Spain 7-0 Malta: Report, Ratings & Reaction as La Roja Cruise to Dominant Victory

Spain recorded their biggest victory of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign so far, storming to a 7-0 win over minnows Malta.?

As expected, Spain dominated possession for the majority of the game, but it took them 23 minutes to find a way through the stubborn Maltese defence thanks to a scrappy finish from Álvaro Morata. Gerard Moreno had a goal ruled out for offside soon after, but Spain did get their second shortly before the break as Santi Cazorla finished off an excellent passing move.

Gerard Moreno,Jurgen Pisani,Rowen Muscat

It could have been three before the hour mark, only for a fantastic goal-line clearance from Jonathan Caruana to deny Pablo Sarabia. However, young debutant Pau Torres did make it three with his first touch in a Spain shirt, tapping in from a corner. 

Before fans had even sat down, it was four when Sarabia’s composed finish from towards the edge of the area flew into the top corner. Debutant Dani Olmo made it five by rounding the goalkeeper, before Moreno tapped home from close range for the sixth goal.

Jesús Navas saved the best until last though, bending a long-range effort over the goalkeeper and into the top corner to cap off what was an overwhelmingly comfortable victory for La Roja.


SPAIN

Key Talking Point

Dani Olmo

For Spain, it was a job well done. They were always heavy favourites to win this one, and they did not disappoint. They grew better as the game progressed, and some of the credit has to go to Moreno’s substitutions.

This game was a routine one for Spain, but it gave Moreno the chance to turn to his youngsters. Goalkeeper Pau López was almost forgotten about, while defender Pau Torres and midfielder Dani Olmo were given their senior debuts for La Roja. Pau netted with his first touch of the ball, while Olmo needed a few more to get himself off the mark.

The two youngsters are seen as part of the future for Spain, and they were given the best possible introduction to life in the senior setup. They were composed and impressive in their respective positions, and fans should be incredibly excited about the future.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: López (6); Navas (8), Albiol (6), Ramos (6), Bernat (6); Thiago (7), Rodri (6), Cazorla (7); Moreno (7), Morata (7), Sarabia (8*).

Substitutes: Alcácer (6), Pau (7), Olmo (7).


STAR MAN – Pablo Sarabia

Pablo Sarabia

Sarabia has struggled to make a real impact on Moreno’s side, but he certainly made the most of his first international start.

A constant threat down the right side of the field, the Paris Saint-Germain winger was electric throughout. He showcased his impressive composure to net a fantastic first-time finish, but could have had five or six.

He faced very little opposition here, but he did exactly what was asked of him. The 27-year-old might not hold down a permanent place in the team, but he will have given his boss something to think about.


MALTA

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Bonello (6); Corbalan (3), J. Caruana (5), Agius (4), Z. Muscat (4), Pisani (5); Paiber (4), Vella (4), R. Muscat (5), Mbong (6); Nwoko (4).

Substitutes: Micallef (5), T. Caruana (5), Grech (5).


Looking Ahead

Spain will finish off their European qualification campaign when Romania visit the Wanda Metropolitano on Monday.

On the same day, Malta will hope to halt a run of eight consecutive defeats when they host Norway.


For more from Tom Gott, follow him on Twitter!

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90min’s Definitive European Power Rankings: Week 13 – Peep Show Special

Following a week in which: 

– Chelsea won AGAIN.

– Bayern Munich crushed Borussia Dortmund’s hopes and dreams AGAIN.

– Cristiano Ronaldo threw his toys out of his pram despite being a 34-year-old man AGAIN. 

We, using quotes from Peep Show, while listening to Kanye West’s new album ‘JESUS IS KING’ and wondering how under God someone can make music this bad, we rank the 15 best teams in Europe. AGAIN.


15) Sheffield United (Re-Entry)

George Baldock,John Lundstram,David McGoldrick,Lys Mousset

“Tonight is going, if a bit weird, extremely f**king well for us.”

It’s a bit weird, but things are going extremely f**king well for ?Sheffield United. 

It’s going so well, in fact, that the Blades are fifth in the Premier League table, above Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham. 

Bit weird.


14) Hoffenheim (New Entry)

Sebastian Rudy

“This may be the best day of my life! War with Sophie is over, and Johnson’s given me a promotion! I’ve only got my own bloody little office.”

This may be the best run in Hoffenheim’s largely unsuccessful history, as since reverting to a back three Die Kraichgauer have been on an absolute tear. 

