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Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid: Combined XI

ronaldo costa

The two Spanish rivals meet in the Champions League final on Saturday, and Henry Jackson selects his best combined XI between both sides. GOALKEEPER- THIBAUT COURTOIS The 22-year-old is arguably the best ‘keeper in world football at the moment, and has enjoyed a sensational season with Atletico Madrid. Iker Casillas is still top class but is a little past his ... Read More »

Champions League Final: Why Alonso is a bigger loss than Costa


Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated Champions League between rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid is sure to be a memorable occasion, but both sides will have to make do without key men. While the loss of 36-goal man Diego Costa through injury is undoubtedly a big blow for Atletico, the suspension picked up by Xabi Alonso in the second-leg of Real’s semi-final triumph ... Read More »

Remembering Van Gaal’s brilliant Ajax

van gaal

Manchester United will clearly want to return to the summit of English football under new manager Louis van Gaal as soon as possible, but the primary objective in the short-term is to return to the Champions League. Europe’s biggest club competition holds a special place in the 62-year-old’s heart, with the Dutchman winning it in 1995 with his outstanding young ... Read More »

Mourinho’s limitations highlighted again


The last week has shown that Jose Mourinho is a very flawed manager. While two tough away trips in the space of five days, against Atletico Madrid and Liverpool, have shown that he is the undisputed master of making a side tough to beat, Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat at home to Atletico also proved he has no Plan B. The perfect ... Read More »

Magnificent Cole gives Hodgson selection headache


Until a few weeks ago, Ashley Cole had been written off. The 33-year-old left-back had lost his place in the Chelsea side to the consistently excellent Cesar Azpilicueta, while at international level the quality of Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw had seen many dismiss his chances of going to this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. In two huge Chelsea games ... Read More »

Can Real Madrid end their Champions League nightmare?

real madrid

When Zinedine Zidane scored that unforgettable winning goal in the 2002 Champions League Final against Bayer Leverkusen, nobody would have predicted that, almost 12 years later, it would be the last time Real Madrid won Europe’s most prestigious club competition. In the painful years since, los Blancos have endured season after season of disappointment and underachievement in the tournament. For ... Read More »