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 By Michael Cox
22 minutes ago

Realigning stars: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo face changing roles

The ESPN FC team debates who is better, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, and what is more valuable to the team, goals or assists?

In advance of this weekend's Clasico, the winners of the past six Ballon d'Ors are changing roles-thanks both to new teammates and their own limitations.


Lionel Messi: For years, Messi has been the heart and soul -- also head, feet and legs -- of the Barcelona attack. One of the world's most ruthless goalscorers, he dominated Barca's striking play by taking or creating 40 percent of the team's shots since 2010. But with Neymar and Luis Suarez on the flanks of Barca's 4-3-3, Messi...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
3 hours ago

Karim Benzema: Real Madrid better than last season, confident for clasico

ESPN FC's Adrian Healey breaks down Real Madrid's 3-nil dismantling of Liverpool at Anfield to send them six points clear in Group B.

Karim Benzema believes Champions League holders Real Madrid are in even better shape than last season after a 3-0 victory at Liverpool on Wednesday.

Carlo Ancelotti's side raced to a three-goal lead by half-time at Anfield, with Cristiano Ronaldo opening the scoring with a stunning volley and Benzema bagging a brace to send Real six points clear in Group B.

The 26-year-old France international says the club are hitting form at the perfect time, with the clasico clash against Barcelona on Saturday...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
5 hours ago

FIFA 'backs clasico break should Lionel Messi net Liga record vs. Real Madrid'

The dynamic duo of Neymar and Messi lead Barcelona at Camp Nou to rebound from their loss to PSG.

FIFA would have no objections to the stoppage of Real Madrid's clasico clash against Barcelona mid-game to honour Lionel Messi should he break the Liga all-time goal-scoring record, according to German news agency dpa.

The FIFA spokesperson, however, clarified that such matters are the domain of individual federations.

"The issue depends on the federation of the country. There is nothing specific in the rules about this," the spokesperson told dpa.

Messi goes into Saturday's...

By ESPN Staff
5 hours ago

Barcelona next on Ronaldo's hit-list

Cristiano Ronaldo has his sights on Real Madrid's upcoming match against Barcelona after beating Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League.


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5 hours ago

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo: Clasico is not me vs. Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo has his sights on Real Madrid's upcoming match against Barcelona after beating Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League.

Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has stressed that Saturday's La Liga clasico against Barcelona should not be seen as a duel between himself and Lionel Messi.

Ronaldo, who moved to within one goal of the Champions League scoring record when he netted the opener in his side's 3-0 win at Anfield on Wednesday, was substituted with 15 minutes remaining as coach Carlo Ancelotti looked towards the Barca clash at the Bernabeu.

AS reported him as saying: "I won't be playing against Messi -- I'll be playing...