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Sunday, May 24th

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Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso will conclude his football career by the end of this season when his contract expires with German football champions Bayern Munich.

At the end of Bayern's recent winter camp, Alonso, 35, told the club's management that he did not want to renew his contract, German magazine Sport Bild said on Wednesday.

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Star forward Cristiano Ronaldo returns to a Copa del Rey call for the first time in the football season in the first leg of the quarter-finals against Celta de Vigo, where midfielder Isco Alarcón may also reappear after recovering from injury.

Real coach Zinedine Zidane called Ronaldo for the first time for the Copa del Rey, a competition in which the coach gave him a rest until the quarter-finals. The presence of the Portuguese is a great addition on the list, as well as the return of Isco from an injury that prevented him from playing in the last two games against Sevilla.

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Sevilla ended Real Madrid's 40-game unbeaten run and threw the race for the Spanish top division title wide open by beating the league leaders 2-1 following a dramatic comeback at the Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium here.

A tense first half saw both sides trade blows in a high-octane affair on Sunday night. Madrid took the lead in the 67th minute when Cristiano Ronaldo scored from the penalty spot after Sevilla keeper Sergio Rico needlessly brought down Madrid fullback Dani Carvajal.

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Italian football club Napoli have ended weeks of speculation by signing highly-rated Brazilian teenager Leandrinho from Ponte Preta. The Serie A club reportedly beat off interest from Real Madrid and Manchester City to bag the 18-year-old striker.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis confirmed the move with a brief welcome message on Twitter.

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There will be no big matches in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey as the top three football clubs dodged meeting each other, according to the results of the draw on Friday.

According to the draw, Barcelona will meet Real Sociedad, while Real Madrid will face Celta Vigo, Atletico Madrid against Eibar and finally Alcorcon will play Alaves.

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With Real Madrid facing a tough trip to Sevilla, and Barcelona at home against Las Palmas over the coming La Liga weekend, there is plenty to look forward to in the Spanish top-flight football competition.

Thursday's King's Cup tie between Sevilla and Real Madrid gave a taster for what lies in store when the two sides meet again in Sevilla's Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on Sunday night.

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Real Madrid claimed its spot in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals with a 3-3 draw against Sevilla that brought the Blancos' unbeaten streak to 40, tying the record set in 1978 by England's Nottingham Forest.

With a 3-0 win in last week's first leg at the Bernabeu, La Liga-leading Real Madrid were the favourite going into the second leg in Seville on Thursday.

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