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Thursday, Jun 27th

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The Beautiful Game is a sport which brings together people of all castes and creeds, from all the corners of the world, to cheer for their beloved teams. And with European football being amongst the most glamorous in the world, the finals of its top tier competition – the Champions League – is certainly considered a sporting bonanza, probably surpassed only by the final of the FIFA World Cup.

The competition was started in the year 1955, known by the name European Champion Clubs' Cup, or simply the European Cup, until it was rebranded as the UEFA Champions League in 1992.

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Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 24th La Liga hattrick inside the space of just 8 minutes, and scored his first five-goal haul, as Los Blancos romped relegation-threatened Granada 9-1 in their La Liga encounter at Santiago Bernabeu today.

The hosts went ahead in the 25th minute through a Gareth Bale goal, with the Welshman doing well to tackle the keeper before nudging the ball inside the net. And after that, Ronaldo dominated to score thrice in the 30th, 36th and 38th minutes to take the game away from the visitors. The hattrick was Ronaldo’s 5th in La Liga this season, and took him level with rival Lionel Messi in terms of total hattricks in the Spanish league till date.

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Barcelona notched up a 2-1 win over Real Madrid, during a tense El Clasico encounter between the sides, to go 4 points clear on top of La Liga standings.

The Catalans got the lead when Jeremy Mathieu scored from a header following a Lionel Messi free kick. Los Blancos equalised soon after, with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring in the 31st minute, with Karim Benzema providing him with an assist. Luis Suarez then made it 2-1 in favour of the hosts, scoring after Dani Alves had supplied him with a gorgeous pass.

Here are the player ratings from the match...

 

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Barcelona avenged their last El Clasico loss by defeating Real Madrid 2-1 at the Nou Camp to go 4 points clear on top of La Liga standings.

The high profile encounter commenced in a predictable way, with both the sides exchanging possession and tussling for the ball. Barcelona had a chance to go ahead early on in the game when Andres Iniesta, barged inside from the left wing, supplying a good cross inside, which was however deflected out.

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La Liga leaders Barcelona host Real Madrid in El Clasico at Nou Camp tonight.

The Catalans are currently on 65 points from 27 matches, a solitary point ahead of their arch rivals.

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Champions League holders Real Madrid survived a scare against Schalke to qualify for the quarter finals of the competition for the 5th straight time. Los Blancos lost 4-3 at home to the German side, but progressed 5-4 on aggregate.

Schalke got the lead in the 20th minute through Christian Fuchs, when the Austrian scored following a dummy by Klaas Jan Huntelaar from a cross by Tranquillo Barnetta. However, the hosts equalised just 5 minutes later through Cristiano Ronaldo, who headed home following a corner after Joel Matip failed to mark him well.

 

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Real Madrid do not need to acquire the services of Manchester United ace David De Gea, at least that is what former Los Blancos President Ramon Calderon has revealed. According to the Spaniard, Real already have the best goalkeeper in the world in the form of Iker Casillas, and a quality backup option in Keylor Navas.

Calderon was quoted telling talkSPORT: "We already have the best goalkeeper in the world, which is Casillas. We also have just bought Keylor Navas. I don't see any need to get any other goalkeeper. De Gea is perhaps also one of the top five goalkeepers in the world but Casillas can still be at the top for three or four years. I don't see any need [for De Gea]."

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