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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Cristiano Ronaldo earned FIFA award for big moments, not a brilliant year

Craig Burley and Alexis Nunes sift through Cristiano Ronaldo's stats from 2017 as he claimed the Best FIFA Men's Player award.
As FIFA announce the three candidates for awards including best player and best manger, see who's being tipped for success.
Ballon d'Or candidate Isco fancies Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo to retain the trophy next January.

Cristiano Ronaldo claimed The Best FIFA Men's Player award for a second straight year on Monday night, beating his regular rivals for the top prizes -- Lionel Messi and Neymar -- in the process.

The Real Madrid forward is once again regarded as the world's greatest footballer by the world game's governing body and he is also the favourite claim a fifth Ballon d'Or award, which would draw him level with long-time Barcelona rival Messi.

ESPN FC's club correspondents give their verdict on the final...

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 Rob Train

Cristiano Ronaldo gets 5/10, Marco Asensio 8/10, in Real Madrid win

Marco Asensio's team-leading third La Liga goal of the season sparked Real Madrid's 3-0 victory over Eibar.
Despite scoring three goals and keeping a clean sheet, Zinedine Zidane admits Real Madrid weren't at their best against Eibar.
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.

Real Madrid ran out 3-0 winners against an ambitious Eibar at the Bernabeu to record a second consecutive home Liga victory. Paulo Oliveira opened the scoring at the wrong end under pressure from Sergio Ramos before Marco Asensio added the second just before the half-hour. Marcelo completed the job late on, driving a crisp shot past Marko Dmitrovic after a sweeping Madrid move.

Positives

A clean sheet and a few excellent individual performances partially vindicated Zinedine Zidane's rotation policy....

Kevin Gameiro gets 7/10 and stars in first La Liga start of season for Atletico

Kevin Gameiro scored the only goal of the game.
Kevin Gameiro's first La Liga start of the season saw him score the only goal in the win over Celta.

It was not pretty, but Atletico Madrid bagged a much-needed three points with a scrappy 1-0 away victory against Celta Vigo.

A first-half goal from the lesser-seen Kevin Gameiro was enough for Los Rojiblancos, who produced one of their trademark dogged performances to see it out under a late bombardment from the Galicians.

Once again, they were indebted to Jan Oblak for ensuring they got the win, but with the way things were going, any win was needed, and they did what they had to do.

Positives

A...

Andres Iniesta gets 7/10, but Luis Suarez struggles with 5/10 in Barca win

Gerard Deulofeu scored his first goal for Barcelona in a victory over Malaga at Camp Nou.
Gerard Deulofeu scored his first goal for Barcelona in a victory over Malaga at Camp Nou.
Gerard Deulofeu scored his first goal for Barcelona in a 2-0 victory over Malaga at Camp Nou.

Barcelona extended their unbeaten start to the La Liga season to nine games with a 2-0 win against Malaga at Camp Nou on Saturday. 

Gerard Deulofeu opened the scoring in the second minute, although the goal came in controversial circumstances, with the ball having gone out of play prior to Lucas Digne delivering the assist. 

Malaga, who are bottom of the table with a solitary point, never really threatened to get back into the game and the three points were sealed when Andres Iniesta's...

Simeone deserves some blame for tactics, selections in Atletico's slump

With Atleti still winless after three games in the UCL, Sid Lowe shares his diagnosis for what's causing their struggles.
Despite going four games without a win, Diego Simeone is confident Atletico have the fortitude to bounce back at Celta Vigo.

To regular observers of Atletico Madrid, Wednesday's drab draw with Qarabag will have come as no surprise. This is a side that have scored just 14 goals in 11 games this season -- five of which came away to the out-of-form Las Palmas.

This was something of a nadir. In Diego Simeone's tenure as boss there have been plenty of drab performances, but Atleti have always managed to get the win -- be it from a corner or an individual moment of magic. This time, however, they just looked devoid of inspiration,...