasion to get the best out of CR7, it’s most certainly a Clasico.  

He often performs to the best of his abilities when it comes to the biggest games of the season, and what’s bigger than a must win Clasicofor Ronaldo and Real Madrid. The Portuguese forward knows that there can be no leniency when Madrid are attacking, but Gerard Pique will try his best to make sure Ronaldo has a quiet afternoon. 

Pique has been part of a defence that has conceded just seven goals – the joint best in Europe’s top five leagues – in La Liga this term. Pique will want to impose himself by using his physical attributes to try and stop Ronaldo and co., but he will be aware that he’s in for a busy afternoon. 

1. Marcelo vs Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi has the most goals of any player in Clasico history with 24, and not many people are more aware of the Argentine’s abilities than left-back Marcelo. The Brazilian full-back has been at Madrid for a decade now, and will still find it extremely difficult to cope with the lively number ten.   

Messi has had an eventful first half of the season – scoring 20 goals in 26 games in all competitions and hitting the woodwork more than a dozen times. He knows that if he can help his teammates in claiming victory then he’ll see his beloved Barca go 14 points clear of rivals Real  after just 17 games.   

Marcelo will need to bring his A-game if he hopes to have any chance of curtailing the threat which Messi poses, while trying to support Ronaldo inLos Blancos’attack.  

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Liverpool Enter the Fray for Real Madrid’s Dani Ceballos as Reds Open Talks With His Agent

​Liverpool have reportedly held discussions with the representatives of Real Madrid central midfielder Dani Ceballos as he looks for the exit door at the Bernabeu in search of regular first team football.

The 21-year-old joined ​Real Madrid in the summer after starring for Real Betis, capping his impressive season with the Player of the Tournament award at the U21 European Championships, where Spain finished runners-up behind Germany.  

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The highly-rated midfielder chose to sign for Madrid over arch rivals ​Barcelona in the summer, but it has been revealed that club president Florentino Perez only signed Ceballos to boost the Spanish contingent in the squad, with manager Zinedine Zidane not overly keen on utilising him.

According to ​Diario Gol, Ceballos is now aware of the reasons he was brought to the club and is ready to take his football elsewhere to continue growing, with Los Blancos granting permission for the 21-year-old’s representatives to enter discussions with other clubs.

It is understood that the club are not keen for Ceballos to leave the club in January and would instead prefer a loan move to be agreed over the summer as Madrid are still of the belief that the midfielder will one day become a success.

The 21-year-old has been likened to teammate Luka Modric as he has the ability to run games from the middle of the park with his supreme passing and dribbling, but still requires a lot of time to develop into the player many expect him to become. 

After being on the periphery of Zindane’s plans, Ceballos has featured just 10 times for Real Madrid this season – with just two starts – but has attracted interest from ​Liverpool, Inter and Arsenal. 

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Picking a Combined XI of Real Madrid and Barcelona Players Ahead of El Clasico

In just a few days, one of the biggest matches in world football shall take place – El Clasico. 

The rivalry has blossomed over the last decade, with it often coming down to a standoff between what is widely considered the two best players in the world during the time – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

But there is more to this intense rivalry than meets they eye. The match symbolises the clash of two different ideologies on a common football pitch, with encounters having no shortage of drama or intensity. The first Clasico of the season in La Liga comes off the backdrop of a fight for Catalan independence, so tensions will likely be higher than ever at the Santiago Bernabeu.

11. Marc-Andre ter Stegen – Barcelona

After Claudio Bravo moved to Manchester City, the starting spot in goal has been fully seized by Marc-Andre ter Stegen. 

Now 25, the German has blossomed since making the giant leap from Borussia Monchengladbach. Ter Stegen has matured into a reliable figure between the sticks with his improved composure in distributing the ball.

The shot-stopper has also vastly impressed in dealing with one-on-ones, reading the game well, in combo with his elastic reflexes. It is little wonder ter Stegen has 10 league clean sheets to his name.

10. Dani Carvajal – Real Madrid

Having fought his way back into the Real Madrid first-team picture after a season with Bayer Leverkusen, Dani Carvajal has since owed much of his success to his indefatigable mettle.

It is no secret Real Madrid have struggled in defence, but Carvajal has been a constant force in the back-line. The 25-year-old is aggressive and reliable on the right flank, with a no-nonsense attitude, and adept at tackling, as one should be when playing for the twelve-time European Cup winners.

9. Gerard Pique – Barcelona

In many ways, Gerard Pique has become Mr. Barcelona, having been born in the city and given his all for the club, as well as dishing out the odd criticism to Real Madrid.

A mainstay in the defence for many years now, Pique has proven himself worthy of wearing the Blaugrana shirt time and time again. Utilising his towering physique to his advantage, the Catalan almost always comes off the better when vying for the ball.

Add to that his supremacy in the air and it is not difficult to see why Barcelona have, statistically, the best defence in La Liga this season and for many prior.

