Real Madrid moved 13 points clear at the top of La Liga with a 4-0 win over Racing Santander at the Bernabeu Stadium on Saturday.
Real Madrid extended their lead at the top of La Liga to seven points on Saturday after they won against Real Zaragoza and rivals Barcelona only drew away to Villarreal.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have roared back to form ahead of next week's Champions League challenges, with the Spanish giants recording comfortable victories in La Liga on Saturday.
South American soccer stars Kaka and Carlos Tevez have indicated they will stay at their respective clubs despite being linked with big-money moves in the European close-season.
Three down, one to go. So, let's get on with it, shall we? Here are a few things the third Madrid-Barcelona clash left behind, along with the broken bones and ruined reputations.
Oops! Soccer champ drops trophy under a bus. CNN's Jeanne Moos has the greatest hits of trophy bloopers.
Lionel Messi scored a record 50th goal this season as Barcelona bounced back from midweek Spanish Cup heartache to maintain an eight-point lead in La Liga on Saturday.
Real Madrid's hopes of European success were boosted on Monday with the news that Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka have been passed fit for Tuesday's first leg of the Champions League quarterfinal against English club Tottenham.
Soccer said farewell to one of its all-time greats last week when Ronaldo announced his retirement. Brazil was awash with reflections on the career of the man with more World Cup goals than anyone else -- and Ronaldo was asked to contribute. Where would he place himself in the pantheon of Brazilian strikers?
He's the most expensive footballer in the world, but Cristiano Ronaldo is proving to be an absolute bargain buy for Real Madrid.
Many thanks for all your questions. If I didn't get to your questions, we'll try to do the same again at another time, so feel free to send more my way either by SI.com's mailbox or by Twitter: @sidlowe. Please include #SIpostbag.
Contrary to what you might have heard, the world will not end on Monday night. The sun will rise on Tuesday morning. And there is life beyond the clásico.* It's just that right now, it doesn't feel like it -- it feels like nothing else matters, like no other games exist, like no other teams do. Every year Barcelona versus Madrid, already the biggest club game in world soccer, seems to get bigger. Even the old title seems worthless now. Derby? No thanks, this is the clásico. It's even moved on from that. Now it's the Super Clásico. Carry on like this and soon we'll run out of superlatives.
Shhhh! Stop. Stay very, very still. Listen carefully. Prick up your ears and you might just catch it: a faint rustling in the bushes as it ducks and dives its way through the darkness of Padre Damián Street, scavenging. If you're really lucky, you might even hear its characteristic call breaking the still air in the dead of night, escaping from somewhere in the shadow of the Santiago Bernabéu:
They do call the summer transfer window silly season, but this one's got me flummoxed.
Last year, reaction to Real Madrid's decision to spend more than a quarter of a billion dollars, described by some as club president Florentino Perez's Galacticos 2.0 project, was mixed. There was no doubting the quality -- at least on paper -- of the new signings, from Cristiano Ronaldo to Xabi Alonso, from Kaka to Karim Benzema, without forgetting valuable "foot soldiers" like Raul Albiol, Alvaro Arbeloa and Esteban Granero. At the same time, the moralizers had a field day over the sheer amount of money spent while others weren't sure whether Manuel Pellegrini could meld all the big egos into a cohesive unit.
MADRID -- Mesut Ozil mostly mumbled. The media mostly handled his presentation with predictable immaturity. There was little to grab, so reporters clutched at familiar straws when Ozil was unveiled as a Real Madrid player on Wednesday. He is the last of the summer signings at the Santiago Bernabéu, and the most exciting -- at least until he opened his mouth and his translated voice crackled through channel six on the headsets.
Jose Mourinho is confident that Real Madrid can break Barcelona's dominance in Spain in his first season in charge of the nine-time European champions.
Real Madrid midfielder Kaka is facing a spell of up to four months on the sidelines after undergoing knee surgery, the Spanish club have confirmed.
Football fans in Madrid are used to getting their way when it comes to attracting the world's best talent.
