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Cristiano Ronaldo accused of raping American woman in 2009

Kathryn Mayorga, 34, claims the Portuguese football player raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room, according to German media outlet Der Spiegel. The magazine say Ronaldo paid her $375,000 for her silence. The five-time World Player of the Year denies the allegations, insisting the sex was consensual. Mayorga's lawyer is now questioning the validity of an out-of-court settlement agreed in Nevada, in which Ronaldo reportedly paid $375,000 (€323,000) for her silence. Der Spiegel claim the lawyer's case is based on a document containing Ronaldo's account of what happened on 12th June 2009. In it, the 33-year old is quoted as saying "she said 'no' and 'stop' several times." Mayorga has now spoken publicly for the first time about her encounter with the Juventus forward, who was under contract at Real Madrid when the incident is supposed to have taken place, claiming to have been raped anally after spending an evening partying with Ronaldo while he was on holiday with his cousin and brother-in-law in Las Vegas. Mayorga also described events following the incident, describing how Ronaldo fell to his knees and told her he was "99 per cent" a "good guy" let down by the "one per cent". One of the most high-profile sports stars on the planet, the news is likely to achieve global media attention, with Ronaldo and his legal team yet to repsond publicly to the accusations.

Kathryn Mayorga, 34, claims the Portuguese football player raped her in a Las Vegas hotel room, according to German media outlet Der Spiegel. The magazine say Ronaldo paid her $375,000 for her silence. The five-time World Player of the Year denies the allegations, insisting the sex was consensual. Mayorga’s lawyer is now questioning the validity of an out-of-court settlement agreed ... Read More »

Cristiano Ronaldo declines to speak to media after giving evidence

After defending the Champions League with Real Madrid last season, Cristiano Ronaldo returns from a summer holiday to see his preseason delayed due to a court hearing over tax fraud. Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo appeared in court on Monday after state prosecutors accused the four-time World Footballer of the Year of siphoning millions of euros, earned from picture rights, past Spanish authorities between 2011 and 2014. A stage was set up and a throng of international media was waiting for the 32-year-old to speak having given his evidence, but Ronaldo headed straight home after 90 minutes in a court in Pozuelo de Alarcon, a wealthy suburb of Madrid where he lives. A spokesman for the agency representing Ronaldo stated that a press statement would be released. According to a reporter from Spain's second largest printed daily newspaper "El Mundo" who was inside the court, Ronaldo told the judge he had done nothing wrong and trusted his advisors. Ronaldo is accused of having evaded 14.7 million euros ($17.3 million) in tax via a shell company based in the British Virgin Islands and another in Ireland, known for low corporate tax rates. Prosecutors allege Ronaldo voluntarily took "advantage of a company structure created in 2010 to hide income generated in Spain from his image rights from tax authorities". Ronaldo has consistently said his "conscience is clear", and was reportedly so upset that he threatened to leave Spain. Should Ronaldo admit to wrongdoing and pay 50 million euros in returned taxes, fines and interest, his sentence would likely be reduced. Since extending his contract last November until 2021, Ronaldo is the highest paid sports star in the world with 79 million euros earned in 2016-2017, according to Forbes. Ronaldo is not the only high profile football star to have been accused of tax fraud recently in Spain. Barcelona forward Lionel Messi was sentenced in May to 21 months in jail, though local media reported a month later that he is unlikely to serve time behind bars. Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho also is accused of defrauding Spanish authorities to the tune of 3.3 million euros during 2011 and 2012, while coach of Real Madrid.

After defending the Champions League with Real Madrid last season, Cristiano Ronaldo returns from a summer holiday to see his preseason delayed due to a court hearing over tax fraud. Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo appeared in court on Monday after state prosecutors accused the four-time World Footballer of the Year of siphoning millions of euros, earned from picture rights, past ... Read More »

