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Real Madrid departure was best decision of career - Ezequiel Garay

Following four consecutive draws, ESPN FC's Sid Lowe shares his insight on how Zinedine Zidane can get Real back on track.
Ezequiel Garay
Ezequiel Garay now plays for Valencia, having joined them from Zenit.

Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay has said choosing to leave Real Madrid in 2011 was the "best decision of my career."

Garay, who joined Madrid for €10 million from Racing Santander in 2008, won a Copa del Rey medal in 2011 but did not secure a regular spot in the side.

The Argentina international centre-back left for Benfica in a €5.5m deal in which Real got 50 percent of any subsequent fee, and told El Desmarque his decision had been vindicated.

"I respect Real Madrid a lot as an institution,...

FARE says banana thrown Rostov-Eindhoven Champions League game

In a match with a flurry of goals, Luuk de Jong's score seconds before half-time secured a 2-2 draw for PSV against Rostov.
FC Rostov celebrate
FARE says Rostov fans threw a banana on the field during Wednesday's UCL draw vs. PSV Eindhoven.

MOSCOW -- Russian club FC Rostov are likely to face a UEFA disciplinary case for fan racism after a banana was thrown onto the field during a Champions League game against PSV Eindhoven.

The FARE Network, which monitors racist incidents for UEFA, said the banana was thrown about eight minutes into Wednesday's 2-2 draw.

The banana remained on the field for at least 15 minutes.

FARE director Piara Powar said the body will send an official notification to UEFA.

 By Ben Gladwell

Axel Witsel focused on Zenit St Petersburg, not thinking of Juventus

Axel Witsel saw a move to Juventus collapse last month.

Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel has laughed off claims he is no longer committed to the Russian club and is only thinking about Juventus.

Witsel's move to Juve collapsed on deadline day while the Belgium international was already in Turin and had passed a medical.

He was forced to return back to Russia as Zenit did not have time to find a replacement, although he is still reportedly set to join the Italian champions next summer on a free transfer, if not in January.


UEFA deals partial stadium ban to Rostov for racist fan behaviour

FC Rostov celebrate
UEFA has dealt Rostov a partial stadium ban for their home match in the Champions League group stage.

UEFA has punished Rostov for racist behaviour from their fans by ordering the Russian club to close a stadium section at their home debut in the group stage of the Champions League.

UEFA says fans in Rostov-on-Don -- a host city for the 2018 World Cup -- were guilty of unspecified offensive acts during a playoff victory against Ajax on Aug. 24.

A 1,500-seat section of the Olimp-2 stadium will be closed when PSV Eindhoven visit on Sept. 28.

Rostov entered their first Champions League by finishing...

 By Ben Gladwell

Axel Witsel's move to Juventus has been put on hold - Beppe Marotta

With Juan Cuadrado and Axel Witsel deals nearing completion, the ESPN FC crew wonder if Juventus are now the frontrunners to lift the UCL trophy this season.

Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel's move to Juventus has just been "postponed," according to the Serie A club's general manager Beppe Marotta.

Witsel, 27, was on the brink of joining the Bianconeri on transfer deadline day, only for Zenit to veto the deal as they had failed to find an adequate replacement.

The Belgium international had spent the day in Turin, having already passed a medical, and was waiting for the transfer to be finalised when it fell through.

However, Witsel will still...