The Netherlands came from a goal down to beat 10-man Brazil 2-1 in their World Cup quarterfinal clash in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
Brazil turned on the style to defeat their South American rivals Chile 3-0 on Monday and set up a World Cup quarterfinal against the Netherlands.
After a week of play, CNN's Isha Sesay reports Africa's World Cup dreams hang by a thread.
Brazilian World Cup winner Bebeto believes his country's current crop of stars are capable of earning a record-extending sixth title in South Africa.
The real giant of the World Cup isn't Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka or Lionel Messi -- it's Namibia, a four-ton orphaned elephant with serious dribbling skills and a placid temperament unlike many of the stars on the human fields.
CNN's David McKenzie reports on a soccer game of a very different kind.
Be the one to represent your country! For more details or to upload your video, go to www.cnn.com/superfans
To most Americans, David Beckham is a soccer superstar. But to the rest of the world, he's pretty much an average professional footballer -- at least in terms of salary.
Brazilian superstar Kaka celebrated his return from injury by scoring Real Madrid's winner against 10-man Zaragoza on Saturday night, keeping the pressure on Spanish leaders Barcelona.
Barcelona and Real Madrid have both played down suggestions that Saturday's "El Clasico" showdown will decide the Spanish league title.
Enough is enough. For years AC Milan has followed the same mantra: We're very close, we just need a couple of tweaks and we'll be in with a shot.
Brazil warmed up for their World Cup campaign with a 2-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in a friendly at the Emirates Stadium in London on Tuesday night.
Barcelona left it late before struggling to a 2-1 victory at home to Malaga on Saturday night that restored the defending Spanish champions to the top of the table.
Real Madrid made amends for their midweek Champions League defeat in Lyon with a 6-2 rout of Villarreal in the Bernabeu on Sunday night.
In a month's time comes the lone FIFA date for international fixtures before the end of the European season -- the only time teams preparing for the World Cup have the opportunity to be at full strength, with all their players available.
Let's face it, footballers have a bad rep. They are labelled by many as overpaid selfish prima donnas who could not care less about the world around them.
Proceeds from the U.N.'s annual all-star football match will go to Haiti relief. CNN's Pedro Pinto reports from Lisbon.
Many relief supplies are reaching Port-au-Prince's airport, but not its people. CNN's Sanjay Gupta reports.
Soccer stars Zinedine Zidane and Kaka will take part in a charity match to help raise funds for the the victims of the Haiti earthquake.
Lionel Messi grabbed a brilliant hat-trick as Barcelona routed Tenerife 5-0 on Sunday to maintain their two-point advantage at the top in the Spain's La Liga over arch rivals Real Madrid.
Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has been included on the shortlist for the FIFA World Player of the Year award.
European heavyweights AC Milan and Real Madrid fought to a 1-1 draw in the San Siro on Tuesday which leaves them level on points at the top of Champions League Group C.
Porto striker Hulk has been called up to the Brazilian squad for friendly internationals next month against England and Oman.
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo leads a list of 30 nominees for this year's Ballon d'Or that does not include a single player from current world champions Italy.
Real Madrid's big summer spendings continued their scoring spree in a 3-0 Champions League win over Marseille but fellow European giants AC Milan suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat to Swiss minnows FC Zurich.
The exit remains open, its doors flung wide, but the entrance to the Santiago Bernabéu has been closed and bolted.
Real Madrid and Barcelona maintained their perfect starts to the Spanish season with comfortable fifth round victories on Saturday.
Big summer signings Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo were on target as Real Madrid maintained their perfect start to the Spanish season with a 2-0 win over Villarreal on Wednesday night.
Barcelona and Real Madrid made it two wins from two in Spain as star signings Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored for a second successive match for their new clubs.
Spanish Primera Liga big-spenders Real Madrid have pruned their squad after their summer transfer splurge by completing the sales of Dutchmen Arjen Robben to Bayern Munich and Wesley Sneijder to Inter Milan.
Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini believes his squad is now "complete" and ready for the challenge of a new Primera Division campaign.
After an off-season of big-money transfers and endless speculation in Spain the focus finally turns to matters on the pitch. The first round of La Liga fixtures kick off this weekend and Fanzone details what to expect from the new campaign:
The new Italian Serie A season kicks off with the first round of fixtures this weekend -- Fanzone details what to expect from the forthcoming campaign:
CNN's Pedro Pinto and Gazzetta dello Sport's Giancarlo Galavotti discuss the teams in this season Serie A football league.
What do the following have in common: keeper Vincenzo Fiorillo (Sampdoria), fullback Francesco Renzetti (Genoa), center-half Giuseppe Bellusci (Catania), midfielders Fabio Sciacca (Catania) and Andrea Poli (Sampdoria), and strikers Abel Hernández (Palermo), Guido Marilungo (Sampdoria) and Alberto Paloschi (Parma)?
Welcome to rock bottom. It couldn't possibly get worse, could it?
Italian champions Inter Milan have unveiled new signing Samuel Eto'o, with the Cameroon striker immediately being forced to deny suggestions from the Italian media that he has ever had a problem with new coach Jose Mourinho.
If this summer's transfer window is any indication, we can look forward to one of the most exciting European seasons in decades. With the three most expensive transfers in the history of the game recently made for amounts previously unimaginable, the stakes are higher than ever.
Spend some time in the inner sanctum of AC Milan's high-security hotel floor, and you'll see soccer royalty up close and personal. Up walks Ronaldinho, the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year, with a smile and a "Bom día." Here comes Clarence Seedorf, the four-time Champions League winner, with a handshake and tales of meeting Nelson Mandela.
It has been a weird summer of transfers. Most of Europe's top leagues kick off next month and yet, with a few exceptions (Real Madrid and, to a lesser degree, Juventus and Bayern Munich), there hasn't been too much going on. The window won't close until Aug. 31. In the meantime, here's an attempt at making sense of it all, with 11 questions facing 11 big clubs:
It seemed the 2008-09 season was barely seconds over before AC Milan turned just about everything on its head. Bad enough Captain Courageous, Paolo Maldini, has finally (at the age of almost 41) opted to retire, but next season, the Rossoneri will also be without two key figures of recent seasons: coach Carlo Ancelotti and Brazilian ace Kaká, who have left for Chelsea and Real Madrid, respectively.
CNN's Pedro Pinto has had his turn - now it's open to you! Real Madrid have conducted a flambouyant spending spree in recent months signing the FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo for a world record fee of $130m from Manchester United.
CNN's Anjali Rao has CNN's Pedro Pinto's predictions for Real Madrid's lineup for next season.
Return of the Galácticos. Galácticos Strike Back. Revenge of the Galácticos. Galácticos Part Deux.
Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo has been unveiled as Real Madrid's new number 9, in front of 80,000 passionate fans at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, after his world record $130 million move from Manchester United.
Cristiano Ronaldo is unveiled at Real Madrid. World Sport's Pedro Pinto was among the 80,000 on hand.
Real Madrid's incredible summer spending spree will go past $300 million this week as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema sign on the dotted line at the Bernabeu.
Manchester United fans all around the world will be eagerly scouring for transfer news and gossip over the possible arrival of new players during the close season.
Brazilian playmaker Kaka was officially presented as a Real Madrid player, after being handed the number eight jersey in front of thousands of supporters and a huge media contingent at the club's Bernabeu stadium on Tuesday evening.
CNN's Al Goodman reports why Real Madrid fans are so over the moon for their new superstar.
JOHANNESBURG -- Pedigree matters. If it didn't, we might not have witnessed what happened at Ellis Park on Sunday, an unstoppable rally that gave Brazil the Confederations Cup title in a 3-2 win over the U.S. (RECAP). Heck, when was the last time you saw a team come back from two goals down at halftime in a major final? (Apart from the 2005 Champions League final, that is.)