Ronaldo double secures Real back-to-back Champions League titles

A Cristiano Ronaldo double saw Real Madrid crowned champions of Europe for the 12th time and become the first team to retain the Champions League. The Portuguese forward scored the first and third in a 4-1 win. Juventus 1-4 Real Madrid (Mandzukic 27' - Ronaldo 20', 64', Casemiro 61', Asensio 90') It could only be him. For all the greats of the game on the Cardiff pitch, there were times on Saturday night when the other 21 players felt like extras in the Cristiano Ronaldo story. He's got quite the scriptwriter. The competition's record goalscorer opened the scoring and added to it later on to extend his lead at the top of the all-time goalscoring list and ensure he finished the match as the most prolific man in the Champions League for the fifth season running. In between his brace, Juventus threatened Real's grip on a title they regard as their own thanks to an incredible Mario Mandzukic strike, before Casemiro restored the Spanish side's lead. An extended - and largely unwanted - performance from the Black Eyed Peas meant the teams were late in kicking off, but the Italians weren't slow to start once the match finally got under way. Former Real frontman Gonzalo Higuain was particularly bright early on, forcing Keylor Navas in to two saves in the first five minutes. The Costa Rican dealt with both comfortably and withstood a more severe examination shortly after, when he palmed away Miralem Pjanic's long-range drive. But this Madrid side are not easily daunted, and recovered from their shaky start with a sustained spell of possession. But the opener was all about one man – and his identity was no surprise. Ronaldo takes control Ronaldo picked up a ball deep in the Juventus half and drove at the Italian defense in a manner more reminiscent of the hard-running player he was than the high-end poacher he's become. He slipped the ball to Dani Carvajal on his right with body language that ensured the Spaniard knew he expected it back. Carvajal obliged and Ronaldo fired home, with the aid of a telling deflection, for his 11th Champions League goal this term. The Italians responded almost instantly with a goal more than fit for this grandest of occasions, though this time the identity of its scorer was less obvious. Alex Sandro burst down the left and was picked out by a raking crossfield ball. The Brazilian cushioned a volley inside to Higuain and the striker helped it on to Mario Mandzukic, who – with his back to goal – didn't seem to have much on. But the former Bayern Munich man wasn't prepared to let Ronaldo grab all the headlines yet again. He took the ball down on his chest before unleashing a spectacular overhead kick from just inside the box that dipped over Navas and restored parity to an open, engaging game. Fresh impetus after the break The second half began in cagier fashion than the first, with mistakes likely to have a higher cost with each passing minute. As the clock ticked down, the game began to fit the pattern predicted by so many in the build up, Real probed with the ball while Juve sat deep and soaked up the pressure. That meant there was space outside the box for Real's midfielders and, after Luka Modric tried his luck, Casemiro took aim from 30 yards out. The defensive midfielder's strike was firm and dipping but Gianluigi Buffon for once looked his age as it crept inside his left-hand post. Three minutes later, the great Italian keeper was beaten again, though there was little he could do with Real's third. Madrid broke quickly as Juve adjusted to being behind again and Luka Modric raced on to a ball down the right flank. The Croatian just kept it in play and had the composure to pick out Ronaldo. The Portuguese forward had run beyond the front post but clipped the ball beyond the keeper with an ease that belied the difficulty of the finish. Juventus had nothing left and when Juan Cuadrado was dismissed with a few minutes remaining, the Old Lady knew that the fat lady had sung. If they needed any further confirmation, they got it in the last minute of normal time, when Marco Asensio swept home Marcelo's low cross. For the eighth time in their history, Juventus were left contemplating a loss on the biggest stage of all. For Real, the celebrations were no less emphatic despite the familiarity of a third Champions League victory in the last four years. As it happened The Champions League final is here! The final game of the season. Juventus have won Serie A, Real Madrid have won La Liga. The Italians are going for the treble, the Spanish for a double. It's Ronaldo vs. Buffon, that attack vs. that defense, Zidane against his former team. It's going to be a very special night in Cardiff!