They’ve won their last five, and with games against Mainz and Fortuna coming up after the international break, that run doesn’t look set to end anytime soon. 


13) Cagliari (New Entry) 

Fabio Pisacane

“Love’s hard mate. F**king hard. Doesn’t work…breaks. But you’ve got to give it a go. Norwich are never going to win the league, but they still turn up every week don’t they? The pricks.”

Football’s hard mate. F**king hard. 

But Cagliari are giving it a go. Last weekend they absolutely thumped Fiorentina 5-2, largely thanks to a masterclass from Radja Nainggolan, and the weekend before that they beat everyone’s favourite Italian football team (Atalanta) 2-0.

Sure, Cagliari may very well be the Norwich City of Serie A, and no they are never going to win the league, but they still turn up every week and do their best. That’s all that counts. 


12) Barcelona (Up 2) 

Lionel Messi

“You are the best of men. The truest, kindest, most generous of men.”

Lionel Messi’s 2019/20 La Liga stats: 

Played: 7

Goals Scored: 8

Goals Assisted: 4

It’s not Robert Lewandowski good, but it’s still pretty good.


11) Manchester City (Down 8)

TOPSHOT-FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-MAN CITY

“A new boiler. Surely the least enjoyable way to spend a thousand pounds. At least throwing the money out of the window you’d see the scrabbling mass, the hate-filled faces. I have spent a cool grand on acquiring the resumption of an equitable temperature.”

A new defender. Surely the least enjoyable way to spend £80m. At least throwing the money out of the window you’d see the scrabbling mass, the hate-filled faces. 

But you know what? While it’s boring, like spending £1,000 on a new boiler, spending £80m on a central defender to compete with Liverpool was/is necessary.


10) Real Madrid (-)

Karim Benzema

“I’m in my element. Older people are still people. They’re just people who think when they open a new window on the computer the previous window has disappeared for good.”

The likes of Fede Valverde and Rodrygo are five-year-olds who have been exceptional in recent weeks, but the real stars of the show at ?Real Madrid are the old people:

Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos. 

They’ve been in their element this season, scoring goals for fun (yes, a defender scores goals for fun). 


9) Lazio (New Entry)

Ciro Immobile

No teas for the beastmaster, thanks. He feasts on the blood of his prey.”

Ciro Immobile’s 2019/20 Serie A stats: 

Played: 12

Goals Scored: 14

Goals Assisted: 5

It’s not Robert Lewandowski good, but it’s still really, really good. 


8) Bayern Munich (Up 7)

Robert Lewandowski

“Four naan, Jeremy? Four? That’s insane.”

Four goals, ?Bayern? 

Four? 

Against your biggest rivals and straight after sacking your manager?

That’s insane.


7) Chelsea (Up 5)

FBL-ENG-PR-CHELSEA-CRYSTAL PALACE

“I like you. Is that such a crime? Should I be hounded to the ends of the earth, just for liking you? I like you, and if you can’t handle it, you can just, you know, f*** off.”

Oh no. 

No, no, no, no, no. 

It’s happening, isn’t it? 

It’s really happening.

Oh please God no. 

?Chelsea are…

…likeable.

They’re the most entertaining team to watch in the Premier League at the moment, and they’re relying on young players – which every FM fan loves. 

Chelsea are actually likeable.

I need to lie down. 


6) Inter (Up 3)

Antonio Conte

For the worst thing that could possibly happen, this is actually going extremely well.”

For a team enduring the worst injury crisis of all time that’s in dire need of new players because the current ones are sh*t (this is basically what Antonio Conte said), things are going extremely well for ?Inter.

I Nerazzurri are unbeaten in their last five league games, and are just one point adrift of Juventus atop of Serie A.

See, things are going extremely well. Cheer up Conte. 


5) Borussia Monchengladbach (-)

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-MOENCHENGLADBACH-BREMEN

“It’s good to know who you are”

Borussia Monchengladbach are now four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table. 

‘Four points, Gladbach? Four?’

No, we’ve already used that one. We can’t use it again. 

‘Oh, ok…’

For Borussia Monchengladbach we’re using ‘it’s good to know who you are’, because after weeks of waiting for them to collapse and fall back into 4-6 obscurity we’ve finally come to the conclusion that such a collapse isn’t forthcoming.

So now we know exactly who they are: they are the real deal. 


4) Leicester City (Up 3)

FBL-ENG-PR-LEICESTER-ARSENAL

“Now I know how whatshisname felt when he finished the Mona Lisa…knackered.”

