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How release clauses work in Spain

La Liga
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Barcelona inferior to Madrid: Neymar exit, midfield issue among key reasons

For the first time as a Barcelona defender, Gerard Pique admits he feels inferior to Real Madrid after their Super Cup defeat.
For the first time as a Barcelona defender, Gerard Pique admits he feels inferior to Real Madrid after their Super Cup defeat.

For the first time in nine years, Barcelona are inferior to Real Madrid.

That's Gerard Pique's take on the situation, anyway, after Zinedine Zidane's side followed up last season's La Liga and Champions League double by thrashing Barca 5-1 in the Spanish Super Cup.

Prior to last season, Barca had won a treble and a double under Luis Enrique. They still managed to win the Copa del Rey last year, too, and took the title race to the final day of the campaign. So how has the pendulum swung so definitively...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Trending: Luis Suarez out for a month as Barcelona struggle for signings

Despite being suspended for the second leg, Cristiano Ronaldo took to the pitch to celebrate Real Madrid's Super Cup win.
In the wake of Real's convincing win over Barca in the Super Cup, the FC panel wax lyrical on Zidane's flawless management.
A sensational strike from Marco Asensio and a fine volley from Karim Benzema capped off a 5-1 aggregate Super Cup win for Real Madrid.

Thursday's latest stories from the world of football in ESPN FC's What's Trending...

BARCELONA: The Uruguay national team has announced Barcelona striker Luis Suarez will be out of action for "at least four to five weeks" after suffering a knee injury playing for his club.

- Barcelona sporting director Robert Fernandez has acknowledged the club are in a "very difficult situation" as they look to secure deals for Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele.

- Vice-president Jordi Mestre says the...

La Liga preview: Can rampant Real keep Barcelona and Atletico at bay?

The FC crew previews title favourites ahead of La Liga kicking-off this weekend, and discuss the odds of the major contenders.

Real Madrid's quest to maintain supremacy over Barca in Spain looks likely this season but then again, you never know what to expect. Graham Hunter previews the 2017-18 La Liga season.

Key storylines

With all due respect to Neymar's quest to persuade us that his move to Paris has more to do with ambition than finance -- good luck with that one, kid -- the three biggest storylines in world football all reside in Spain.

They are the narratives of Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane.

A...

 By Rob Train

Marco Asensio continues to announce arrival in dominant Real showing

In the wake of Real's convincing win over Barca in the Super Cup, the FC panel wax lyrical on Zidane's flawless management.
A sensational strike from Marco Asensio and a fine volley from Karim Benzema capped off a 5-1 aggregate Super Cup win for Real Madrid.
The FC crew previews title favourites ahead of La Liga kicking-off this weekend, and discuss the odds of the major contenders.
Spanish Super Cup: Marco Asensio (4') Real Madrid 1-0 Barcelona
Spanish Super Cup: Karim Benzema (39') Real Madrid 2-0 Barcelona

Real Madrid racked up a comprehensive 5-1 aggregate scoreline in the Spanish Super Cup with a 2-0 victory in the Bernabeu on Wednesday to lift a second title in 2017-18, as Zinedine Zidane's side attempt to pull off an unprecedented single-season sextuple. Marco Asensio added another belter to his opening-leg strike, and Karim Benzema scored a pure striker's goal to hand Madrid victory.

Positives

Real reduced Barca to one shot in the first half and Ernesto Valverde to stunned despair on the touchline...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Why Man City have targeted La Liga newcomers Girona for loan moves

Pep Guardiola feels Sergio Aguero's last minute title-winning goal was the Premier League's best ever moment.

Preseason friendlies are big business these days. So are postseason friendlies. But Manchester City began a new trend this week by playing a friendly when the season had already started.

They will spend much of this week at a warm weather training camp in Spain and on Tuesday, the club took on Girona, three days after a 2-0 win in their Premier League opener at Brighton & Hove Albion.

The newly promoted La Liga side won 1-0 at the Municipal de Montilivi and landed the Costa Brava Trophy thanks to...

Why Barcelona can't afford to lose versatile, experienced Sergi Roberto

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde doesn't feel his side lack a cutting edge in front of goal.
Alejandro Moreno reflects on Barcelona's loss to Real Madrid in the Super Cup and the highs and lows of Ronaldo's display.
Alejandro Moreno reflects on Barcelona's loss to Real Madrid in the Super Cup and the highs and lows of Ronaldo's display.
Sergi Roberto might not feel like a vital player for Barca, but it's vital that they keep him.

Two years ago, Sergi Roberto could have left Barcelona without much of a fuss. He was 23 and had failed to earn a regular place in Barca's midfield. It's easy to see why he would have been tempted by the offers he'd received from mid-ranking Premier League clubs and nobody would have resented him if he'd chosen to take on a new challenge.

There was one man prepared to fight for his Camp Nou future, though: Luis Enrique. The former Barca coach sat down with Roberto at the beginning of the summer...