A Cristiano Ronaldo double saw Real Madrid crowned champions of Europe for the 12th time and become the first team to retain the Champions League. The Portuguese forward scored the first and third in a 4-1 win. Juventus 1-4 Real Madrid (Mandzukic 27′ – Ronaldo 20′, 64′, Casemiro 61′, Asensio 90′) It could only be him. For all the greats ... Read More »

Champions League preview: Lewandowski to return for Bayern as Real’s Bale is ruled out

We look ahead to the second part of the heavyweight contest between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, who will be boosted by the return of star striker Robert Lewandowski from injury as they look to overturn a 2-1 deficit. Bayern Munich's hopes of overturning a 2-1 deficit from the quarterfinal first leg against Real Madrid rest on whether Robert Lewandowski, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng will be fit. Lewandowksi, whose absence was felt when Bayern slumped to defeat by Real, is back in training after suffering a shoulder injury against Borussia Dortmund last week. The Pole was suspended for Saturday's Bundesliga stalemate at Leverkusen. "We know how good a player Lewandowski is, he is a true No.9," said Real coach Zinedine Zidane. That is a plus for Bayern [that he should return].” Lewandowski has scored 38 goals in 40 appearances this season but Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro says they are wary of Bayern's whole team, not just their center forward. "Lewandowski is a quality player but it's not all about him," said Casemiro. "They've got a brilliant squad. We'll need to be at our best and not just focused on one man." The striker should be joined by first choice defensive pair Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng, but both face a race against time to be fit. Hummels has an ankle injury that kept him out of the first leg and Boateng missed the Leverkusen game with an adductor injury. "There'll be a test on Monday night," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said before the team departed for Madrid on Monday. "Everything went well on Sunday in training with Hummels and Boateng. Lewandowski was even training with the team. We have to wait. At the end of the day, we're not so pessimistic." And with Javi Martinez suspended after his red card in the first leg, Carlo Ancelotti will be desperate for both players to be fit. If Hummels or Boateng don't make it, and emergency defensive pairing of Joshua Kimmich and David Alaba could be required. Bale absence will hamper Real Real Madrid go into the second leg as clear favorites to progress, knowing that even a 1-0 defeat in the Spanish capital will see them through. But Zidane's side have been dealt a blow with the news that Gareth Bale will miss the return leg at the Bernabeu. The Welshman has a muscle injury in his right leg and Zidane, while wanting to bring him back, says he will not rush the star forward back to action. Zidane's thinking is clearly influenced by El Clasico against Barcelona, on Sunday. "He will not play because we don't want to take any risks," Zidane said on Monday. "He wants to come back, he has been working hard. Hopefully he will be back for the Clasico but it's not certain yet. We will see how he progresses day by day." Spain attacking midfielder Isco, who scored twice, including a last minute winner, in Madrid's 3-2 win over Sporting Gijon on Saturday, is likely to replace Bale – but Zidane was keep his cards close to his chest. "That Isco has not played much time in the Champions League is just coincidence, there is nothing else," Zidane said. "It looks tough for him, just 77 minutes, it's not much. But we have many games, many competitions, and we will see tomorrow what will happen.” Overcoming the odds Only twice in Champions League history has a team overhauled a first-leg home defeat to win the tie. The second of those occasions was against Bayern, who let a first leg lead slip against Internazionale in 2010/11. The odds are clearly against Bayern, but there is hope for them. An early goal would give Bayern the perfect platform to take the game to Real, who are unbeaten in Europe's elite club competition this season. In fact, they've failed to win only once in their last 10 Champions League games – 2-2 at Borussia Dortmund in the group stage. But Bayern midfielder Xabi Alonso, who will be playing his last ever Champions League game if Bayern go out, is confident that the Bundesliga leaders can turn it around against his former club. "We are Bayern, we know how to do it," Alonso told El Pais when he was asked his thoughts on a comeback. "We know how competitive Real Madrid are going to be and I also know the Bernabeu in these qualifiers, and the atmosphere will be a great night." "With Madrid you can't think too much about them because there is so much talent and they can score from anywhere. In addition to playing well, you have to be lucky and hope they don't have their day." Bayern will be hoping luck is on their side on Tuesday evening.

