He has been talking the talk for the past few months, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen is going to be given the chance to walk the walk when Barcelona host Espanyol in a Catalan derby this weekend, a game that could have repercussions at both ends of the table.
Ter Stegen, who is in his second season with the European champions, has grown increasingly frustrated with his role with the club. Luis Enrique plays Claudio Bravo in La Liga, rotating the German goalkeeper into the side for the Copa del Rey...
The first leg of Manchester City and Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final was a dour affair. With Cristiano Ronaldo absent and City seemingly focused on minimising Madrid's remaining attacking potency, the 0-0 scoreline reflected more about the potential prize on offer -- a date in Milan with the winner of Atletico Madrid-Bayern Munich -- than the clear attacking quality both these teams possess. More is expected in terms of chances created and goals from the return leg in Madrid, particularly from Los Blancos.
This season, Madrid have again been powerful in attack and their forward trio of Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale have once more helped themselves to a surfeit of goals. But with Benzema and Ronaldo injury doubts for Wednesday's second leg, the spotlight turns to Bale as the remaining star forward.
In his third season at the club, Bale's output has noticeably risen and the balance of Madrid's attack has subtly shifted. While any team with Ronaldo will defer to the three-time Ballon D'Or winner, the role of his teammates should not be underestimated and they are now taking on a larger share of the shooting work. Let's take a look at how Bale, in particular, has progressed into an ever more important role this season.
The family of a 5-year-old Afghan boy who received autographed shirts from Barcelona star Lionel Messi, his football hero, has been forced to leave Afghanistan amid constant telephone threats and a menacing letter from the Taliban, the boy's father said.
Mohammad Arif Ahmadi -- whose son grabbed headlines in February when he was photographed wearing a homemade Argentina shirt with No. 10 on the back -- said the family has moved to neighboring Pakistan and settled in the city of Quetta,...