Sergi Roberto's Stunning Emergence Proves Barcelona Are Firing On All Cylinders

Of everything that happened in this Clásico—a half-strength Barcelona waltzing into the Bernabéu and not only beating a full-strength Real Madrid team that desperately needed a win, but pummeling them in gloriously humiliating fashion; the notoriously careful Rafa Benítez basically being pressured by his president… »Monday 2:49pm11/23/15 2:49pm


French Media Calls In Body Language Expert To Divine Ronaldo's Secret Intentions

Every couple years, the European media works itself into a bubbly froth about Cristiano Ronaldo’s future. We’re now in the thick of yet another foamy period, and perhaps because his departure might actually be imminent this time, the papers are going to absurd lengths to search for clues.
»11/05/15 2:22pm11/05/15 2:22pm

Spain Files Legal Appeal Against Qatar's Winter World Cup

Before Swiss agents rolled up on Zurich’s Baur au Lac hotel, snatched a handful of top FIFA execs, and put in motion the series of events that would culminate in their president’s resignation, soccer’s governing body seemed pretty much omnipotent. That day has changed, thankfully, and people are making moves. »6/29/15 4:08pm6/29/15 4:08pm

Spain's Women's Team Is A Catastrophe, And It Doesn't Need To Be

In the week since the players for the Spanish women’s national team released their open letter requesting the firing of manager Ignacio Quereda, more and more has come to light about just how officious and reprehensible his leadership has been over the entirety of his 27 years in charge. »6/26/15 3:47pm6/26/15 3:47pm

Spain Players Call Out Poor WWC Preparation, Request Manager's Firing

There’s no better proof of Spain’s lack of respect for women’s soccer than the continued employment of head coach Ignacio Quereda. Despite never qualifying for the Olympics, never qualifying for the World Cup prior to this one, and only even making it to the Euro Championship finals twice in 27 years as manager, he’s… »6/20/15 4:36pm6/20/15 4:36pm

It's Their First World Cup, But Don't Count Spain Out Just Yet

Among World Cup teams, Spain are an anomaly; a debutant with the potential to advance deep in the tournament, or at least to knock off a heavyweight. If you are surprised that a country with as rich of a soccer heritage as Spain has never before qualified for the World Cup, well, let me introduce you to machismo.… »6/08/15 6:36pm6/08/15 6:36pm

Italian Paper Alleges FIFA Used Corrupt Refs To Fix 2002 World Cup Games

The 2002 World Cup hosted jointly by South Korea and Japan was already infamous for its horrendous refereeing, most notably two knockout stage match-ups involving South Korea. Today, one Italian paper has linked what was widely believed to be match-fixing behavior back then to this current FIFA scandal. »5/29/15 1:44pm5/29/15 1:44pm

Meet Marca, The Hilarious Propaganda Arm Of Real Madrid

It's maybe a little difficult for Americans to grasp just how deeply and blatantly in the tank the European press can be for the local XI. And no one is deeper and more blatantly in the tank for the local XI than the media in Spain, where the local XI means either Barcelona and Real Madrid and where the address of the… »11/20/14 1:59pm11/20/14 1:59pm

Chelsea And Spain Are Locked In A Dumb War Neither Can Win

Even by the standards of dick-measuring contests, the one ongoing between Chelsea and the Spanish national team has been awful for months. At some point, though, this sort of thing stops being merely dumb and threatens to become actually harmful to the players each side should be trying to protect—and we're nearing… »11/13/14 5:30pm11/13/14 5:30pm

Bill Hillmann: I Got Gored By A Fucking Bull

On Wednesday, Bill Hillmann was gored while running with the bulls in Pamplona. A journalist, novelist, and former boxer, Bill and I have known each other since our time at Columbia College Chicago, where even then he was recognized for his frontline reportage, some of which has since appeared around these parts.… »7/10/14 10:14am7/10/14 10:14am

Alfredo Di Stéfano Could Wallop With The Best Of 'Em

It's unfortunate that it can take a great player's death for us to go back and really appreciate what a talent like Alfredo Di Stéfano brought to the sport. That's especially so in America, where the popular notion of soccer involves Brits inventing the game, Pelé and Brazil mastering it, us continuing not to care,… »7/08/14 12:20pm7/08/14 12:20pm

David Villa Breaking Down Is The Perfect, Saddest End To Spain's Dynasty

I'll admit it: I kind of love Spain. There was a time—weeks ago!—when they were considered the best team in the world, who had multiple, super long periods where they never lost to anyone for any reason and played a brand of soccer that wasn't just the best but was the culmination of all the best thinking about the… »6/23/14 2:51pm6/23/14 2:51pm