We look ahead to the second part of the heavyweight contest between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, who will be boosted by the return of star striker Robert Lewandowski from injury as they look to overturn a 2-1 deficit. Bayern Munich’s hopes of overturning a 2-1 deficit from the quarterfinal first leg against Real Madrid rest on whether Robert Lewandowski, ... Read More »

Toni Kroos extends Real Madrid contract until 2022

The Germany midfielder's previous deal wasn't set to expire until 2020. However, the Spanish giants have upgraded his deal to keep him at the club for a further two years at a reported pay rise. German international Toni Kroos has extended his contract with Spanish giants Real Madrid until June 30, 2022, the La Liga club announced on Wednesday. Even before he signed the extension, Kroos' contract would have kept him at the club until June 30 2020, however, Real, who have won the Spanish league a record 32 times, clearly felt obliged to upgrade his contract. According to German mass-circulation newspaper "Bild," the new contract will see Kroos earn no less than 120 million Euros ($132 million) over the next six years. This would make Kroos the highest-paid German player in professional football. The former Bayern Munich star is a vital cog in Zindane Zidane's starting 11, having played in all but one of Madrid's games this season. He also tends to be one of the first names that Joachim Löw puts down when he fills out his lineup sheet before a German national team match.

The Germany midfielder’s previous deal wasn’t set to expire until 2020. However, the Spanish giants have upgraded his deal to keep him at the club for a further two years at a reported pay rise. German international Toni Kroos has extended his contract with Spanish giants Real Madrid until June 30, 2022, the La Liga club announced on Wednesday. Even ... Read More »

Champions League: Dortmund earn deserved point at home to holders Real Madrid

Borussia Dortmund twice came from behind to earn a deserved 2-2 Group F draw at home to European champions Real Madrid. Substitute Andre Schürrle smashed in the equalizer three minutes from time at Signal Iduna Park. After spending heavily over the summer, Dortmund had high hopes of continuing their winning run at home to Real, who they had beaten in their previous three meetings in Germany. Early free kicks from Ronaldo and Gonzalo Castro forced good saves from Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Bürki and his Real counterpart Keylor Navas respectively before Real snatched the lead in the 17th minute. Gareth Bale’s clever back heel squirmed through to Ronaldo and he stabbed a shot across Bürki and into the far corner, the Portugal captain’s record extending 95th Champions League goal. Dortmund pressed immediately for an equalizer and Ousmane Dembele’s effort was deflected over the crossbar by Sergio Ramos in the 25th minute before Sokratis Papastathopoulos tested Navas with a header. Blasted over Dortmund were level two minutes before halftime. Navas attempted to clear Raphael Guerreiro’s free kick but punched the ball against team mate Raphael Varane and Aubameyang stabbed the ball over the line. It was the Gabon forward’s seventh goal in nine appearances for Dortmund this season. The pacy and skillful Dembele was causing problems for Real fullback Danilo and the French teenager blasted over when well placed six minutes into the second half. Navas parried a curling Aubameyang effort moments later before the ever-dangerous Ronaldo failed to capitalize on an inviting Ramos centre, sending a glancing header wide. Real were back in front in the 68th minute when Karim Benzema volleyed a Ronaldo centre onto the frame of the goal and Varane was on hand to put the loose ball over the line. Guerreiro forced a good save from Navas with a powerful drive two minutes later and the Costa Rican was by far the busier of the two keepers in the closing stages. Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic had given the home side some real zip after coming on in the 73rd minute and it was his cross that eventually fell to fellow substitute Schürrle three minutes from time. The German international steadied himself before crashing a left-foot shot into the roof of the net. Both sides went in search of a late winner but the final action of the game was a brief melee in the Real area which resulted in a yellow card for Aubameyang. Unsavory conclusion It was a slightly unsavory conclusion to what had been an entertaining spectacle. "It looked for a long time as if we weren't going to be able to turn the game around so we're pleased that we showed courage and believed in the draw," Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said. "We are not completely happy with the 2-2 but we are a long way from not being able to value the result for what it is," he added. "It feels good not to lose having twice been behind. But we have the feeling we could have done better." Tuchel's Real counterpart Zinedine Zidane was annoyed his team had twice let the lead slip in what was their third draw in a row after two stalemates in La Liga. "I am angry because we played a great match, with a lot of effort," the former France and Real great told reporters. "In defense and attack we did what we set out to do but at the end it was the same result for the third game in a row." In the other match in Group F, Sporting Lisbon beat Legia Warsaw 2-0. Sporting have three points from two games, with Dortmund and Real both on four. Dortmund vs Real Madrid: As it happened Other Champions League results: Monaco 1-1 Leverkusen CSKA 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur Sporting 2-0 Legia Warsaw Copenhagen 4-0 Club Brugge Leicester 1-0 Porto Dinamo 0-4 Juventus Sevilla 1-0 Lyon

