Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has rung the changes in his first squad list since their disappointing FIFA World Cup™, bringing in five uncapped players among eight new faces.
Among those left out of the 23-man squad for the start of their UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying campaign are Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, Chelsea striker Fernando Torres and Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata. Xavi and Xabi Alonso are also missing after announcing their international retirements following the World Cup, while Jose Reina, David Villa and long-term injury victim Javi Martinez make up those omitted.
Atletico Madrid have agreed a deal to sign Italy forward Alessio Cerci from Torino, the Spanish champions have announced.
The 27-year-old Cerci, who had been linked with a move to Arsenal, will pen a three-year contract with Atletico, pending a successful medical.
A statement on the club’s official website read: “Atletico Madrid and Torino have reached an agreement for the transfer of Alessio Cerci to our club, pending a medical and the signing of the contract. The Italy international will be tied to the club for the next three seasons.”
Real Sociedad produced a stunning fightback from 2-0 down to beat European champions Real Madrid 4-2. Meanwhile, bitter rivals Barcelona made it two wins in as many games under Luis Enrique with a late winner at Villarreal.
Madrid were without the injured Cristiano Ronaldo and departed Angel di Maria and Xabi Alonso, but still looked on course for a comfortable evening when they flew into a 2-0 lead inside the opening 11 minutes thanks to goals from Sergio Ramos and Gareth Bale.
However, Inigo Martinez and David Zurutuza levelled for the hosts before the break and Zurutuza and Carlos Vela sealed a much-needed win for under-fire Sociedad boss Jagoba Arrasate.
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Atletico Madrid recorded their first win of the Spanish La Liga season but were run alarmingly close by newcomers Eibar in a 2-1 win at the Vicente Calderon. The defending champions looked to be cruising when goals from Miranda and Mario Mandzukic, who scored his first league goal since joining from Bayern Munich over the summer, gave them a cushion on home soil.
But Abraham pulled one back for newly-promoted Eibar and they could have snatched a point in the final minutes but for a timely intervention from goalkeeper Miguel Moya to deny Angel Rodriguez.
In a signing that would not have been placed if the upcoming transfer ban was not happening, Barcelona have signed right-back Douglas from Brazilian side Sao Paulo in a deal worth 5.5 million euros.
The deal seems to have more than an eye on next season as Barca already have right backs Dani Alves and Martin Montoya.
The agreement should take Barca’s summer outlay to around 155 million euros, with the Catalan club stocking up on players due to the one-year transfer ban imposed on the club by FIFA.
Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso has announced his retirement from international football.
The 32-year-old was a member of the Spain squads which won the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ and UEFA EURO 2008 and 2012 during a sustained period of dominance – but that run came to an end with this year’s World Cup in Brazil as La Roja were dumped out before the group stages had even concluded.
Alonso, who made his Spain debut in April 2003 as a 21-year-old, retires with 114 caps to his name.
Manchester United have smashed the British transfer record to sign Angel di Maria from Real Madrid. United confirmed the signing of the Argentina winger on Tuesday after he completed a medical. United have paid £59.7m for the former Benfica player, who has signed a five-year contract with his new club.
The fee eclipses the previous British transfer record of £50m, which Chelsea paid for Fernando Torres in 2011. It also exceeds the £37.1m sum United paid for Juan Mata in January.
Real Madrid got their Spanish La Liga campaign off to a winning start as they defeated newly promoted Cordoba 2-0 at home, but champions Atletico Madrid were held 0-0 away to Rayo Vallecano on Monday.
Real were far from convincing at the Bernabeu but got the three points thanks to Karim Benzema’s first-half header and a characteristic thumping finish into the bottom corner from Cristiano Ronaldo in stoppage time.
A Lionel Messi brace and a delightful finish from teenager Munir El Haddadi kicked off Luis Enrique’s Barcelona reign with a 3-0 win over Elche in the Primera Division.
Messi got back to his marauding best and scored the opening goal before Javier Mascherano saw red in the closing stages of the first half.
With Barcelona down to 10 men Munir stole the limelight, latching on to a ball over the top from summer signing Ivan Rakitic before deftly flicking it into the top corner with the outside of his left boot.
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has been handed an eight-game ban by the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) following his actions during Friday’s Super Cup second leg against Real Madrid. Simeone was sent to the stands during the first half of the clash at the Vicente Calderon after aggressively remonstrating with the fourth official, who he then tapped on the back of the head.
The Argentinian’s ban has been made up of four different punishments and includes a combined fine of €4,805. Atletico have also been fined €2,800. Simeone has ten days to appeal the sanctions, which apply to any RFEF competition.