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 By Rob Train

Fuenlabrada match gives Cristiano Ronaldo the chance to find form

Craig Burley and Alexis Nunes sift through Cristiano Ronaldo's stats from 2017 as he claimed the Best FIFA Men's Player award.
Cristiano Ronaldo spurned a handful of opportunities, but Marco Asensio and Marcelo were on hand to lead Real Madrid past Eibar.
Cristiano Ronaldo spurned a handful of opportunities, but Marco Asensio and Marcelo were on hand to lead Real Madrid past Eibar.
Despite scoring three goals and keeping a clean sheet, Zinedine Zidane admits Real Madrid weren't at their best against Eibar.

Even the most casual observer of Cristiano Ronaldo's Real Madrid career will have noticed that the prolific forward has been struggling so far this season in La Liga. A return of one goal in five games is not the sort of statistic normally associated with the club's record scorer, who has hit the net 413 times in 404 appearances since his 2009 transfer from Manchester United.

It also does not require a mathematics degree to work out that the Portuguese is worth more than a goal per game over the...

Barca B's Jose Arnaiz, Carles Alena set for first-team chance in Copa del Rey

Ernesto Valverde praises Luis Suarez's effort in front of goal, despite missing an open net in Barcelona's win over Malaga.

BARCELONA -- Ernesto Valverde will ring the changes for Barcelona's Copa del Rey first-leg tie against third-division Real Murcia on Tuesday, with B-team players Carles Alena and Jose Arnaiz likely to be given a chance to impress.

Alena and Arnaiz are two of seven players from Barca B -- who play in the Spanish second division -- who trained with the first team on Sunday and Monday.

And with seven regulars given time off, including Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Andres Iniesta, Valverde could make...

Arnaiz and Alena seek Barcelona chance in Copa del Rey clash at Murcia

Ernesto Valverde has jumped to Luis Suarez's defence after the Barcelona striker's horror miss against Malaga.

Lionel Messi will be on his way back from FIFA's The Best awards in London and Paulinho will be in China. Luis Suarez will be at home resting his knee and Andres Iniesta, Samuel Umtiti, Sergio Busquets and Marc-Andre ter Stegen will also be taking a well-earned break in Barcelona. Around 600km south, Ernesto Valverde will be fielding a mix and match side made up of youngsters, players with a point to prove and just a handful of regulars.

It's the first time this season that Valverde will...

 By PA Sport

Eibar to give gate proceeds from Copa del Rey tie to Galicia fire victims

Deadly blazes, blamed on arsonists, swept across Galicia earlier this week.

Eibar have said they will donate the gate proceeds from Wednesday's Copa del Rey match against Celta Vigo to people affected by the recent wildfires in Galicia.

Deadly blazes swept across the region earlier this week, killing at least three people. Spain's prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, blamed the fires on arsonists.

An Eibar statement said: "Los Armeros wants to show their absolute sadness and consternation over the serious fires suffered in Galicia and the adjoining regions.

"That is why Eibar,...

 By Sid Lowe

The madness of tiny Fuenlabrada meeting giants Madrid in Copa del Rey

Alejandro Moreno says Real Madrid's best course of action is to see out the remaining years of Cristiano Ronaldo's contract.

Luis Milla was the first to know -- or think he knew. Suddenly, his phone started to vibrate like crazy and that could only mean one thing, couldn't it? "The nerves," he says. "Bloody hell, the nerves!" The nerves and then the explosion. "Madness," he calls it. Twenty-four hours later, almost to the minute, it is a word he repeats often: Locura.

Another word he uses a lot is "imagine" and over the past day, he's barely stopped imagining. For the next month, he'll carry on imagining. He sits...