Borussia Dortmund twice came from behind to earn a deserved 2-2 Group F draw at home to European champions Real Madrid. Substitute Andre Schürrle smashed in the equalizer three minutes from time at Signal Iduna Park. After spending heavily over the summer, Dortmund had high hopes of continuing their winning run at home to Real, who they had beaten in ... Read More »

UEFA Super Cup: Real Madrid score late in extra time to beat Sevilla

Zinedine Zidane collected his second European trophy as Real Madrid coach. His side dispatched Sevilla after extra time without the services of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Pepe. Real Madrid have won the UEFA Super Cup following a 3-2 win after extra time against compatriots Sevilla. Dani Carvajal's goal in the 119th minute prevented the tie going to penalty kicks and secured Real's third Super Cup title - the second win over Sevilla in three years. Real Madrid, who beat Sevilla 2-0 in 2014, were missing several key players, like Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe who are on an extended break following the European Championships. But Zinedine Zidane's team did include Sergio Ramos and Alvaro Morata, who featured for Spain at Euro 2016 this summer. No Ronaldo, but no problem The 11-time European Cup winners started brightest, taking advantage of their early dominance. Marco Asensio fired home a superb long-range strike after 21 minutes to give Zidane's team the lead. However, Sevilla responded brilliantly, perfecting Sampaoli's high-pressure system. The Andalucians got a lot of joy from winning the ball high up the pitch, and three minutes before the break, Franco Vazquez brought the game level in Trondheim. Sevilla's threat forced Zidane to dip into his reserves, introducing the impressive trio of Karim Benzema, Luka Modric and James Rodriguez. Benzema wasn't in France with the national team this summer and his freshness was clear as he made an impact in the game. But a foul from Ramos on Vietto with 20 minutes left handed Sevilla the perfect chance to take the lead and Yevhen Konoplyanka slotted home from the penalty spot with aplomb, a minute later. Ramos, the Real captain, made amends in the third minute of stoppage time to guarantee Zidane's side a second chance at the title. With the match set for penalty kicks, Carvajal's moment of individual brilliance secured the trophy for Real, a minute from time. It's heartbreak for the Andalucians, who lose their third successive Super Cup final.

Zinedine Zidane collected his second European trophy as Real Madrid coach. His side dispatched Sevilla after extra time without the services of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Pepe. Real Madrid have won the UEFA Super Cup following a 3-2 win after extra time against compatriots Sevilla. Dani Carvajal’s goal in the 119th minute prevented the tie going to penalty kicks ... Read More »

Is Bastian Schweinsteiger still good enough to play for Germany?

