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Messi Priceless

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde says Lionel Messi has to be 100 per cent fit if he is to feature against Real Betis on Sunday.

The 32-year-old missed the whole of Barca’s pre-season programme with a calf injury and was not part of their squad for their opening LaLiga loss to Athletic Bilbao last weekend.

Messi, whose last competitive outing was for Argentina in the Copa America third-place play-off victory over Chile, a match in which he was controversially sent off, returned to training on Wednesday, but Valverde is unsure whether he will be fit for the visit of Betis.

Zidane: We Deserved To Win Today

Zinedine Zidane thought his Real Madrid side “deserved more” after they dropped points in a surprise 1-1 home draw against Real Valladolid.

The hosts struck first, with Karim Benzema hitting his second goal in as many games, before Sergi Guardiola earned his side a draw with a low strike in the 88th minute.

Speaking at a press conference reported by the club website, the French manager said: “It left a bitter taste in my mouth, we did the hardest part, scoring right at the end of the second half but just three minutes later they pulled one back.

Takefusa Kubo Real Madrid

Real Madrid have loaned Japanese teenager Takefusa Kubo to Rea Mallorca for the upcoming La Liga season.

Madrid signed the 18-year-old attacking midfielder in June from FC Tokyo with the intention of having him play within the reserve team.

Kubo featured with the first team during the pre-season, in order for manager Zinedine Zidane and his coaching team to observe the player at close quarters.

Madrid believe that Kubo is ready to play top-flight football as opposed to spending time in their club’s Castilla team.

Valverde Continues To Hammer Griezmann

Griezmann Barcelona

Barcelona new boy Antoine Griezmann has been issued a call to arms by manager Ernesto Valverde following an ineffectual La Liga debut.

The Frenchman was unable to effect play in the 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao at San Memes, first from the left and then from a central position.

Griezmann, who signed for Barca for a whopping £108million in the summer from Atletico Madrid, is set to lead the line against Real Betis on Sunday with both Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi unlikely to start.

David Beckham is reportedly targeting Barcelona forward Luis Suarez to be his first marquee signing of Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.

The club have already signed two players – Matias Pellegrini and Julian Carranza – as they continue to make additions ahead of their first MLS campaign next year.

Inter Miami have been linked to Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani and are now keen on former Liverpool striker Suarez, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The Uruguay international, who has two years left remaining on his current deal at the Nou Camp, is reportedly interested in the Inter Miami project in the long term.

David de Gea No Longer First Choice For Spain

David de Gea

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has been told he is no longer Spain’s No 1.

De Gea had been the automatic first choice for Spain since the end of Vicente del Bosque’s time in charge but recently dropped out of the side under new manager Robert Moreno.

Moreno selected Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga in net for the last three Spain matches. While that coincided with a dip in De Gea’s form for both club and country, there was an expectation that he would return to the starting line-up for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers.

gareth bale real madrid

In a statement that illustrates how large the divide is at the Bernabéu between president and manager, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has hailed Gareth Bale’s influence at the club for the 2019-20 La Liga season.

The Welsh international has been heavily linked with a move away from the Spanish capital in recent weeks, with manager Zinedine Zidane simply not rating him. Zidane froze Bale out at the end of last season, excluding the winger from the squad altogether for two of the last three games and leaving him on the bench on the last day of the season as Madrid lost to Betis.

Philippe Coutinho has landed in Germany to finalize his season-long loan move to Bayern Munich. The Brazil international is expected to undergo a medical on Sunday before agreeing a deal that includes an option for the Bundesliga champions to purchase him on a permanent basis.

Bayern have agreed to take Coutinho on loan for one season and the deal is expected to include an option for a permanent move.

After Bayern were held 2-2 by Hertha Berlin on Friday night, CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said:

Griezmann Barcelona

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde says Antoine Griezmann has to come into play more following his underwhelming league debut for the La Liga champions.

The 28-year-old made his first La Liga appearance for Barca, who suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao in their opening fixture on Friday.

A €120 million signing from Atletico Madrid, all eyes were on Griezmann, but he struggled to make an impact in absence of captain Lionel Messi, while Luis Suarez’s first-half injury left him isolated.

If he’s near the area, he is decisive and moves well, but you have to dominate the game for that to happen,” Valverde told reporters.

La Liga Title Contenders

La Liga Logo

La Liga has made a lot of headlines this summer, and many for the wrong reason. The main talking points have been Atletico Madrid and Barcelona’s legal dispute over Antoine Griezmann’s transfer, Eden Hazard’s eventual move to Real Madrid, Nabil Fekir’s shock decision to join Real Betis and Valencia managing to keep hold of their boss Marcelino Garcia Toral after a turbulent summer.

Despite the transfer window remaining open, the focus now switches back to the football and it promises to be one of the most intriguing seasons in recent years.