South Africa is out of the Confederations Cup but the country is proud of its performance. CNN's Nkepile Mabuse reports.
Five-time world champions Brazil needed to come from two goals down to beat underdogs the United States 3-2 in the final of the Confederations Cup in South Africa on Sunday night.
Like many fans, my editor used the word "impressive" when he asked me to write about Brazil at the Confederations Cup. And it's hard to argue with the results. The Seleção won their three group-stage games by a combined 10-3.
Brazil cruised to a 3-0 win over 10-man United States in Pretoria on Thursday to move closer to a place in the last four of the Confederations Cup.
There are some people who, I guess, are just not meant to be liked. Maybe they don't fit with what we expect, or perhaps there's something about them that prompts us to judge them more harshly than others. Or maybe they just don't look right.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez claims it is only "a question of time" before the club sign David Villa.
Egypt filed a protest to FIFA on Tuesday after Brazi'ls controversial injury time winner in their Confederations Cup opener in Bloemfontein.
Kaka converted a penalty in time added on to give holders Brazil a dramatic 4-3 win over Egypt who filed an official complaint after their Confederations Cup opener at Bloemfontein on Monday.
Michel Platini, the president of the governing body for European football (UEFA), has hit out at the large fee offered by Real Madrid for the Portugal playmaker Cristiano Ronaldo.
Manchester United have accepted a world-record $130 million offer for Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.
Nine years ago, Florentino Pérez walked into the game and ushered in a new era. Call it "the Galáctico Age," call it "the Zidanes y Pavones experiment," call it the destruction of conventional wisdom, call it what you like.
Al Goodman reports Real Madrid's big deal for Brazilian midfielder Kaka could be just the start as Madrid spends freely.
Brazilian star Kaka expects to be joined by fellow world 'Galacticos' as Real Madrid president Florentino Perez constructs a Spanish Primera Liga side that he hopes will rule supreme.
Brazil playmaker Kaka confirmed his transfer from Italian side AC Milan to Spanish club Real Madrid, in a move worth a reported $100 million.
Brazil have moved to the top of South American qualifying for the 2010 World Cup finals after thrashing Uruguay 4-0 in Montevideo, their first victory in the country for 33 years.
It's unlikely there will be many surprises when FIFA comes to naming its World Player of the Year. At the start of the season a betting man could have safely wagered that the likes of Lionel Messi, Kaka and Andres Iniesta would be in the running, and none of them have disappointed this season.
AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has told Kaka that he must decide on his reported $92 million move to Real Madrid on Monday.
AC Milan are denying that their star playmaker Kaka is being transferred to Real Madrid in a $92 million deal.
Brazilian star Kaka has agreed to join Real Madrid from Italy's AC Milan in a $92 million deal, the Spanish radio station Cadena Ser reported on Tuesday.
The summer transfer market is a few weeks away from opening and already the signs are that the global financial crisis is forcing clubs to rethink their annual spending.
Milan legend Paolo Maldini played his final match in front of his San Siro fans on Sunday, but Roma spoiled the celebrations by claiming a shock 3-2 defeat.
AC Milan's slim Serie A title hopes remain alive, after Sunday's 2-0 victory at Catania closed the gap on city rivals Inter to seven points, with four matches and a possible 12 points still remaining.
Inter Milan's lead at the top of Italy's Serie A table was trimmed to seven points on Sunday, after they were beaten 1-0 at Napoli.
Brazilian superstar Kaka has again pledged his future to AC Milan and ruled out a summer move to Real Madrid.
Lionel Messi is ready to follow the example of fellow-superstar Kaka and resist any mega-money attempts to prise him away from Spanish giants Barcelona.
Like just about everything that has to do with AC Milan, the extenuated January saga relative to Manchester City's failure to buy the club's Brazilian ace Kaká for a reported $145 million started and ended with the Rossoneri's all-powerful owner: Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
There's a lesson soccer teaches again and again: Never place too much importance on the results of friendlies. They can be very deceptive, and they're always forgotten once the competitive action gets underway.
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