Joachim Löw has an unfit captain who he has to try and squeeze in to this summer's plans. Or does he? DW's Stefan Bienkowski wonders whether the midfielder is still worthy of a spot in the starting lineup. Germany kicks off their Euro 2016 campaign on Sunday with an opening tie against Ukraine. Several players may not be fit for the contest, but there will be a notable absence in Joachim Löw's starting lineup: Bastian Schweinsteiger. Following constant battles with injuries and his general fitness at Manchester United this season, the German captain recently ruled himself out of the first game of the competition. Yet should the senior midfielder walk straight back in to Löw's side? Speaking ahead of the game, Schweinsteiger was quick to point out that he feels as though he's in better shape than he was ahead of the 2014 World Cup campaign, but his fitness record and recent form does not back up his optimistic demeanor. "He doesn’t have any playing rhythm at the moment," lamented his coach after Germany's 2-0 win over Hungary on Saturday, suggesting that the former Bayern Munich midfielder still wasn't ready for the tournament ahead. Even if Schweinsteiger is able to pull his fitness back to an acceptable level, there's still a wealth of options that Löw really should consider before opting to throw his trusted midfield lieutenant back in to the fray. In Schweinsteiger's absence, Toni Kroos has moved into a more pivotal midfield role than before. He pulls the strings at the heart of Germany's midfield and pops up to score important goals when needed. Just weeks after winning his second European Cup, the 26-year-old has quickly established himsef as one of the most compitent midfielders at the biggest club in the world. In many ways, this summer's competition could prove vital in Kroos' international career, for he may finally be in a position to knock Schweinsteiger off his pedestal and take over his role at Germany. The 2014 World Cup will always be remembered through that timeless photo of Löw and Schweinsteiger embracing one another with tears of joy after the final whistle in Rio. However, any success found in France this summer may instead be portrayed through the sight of Löw grinning with an arm around Kroos, his new midfield general. Similarly, Löw has kept his options open by bringing both Julian Weigl and Joshua Kimmich along in his 23-man squad should his midfield need reinforcements later in the competition. Although neither of the fledgling talents is expected to start for Germany this summer, they should be up to the task. As both have proven at Borussia Dortmund and Bayern respectively, they have all the talent and composure to play at the very highest level. Löw is no stranger to throwing young players in when needed as he did with Andre Schürrle and Mario Götze during the previous World Cup. Although neither was ever considered a starter in the competition, they both offered goals and assists off the bench and combined to win the winning goal against Argentina. Rather than relying on a half-fit Schweinsteiger, Löw could get better results ultilizing his young talents and using their enthusiasm at the appropriate times. Germany wouldn't have won the World Cup in 2014 without the determination and leadership of Schweinsteiger, but the midfielder hasn't been vintage Schweini since he returned from Brazil to play for Bayern and then at Manchester United. It's time Löw and Germany turned to the next great German midfielder, beginning with this coming clash with Ukraine.

Joachim Löw has an unfit captain who he has to try and squeeze in to this summer’s plans. Or does he? DW’s Stefan Bienkowski wonders whether the midfielder is still worthy of a spot in the starting lineup. Germany kicks off their Euro 2016 campaign on Sunday with an opening tie against Ukraine. Several players may not be fit for ... Read More »