Big Brendy baps and ?Leicester City’s Premier League campaign, thus far, can be hyperbolically described as follows:

A masterpiece.

They sit second in the table after 12 games, having won their last four games on the bounce. 

But can this incredible run last? 

Only time will tell, but all this masterpiece…ing must be knackering. 


3) RB Leipzig (Up 1)

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-HERTHA BERLIN-LEIPZIG

“Super Hans says he’s come up with a bass loop for our new track that is so good, that when he tried turning it off…he literally couldn’t…he actually physically couldn’t do it.”

RB Leipzig have a striker that is so prolific, that even when he doesn’t need to score, when his team are already winning comfortably…he scores anyways…Timo Werner actually physically can’t stop scoring goals.


2) Juventus (-)

Paulo Dybala

“Socks before or after trousers, but never socks before pants. That’s the rule. Makes a man look scary, like a chicken.”

Beat AC Milan, but not before you give them hope that they can beat you. 

That’s the rule. 


?1) Liverpool (-)

Fabinho

“Like when they fed all the cows to the other cows in the ’90s and we got what was it? Super-burgers?”

?Liverpool are a super-team. 

They are indestructible. 

They are unstoppable. 

They are undeniable. 

And last weekend, they proved it by humbling their nearest and greatest rivals at Anfield. 

TOO. GOOD. 


Let’

Reliving David Villa’s Greatest Moments as Spain Legend Announces Retirement

?There’s a general election on the horizon. Liverpool might actually win the Premier League. One of the most underrated forwards ever is about to retire. We live in changing times, and not all of it is for the better. 

While the first two points have been debated beyond tedium, though, nowhere near enough has been made of the situation we have on our hands with David Villa. 

So, with the energy of ?Neymar on the receiving end of an innocuous challenge, let’s make an absolute meal of it, and recount the Spanish legend’s greatest hits. 


Scoring Four Goals Against Sevilla in 2004

Zaragoza's players David Villa (2-L), Ca

Trying to find some sort of YouTube record of this for visual reference has proved trying, but rest assured, it did actually happen. 

At this junction in his career, a 23-year-old Villa was beginning to really make a name for himself, having spent a couple of increasingly fruitful seasons at Sporting Gijón prior to signing for Real Zaragoza. 

He’d net a stellar 21 goals in 46 appearances in his debut season for the Aragon-based side, then mid-table in ?La Liga, with four of those remarkably coming in one unplayable display against Sevilla. Unfortunately his side’s defence weren’t quite up to snuff; despite Villa dragging them back from the dead to give them a 4-2 lead, they ended up drawing 4-4.


Lobbing the Deportivo de La Coruña Keeper From the Halfway Line

Valencia's David Villa celebrates after

There’s no doubt Villa will be best-remembered for the headline achievements that come later in the list, but the early part of his career had more than its fair share of highlights – as evidenced by the painfully low-quality footage of him ?lobbing Deportivo keeper José Francisco Molina from near-enough the halfway line. 

The goal came midway through the first half, and was the only notable incident in an otherwise routine win for Valencia. Fortunately enough, then, it was more than worth the admission on its own. 


Five-Minute Hat-trick vs Athletic Club 

Valencia?s  David Villa (C) vies with At

The 2005/06 season ended in underwhelming fashion for Valencia, dropping points in each of their last three to lose out to Real Madrid in the race for second place. 

There’s one player who can take very little blame for that plight, however; the man who scored seven goals in six games to see the season out, and the man on whom this entire list is predicated. 

In amongst that mad goalscoring streak was a rapid five-minute hat-trick that started in the 80th minute and concluded in the 85th, to secure a 3-0 victory over Athletic Club.


Winning the Euro 2008 Golden Boot Despite Missing the Final With Injury

Pepe Reina,David Villa

By 2008, Villa was hitting the peak of his powers, and had taken over the mantle of his country’s talisman from the immortal Raúl – with more than a little help from an emerging Fernando Torres. 

He rattled in six goals in qualifying, and as Spain went on to establish themselves as the country to beat over the next four years, the Euro 2008 finals saw him add a further six to his burgeoning international tally. 

That’s despite him picking up a thigh-injury in the semi-final win over Russia and subsequently missing the final, in which Spain beat Germany thanks to a solitary strike from Torres. 


Winning the World Cup 2010 Silver Boot Despite Not Missing the Final 

Spain's defender Sergio Ramos (L) hands

Ok, so silver isn’t quite as good, but it’s fair to say Villa built on the reputation he’d crafted out for himself two years earlier, as his five goals helped carry his side – who managed just eight throughout the entire tournament – to a first ever World Cup trophy. 

