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La Liga

Facebook to broadcast La Liga games for free

MADRID: Lionel Messi, Gareth Bale and a host of La Liga stars will be beamed for free to viewers in some South Asian countries as part of a landmark deal with Facebook to broadcast live matches, the Spanish top flight division said Tuesday. All 380 football matches of the new 2018-2019 La Liga season, which begins Friday, will be available to watch on the social media network in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, La Liga said in a statement. "We are delighted to team up…

Messi marks new milestone in Barcelona victory

MADRID: Lionel Messi marked his 400th appearance in La Liga with the opening goal as Barcelona eased to a 3-0 win over Levante at the Camp Nou on Sunday. Messi's 365th goal in Spain's top flight came inside 12 minutes, with Luis Suarez adding the second before the interval and Paulinho completing the victory late on as Barcelona stretched their lead at the top of the table back to nine points over Atletico Madrid. The Catalans are still unbeaten in La Liga this season and have Philippe Coutinho to come in, with the…

Cristiano Ronaldo won’t quit Real Madrid — club boss

 MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo will be staying at Spanish giants Real Madrid and no offer has been received to tempt him away, club president Florentino Perez insisted on Tuesday. Unhappy Ronaldo has been linked to Manchester United and other top clubs after reportedly threatening to leave Real and quit Spain after running into problems with tax authorities. "Ronaldo is a Real player and will continue to be so as far as we are concerned," Perez told Marca sports daily Tuesday. "No offer has been received for him."…

Zidane insists Madrid aren’t taking La Liga triumph for granted

MADRID: Zinedine Zidane insisted his Real Madrid stars don't feel like champions yet, as his side close in on a potential double. A victory against Celta Vigo on Wednesday at Balaidos would put Madrid three points clear of Barcelona at the top of the table before the season finale on Sunday. They have also secured a place in the Champions League final against Juventus on June 3 in Cardiff. However, Zidane was cautious and says nobody at the club believes they have won anything yet. Asked about the club's chances of…

La Liga to introduce video referees from 2018

MADRID: Video referees are expected to be used in Spanish soccer by the 2018-19 season when they are fully approved by FIFA, La Liga president Javier Tebas has said. Tebas was speaking after Sunday's 1-1 draw between Barcelona and Real Betis, a game in which champions Barca appeared to have been denied a clear goal. Video replays showed that after Betis' Cristiano Piccini diverted Aleix Vidal's pass towards goal the ball crossed the line by around a metre before defender Aissi Mandi slid in and scrambled the it away.…

Messi screamer salvages draw for Barcelona at Villarreal

BARCELONA: Barcelona's Lionel Messi rescued a 1-1 draw at Villarreal with a sensational late free-kick on Sunday but could not prevent the champions finishing the weekend third in La Liga, five points behind leaders Real Madrid. Messi bent a stunning free-kick into the top corner in the 90th minute after Villarreal's Italian forward Nicola Sansone finished off a breakaway to open the scoring in the 50th as they looked set to record a first home win over Barca in 11 years. Barcelona have 35 points from 17 games, one…

Messi penalty snatches thrilling Barca win

MADRID: Lionel Messi shrugged off his recent woes from the penalty spot with a decisive 94th-minute spot-kick to move Barcelona top of La Liga with a pulsating 3-2 win at Valencia on Saturday. However, the dramatic victory came at a cost for Barca as a tearful Andres Iniesta suffered ligament damage in his right knee that could keep him out for several months. Messi netted twice and his opener midway through the first half was allowed to stand despite Luis Suarez straying into an offside position. Valencia hit back with…