Champions League: Real Madrid beat Atletico Madrid on penalties to claim title

Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty kick brings another European Cup for Real Madrid who defeated Atletico for the second time in three seasons. Zinedine Zidane joins an elite band to win the trophy as a player and as a manager. Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid (5-3 on penalties) (Ramos 15' - Carrasco 79') Real Madrid have been crowned European champions for the 11th time, beating city rivals Atletico after a 5-3 penalty shootout win at the San Siro in Milan. Sergio Ramos' early goal was canceled out by substitute Yannick Carrasco as the match finished 1-1 after 120 minutes. Despite a disappointing performance, Ronaldo stepped up to clinch another Champions League win for Real. It's the club's fourth European Cup win since the turn of the millennium, and Zidane joins Johan Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer as winners of Europe's top tournament as a player and in the dugout. The sides met in the 2014 Champions League final, with Atletico surrendering a lead in stoppage time. Coached by Bayern's new boss Carlo Ancelotti, Real went on to win 4-1 in Lisbon. Diego Simeone has seen the likes of Thibaut Courtois, Diego Costa and David Villa head elsewhere as a result of the club's success - his starting line-up in Milan featured six changes from the previous final. Dominant Real start With speed and purpose, Real Madrid sprung out of the traps, and controlled the early exchanges. Since replacing Rafael Benitez, Zidane's side have won 22 of 27 matches, competing for the league title until the final day of the campaign and going on to secure European success. The start was a sign of things to come, the lead arriving after 14 minutes. Toni Kroos' free-kick was nudged towards goal by Gareth Bale, whose knock-on was bundled home by Ramos. By scoring in his second final, the Real captain joins an elite club of six players from his side to do so, including Alfredo Di Stefano, Ferenc Puskas and Raul Gonzalez, who holds the highest number of appearances in their history. Losing just 18 goals all season in Spain's La Liga has earned Simeone's men the moniker of being the best defensive side in European football. But the Argentine's dissatisfaction was clear as the two-time Champions League finalists afforded Real acres of space in front of the Atletico back four. Real were also able to snuff out the counterattacking threat. French star Antoine Griezmann resorted to unleashing a handful of speculative efforts from distance which didn't threaten Real keeper Keylor Navas. Atletico fightback Atletico began the second period at a furious pace, buoyed perhaps by the half-time team talk from head coach Simeone. Within a minute of the restart, Pepe clattered into Fernando Torres and English referee Mark Clattenburg pointed to the spot. But Griezmann, who missed earlier in the season against Real, rattled the crossbar from 12 yards. It seemed, for a while, like Atletico were closing in on an equalizer. Real survived a scare on 53 minutes when a set-piece turned into pinball and Stefan Savic poked narrowly wide of the target. Five minutes later, Saul Niguez, the match winner in the first leg against Bayern Munich, volleyed wide from the edge of the box. Despite taking off Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema, Real carried a continued threat in forward areas. In the space of a few minutes, Zidane's men should have killed off the contest. On 77 minutes, Ronaldo's disappointing game was compounded with a poor finish, while a minute later, Bale's finish was heroically cleared off the line. These were missed chances that Real would regret in normal time. Juanfran gambled with a forward run from right back, clipping the ball across goal for substitute Yannick Carrasco who leveled the scores. Real stomach penalties Atletico carried momentum and confidence into extra time as Real's key players slowly began to tire, with Zidane making all three of his changes after 77 minutes. Bale, one of Real's most impressive performers, suffered cramp quickly after his shot was superbly deflected by Diego Godin. His fitness up for debate before the game, Ronaldo struggled to make an impact. Meanwhile, at the other end, Real backed off against the quick-footed Carrasco who was doing serious damage in one-versus-one situations. This tie went all the way to penalties, though, and it was Real Madrid who held their nerve. Lucas Vazquez, Marcelo, Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos and Ronaldo all converted, while Juanfran missed a decisive kick for Atletico Madrid, who lose in the final for the third time.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s penalty kick brings another European Cup for Real Madrid who defeated Atletico for the second time in three seasons. Zinedine Zidane joins an elite band to win the trophy as a player and as a manager. Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid (5-3 on penalties) (Ramos 15′ – Carrasco 79′) Real Madrid have been crowned European champions for the ... Read More »

Barcelona, Real Madrid to battle for La Liga

The race for the Spanish championship will go right to the last weekend with Barcelona and Real Madrid duking it out. Atletico Madrid won't be in contention after going down 2-1 at relegated Levante. Just a single point separates Barcelona and Real Madrid ahead of the last weekend in La Liga. Spain's dominant duo will go head-to-head for the Spanish championship next weekend with the Catalans in the driving seat. That was after a 5-0 win over city rivals Espanyol. Lionel Messi opened the scoring, before Luis Suarez bagged a brace, taking his league tally for the season to 37. Rafinha and Neymar added shine to the win as Barca seek to capture their second successive title. Real Madrid were in a much-publicized crisis just a few months ago when Zinedine Zidane took over from Rafael Benitez. But Los Blancos can still win their first championship since 2012 after holding firm against Valencia 3-2. Karim Benzema scored for Real, while Cristiano Ronaldo popped in two goals to run his league tally to 33. Zidane's men reached the Champions League final this week, beating Manchester City and booking a date with hated city rivals Atletico on May 28 in Milan. The league title comes down to next weekend. Barcelona will face Granada. Real Madrid are at Deportivo La Coruna and need to win and hope Barca don't, if they are to claim their record 33rd league championship. European hangover Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid have no realistic chance at the title after losing 2-1 at relegated Levante. Diego Simeone's side were level on points with Barca before kickoff and led when Fernando Torres scored an opener after two minutes. But despite having nothing to play for, Levante leveled after half an hour. They then punished Atletico's commitment to attack with Giuseppe Rossi scoring on the break in the 89th minute. Atletico could still finish second in the league if Real lose at Granada and Atletico defeat Celta Vigo at home.

The race for the Spanish championship will go right to the last weekend with Barcelona and Real Madrid duking it out. Atletico Madrid won’t be in contention after going down 2-1 at relegated Levante. Just a single point separates Barcelona and Real Madrid ahead of the last weekend in La Liga. Spain’s dominant duo will go head-to-head for the Spanish ... Read More »

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