8. Samuel Umtiti – Barcelona

Narrowly edging out Raphael Varane, there can be no doubts about the immaculate season Samuel Umtiti in enjoying.

The Frenchman has formed an excellent partnership with Pique in the heart of defence and looks to be getting better with every game. Like his aforementioned countryman, Umtiti resembles a new breed of centre-backs developing pace to their game.

The former Lyon man is quick to close down forwards and adds a new dimension of stability to Barcelona in being predominantly left-footed. 

7. Marcelo – Real Madrid

While Jordi Alba has had the better season, Marcelo is the better player. 

The epitome of the modern full-back, Marcelo is mostly known for his exceptional attacking prowess. The Brazilian international contributes massively to Los Blancos’ attack with perfectly timed, overlapping runs and is an incisive dribbler blessed with pace.

While his positioning can be improved, Marcelo has abundantly proven himself with one-on-ones.

6. Sergio Busquets – Barcelona

Consistently impressive, Sergio Busquets has been nothing short of crucial to Barcelona’s vast success over the years.

The quintessential destroyer, the Catalan has revolutionised the anchor role with his defensive and passing traits befitting that of one of the best side’s in the world. Busquets is an adept tactician and reads the game as good as any player.

The difference between a Barcelona side with and without playing the midfielder is startling.

5. Luka Modric – Real Madrid

One of the finest box-to-box midfielders around, Luka Modric has soared like an eagle from the sub-par ashes of his first season in a Madrid shirt.

Indeed, the Croatian has been pivotal to delivering three European Cups in four years with his sheer skill in the centre of the park. Modric has been irreplaceable in pulling the strings.

Defend, attack and composed on the ball. There is very little the former Spurs midfielder cannot do. 

4. Toni Kroos – Real Madrid

Dominating the midfield, Toni Kroos has been a bargain signing for Real Madrid since arriving from FC Bayern Munich in 2014.

The World Cup winner has been valuable with his defensive qualities, but, above all, been instrumental to the Galacticos’ growing trophy cabinet with his passing. Composed on the ball, Kroos operates deeper than the average midfielder, but is no less effective. 

If you look closely, the 27-year-old even has a trademark feint that evades an incoming player, as well as a knack for long-range strikes.

3. Andres Iniesta – Barcelona

As elegant as it really gets when it comes to midfielders, Andres Iniesta has undoubtedly been one of the most influential midfielders of the 21st century. 

A product of La Masia, Iniesta’s intricate footwork and unparalleled positioning has helped Barcelona carry on their famous legacy of producing entertaining football, following the departure of Xavi.

This season, Iniesta has been a revelation and looks back to his best, as Barcelona sit six points clear at the summit, and eleven above their perennial rivals. 

2. Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid

Five time Ballon d’Or winner. Say no more. Cristiano Ronaldo may be having a slight dip in form (by his standards), but remains one of the best in the world – and so makes his way into this XI.

Oozing greatness, Ronaldo has spearheaded Madrid’s frightening attack to numerous silverware with his sheer pace, trickery and even aerial prowess. Powerful and direct, the Euro 2016 winner has transformed into a Raumdeuter of late in timing his runs to perfection.

1. Lionel Messi – Barcelona

The world’s finest. Superlatives evade Lionel Messi to the extent words do not do him justice.

Like a hot knife through butter, the Argentine scythes through even the most determined of defence and has the finishing to match. Messi has a exceedingly good record against Real Madrid and added to that last season – scoring the late, late winner at the Bernabeu with the coolest of finishes after a smart run.

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Real Madrid Line Up Huge Swap Deal to Steal Away Manchester United Target Dele Alli

Real Madrid look set to finalise their initial offer for Tottenham star Dele Alli as the January transfer window draws nearer. 

Los Blancos are reportedly ready to offer Mateo Kovacic in their proposed deal with Spurs in order to ward off interest from the north London club’s Premier League rivals Manchester United.

Notorious Spanish rumourmongers ​Don Ba​lon claim that Real president Florentino Perez is planning to offload a number of players over the summer, with Kovacic being one of the players who doesn’t feature in the club’s long-term plans.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

The rumour-hungry Spanish outlet claim that the Croatian star could be offered in the deal – previously reported to be worth up to €200m – to smooth over the process with Tottenham. 

Madrid have not looked like themselves this season, having let go of a number of attacking players this past summer, particularly feeling the losses of James Rodriguez and Alvaro Morata. Karim Benzema has struggled for form and Gareth Bale can’t get a consistent run in the team due to injuries. 

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Alli’s presence could revitalise what is an ageing and ailing front line (Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo both the wrong side of 30 and Gareth Bale having hamstrings like cold Blu Tack), particularly under the tutelage of Zinedine Zidane.

However, the Spurs youngster has yet to replicate the form which won him the Premier League’s Young Player of the Year award last season, scoring just three times in the league and looking visibly frustrated with his sudden struggles on the field. 

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