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Portugal
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12:00 PM UTC Jun 20, 2018
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David De Gea 4/10, Diego Costa 9/10 as Spain draw Portugal 3-3

The FC crew agree Spain and Portugal's draw in their opening match at the World Cup proved they are both a class above the rest of Group B.

Spain showed real character during what was easily the most entertaining game of the tournament so far, and would really have won if not for some mistakes in defence and a superhuman performance from Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo. Both teams should really now go through from Group B.

Positives

After losing their coach three days before this World Cup opener, Spain were hit by two body blows here: Cristiano Ronaldo's fourth-minute penalty and 44th-minute long-range shot. But they showed a lot of...

Barcelona missed Antoine Griezmann but must now spend on midfield

Antoine Griezmann has finally announced his decision to stay at Atletico Madrid, and the FC panel can't quite believe how he went about it.

Barcelona's summer plans went up in smoke when Antoine Griezmann very publicly gave them the L in favour of sticking with Atletico Madrid. In a documentary that took inspiration from Lebron James' "The Decision," which aired on ESPN in 2010, we were given a glimpse into Griezmann's personal life over the past few months as he played Fortnite, basketball and weighed up his options: sign for Barca or stay at Atletico.

His sister, Maud, who is also his agent, phoned him at one stage of the documentary....

 By Robbie Dunne

Is Julen Lopetegui the man Real Madrid thought they were getting?

As the manager of Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane had a terrific knack for making sure he was never the main event. Even when he was the decisive character, it was typically others who made headlines while he made history. He managed to disappear like a gust of wind once he made his mind up that his time at Real Madrid was finished. And the club have been on a mission to replace their former manager with someone as close to the Frenchman in terms of temperament as possible.

It was all very regrettable...

Real Madrid's Julen Lopetegui defiant at presentation as new boss at Bernabeu

The ESPN FC crew assess the timing of Real Madrid's first press conference unveiling new coach Julen Lopetegui, after his sacking.
An emotional Julen Lopetegui discusses the pain of his sacking as Spain manager and the pride he has in accepting the Real Madrid job.
The FC crew react to Real Madrid's appointment of Julen Lopetegui as manager, questioning the timing as he prepares to lead Spain at the World Cup.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti discusses the tricky situation Julen Lopetegui finds himself in as he coaches Spain before taking over at Real Madrid.
The ESPN FC crew feel Spain must get out to a flying start versus Portugal to silence any doubters following Julen Lopetegui's sacking.

MADRID -- Julen Lopetegui's presentation as Real Madrid coach at the Bernabeu on Thursday evening was just the latest dramatic and startling event in one of the most dramatic and startling weeks in Spanish football history.

Both the new Madrid coach and club president Florentino Perez offered a strong defence of their actions this week -- blaming federation president Luis Rubiales for having completely overreacted to Lopetegui having agreed to take this new job once this summer's World Cup was over.

First...

 By Rob Train

Ronaldo, Benzema, Bale under Lopetegui at Madrid: Ex-Spain boss has big calls to make

The FC crew react to Real Madrid's appointment of Julen Lopetegui as manager, questioning the timing as he prepares to lead Spain at the World Cup.

Julen Lopetegui may have emerged out of nowhere to be named the new manager of Real Madrid, but it is an appointment that makes a great deal of sense from the Bernabeu's point of view.

Real's search for a successor to Zinedine Zidane had taken on an increasingly desperate air before the announcement on Tuesday. Andre Villas-Boas, last seen at the Dakar Rally, was the most recent to be linked.

The Spanish Football Federation were not amused by Real's timing and sacked Lopetegui on...

Julen Lopetegui in Real Madrid shock - media reaction to Spain coach's big job

The FC crew react to Real Madrid's appointment of Julen Lopetegui as manager, questioning the timing as he prepares to lead Spain at the World Cup.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti discusses the tricky situation Julen Lopetegui finds himself in as he coaches Spain before taking over at Real Madrid.

Spain's papers on Wednesday morning were still recovering from the shock of the previous evening's announcement that national coach Julen Lopetegui had agreed to take over at Real Madrid, just days ahead of La Roja's first game at this summer's World Cup.

Some of the Spanish capital's media outlets found it tricky to navigate a path between divided loyalties, while others less close to the Bernabeu hierarchy were quick to accuse them of putting club priorities ahead of the national team's chances...