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Transfer Rater: Marcelo to Juventus

Football Whispers
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Mariano Diaz's ruthless scoring streak could put Karim Benzema out of a job

Alexis Nunes and Craig Burley square off in predicting some of the more notable fixtures during week 5 of La Liga.

It wasn't the first impression the Santiago Bernabeu had of Mariano Diaz. The home fans on Wednesday had already seen their most recent addition develop from their under-18 side to Real Madrid Castilla before featuring in the first team under Zinedine Zidane.

Those memories were peppered with nostalgia, given extra weight, and then a 21-goal season in Ligue 1 had given them a chance to miss him. On Wednesday against Roma, fans got to assess for themselves whether the dispatches from France they...

Why Gareth Bale isn't angry anymore at a post-Ronaldo Real Madrid

Everyone had gone except Gareth Bale. "Together, let's go," said Sergio Ramos, leading his team out the dressing room. But as they headed through the door, Bale sat there still, just him and a kit man gathering up a few things. Eventually, he stood, paused briefly, looked back and then broke into a gentle jog, the sound of his studs on the floor breaking the silence as he went out the room and into history.

When he came back in again an hour or so later, he had a Champions League winners medal...

 By Shaka Hislop

Power Rankings: Barcelona claim No. 1, Liverpool climb as Real Madrid slide

The ESPN FC panel struggle to find a flaw in Shaka's Rankings which see Barcelona top the list.
ESPN FC's Paul Mariner gives his plaudits to PSV for their efforts, but says Lionel Messi's class shone through once again in Barcelona's UCL opener.
Barcelona's Ernesto Valverde insists they are focused on winning the Champions League whilst Philippe Coutinho admits he is anxious to play against PSV.
Alexis Nunes and Shaka Hislop weigh Real Madrid's chances of catching Barcelona in the La Liga title-race, after Los Blancos' 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao.

It's all change as Barcelona rise to the top, while their great rivals Real Madrid pay the price for dropped points in La Liga.

Dropping out: Watford, PSV Eindhoven, Hertha Berlin.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know and watch Shaka defend his picks on ESPN FC TV!

Champions League: Paul Pogba, Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale in team of the week

The ESPN FC panel answer your tweets on the best and worst performers from UCL matchday one, if Arsenal were wise to pass on Mikel Arteta and more.
Cristiano Ronaldo is sent off in controversial circumstances while Lyon take advantage of a sloppy Manchester City performance.
Real Madrid head coach Julen Lopetegui prefers to talk about his whole team after their win over Roma.
Manchester United's Jose Mourinho insists his side have played phenomenally in their last three matches and is hoping they can take it into their match against Wolves at Old Trafford.
With a goal for Real Madrid in every competitive game, the FC crew examine what's led to Gareth Bale's sublime start to the season.

The Champions League is back with a bang, but who were the stars? Here's the best XI from Matchday 1.

GK - Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus)

Juve performed heroically for an hour with 10 men to win 2-0 at Valencia after Cristiano Ronaldo's red card. They may have had to suffer a few flutters near the end had Szczesny, who is making their No. 1 spot his own after Gianluigi Buffon's departure, not saved Daniel Parejo's late penalty -- ensuring a continuation of their superb away form was guaranteed.

RB...

Gareth Bale, Raphael Varane shine as Real Madrid start UCL title defence victoriously

With a goal for Real Madrid in every competitive game, the FC crew examine what's led to Gareth Bale's sublime start to the season.

Julen Lopetegui opened his Champions League account with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Roma. Isco, Gareth Bale and Mariano provided the goals against a visiting side that threatened in spells but were generally outplayed by the European champions.

Positives

Several Real players put in excellent performances as the home side dominated from start to finish. Madrid enjoyed 61.2 percent possession and had 25 attempts at goal in a polished performance. Eusebio Di Francesco's team could only hope...

Real Madrid prove vs. Roma they're not ready to be knocked off European throne

MADRID -- Three points on Real Madrid's 3-0 win vs. Roma in Group G of the UEFA Champions League.

1. Madrid, Bale not ready to be dethroned

Real Madrid have been European champions for the past three seasons, and they don't look ready to be knocked off their perch just yet. Against Roma on Wednesday, the signals were there that they could make a run for an unlikely fourth title in a row.

One person who stands to have a much simpler time recreating the magic of last season's European Champions...