Netting against Honduras, Chile, Portugal and Paraguay, he finished on the same goals tally as Thomas Müller, but fewer assists meant he had to settle for just a silver boot and a gold medal for his efforts. 


Sealing the 2011 Champions League final

Barcelona's Spanish forward David Villa

Switching back to club duties for a beat, his trophy-laden tenure with ?Barcelona has been done a disservice so far, so let’s ramp up to the climax with a trip down memory lane to the 2011 Champions League final. 

Remembered as one of the games that defined Pep Guardiola’s Barça side, they ran out ?comfortable 3-1 winners over ?Manchester United despite Wayne Rooney cancelling out Pedro’s opener, with a marvellous low effort from Lionel Messi in the second half giving them the initiative. 

The game was then put beyond any semblance of doubt when Villa, receiving a Sergio Busquets pass on the edge of the D, trapped the ball dead, before placing it directly into the top corner with absolutely zero back-lift. It gets better every time you watch it. 


Netting His 50th International Goal

David Villa,Carles Puyol

The Euro 2012 qualifying campaign would prove to ultimately be Villa’s last triumph as a Spain player, going on to miss the finals with injury, while the 2014 World Cup would prove to be a disaster for more reasons than one. 

Still, it was quite the memorable campaign, 2012. He’d overtake Raúl to become his country’s all-time top scorer, and netting in a 3-1 win over Scotland, would also becoming the first and only Spaniard to date to surpass 50 goals. 

He finished with a remarkable 59, and that’s a record which should stand for the foreseeable, considering David Silva (35) and Sergio Ramos (21) are the only other active players in the top ten.


For more from Robbie Copeland, follow him on Twitter!

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Germany vs Belarus Preview: Where to Watch, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News

?Germany lock horns with Belarus at Borussia Park in Mönchengladbach as Die Mannschaft aim to seal qualification for Euro 2020. 

Germany are currently level on points with the Netherlands but sit second in their group due to an inferior head-to-head with the Dutch.owever, they will be able to qualify with a win if Northern Ireland fail to come away with a result in their next match against Ronald Koeman’s side. 

Meanwhile Belarus occupy fourth place on four points after winning only one, drawing one and losing five of their opening seven games.

FBL-EURO-2020-GER-QUALIFIER-PRESSER

Joachim Löw will view this as a crucial game for his German side in terms of booking their place at Euro 2020 and will be hoping to achieve qualification from Group C as soon as possible. 

With that said, here is 90mins preview for Saturday’s fixture. 


Where to Watch

?When Is Kick Off? ?Saturday 16 November
?What Time Is Kick Off? ?19:45 (GMT)
?Where Is It Played? ?Borussia-Park
?TV Channel/Live Stream? ?Sky Sports Football HD
?Referee? ?Orel Grinfeld (ISR)

Team News

Löw will have a number of absentees as Julian Draxler (match fitness), Marcel Halstenberg (thigh), Kai Havertz (thigh), Thilo Kehrer (foot), Marco Reus (ankle), Antonio Rüdiger (groin), Kevin Trapp (shoulder) Leroy Sane & Niklas Süle (both knee) and Emre Can (suspended) all remain unavailable. 

FBL-EURO-2020-QUALIFIER-BLR-GER

Belarus manager Mikhail Markhel only has one injury concern to worry about, with Ivan Bakhar sustaining an unspecified injury that rules him out of Saturday’s game. 

UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier group C"Belarus v The Netherlands"


Predicted Lineups

?Germany: Neuer; Klostermann, Ginter, Tah, Schulz; Kimmich, Kroos, Goretzka; Gnabry, Brandt, Werner ?
?Belarus: ?Gutor; Veretilo, Martynovich, Naumov, Polyakov; Yablonski, Kovalev; Dragun, Maevski, Stasevich; Laptev

Head-to-Head Record

This will be the third meeting between the two sides, with Germany winning two of those three fixtures as both sides also drew 2-2 in an international friendly back in May 2008. 

FBL-EURO-2020-QUALIFIER-BLR-GER

Germany won the reverse fixture 2-0 in Borisov back in June with Sané and Reus scoring the goals, meaning DFB hold an aggregate score of 4-2 over their Belarusian counterparts. 


Recent Form

Despite losing 4-2 at the hands of the Netherlands in early September, Germany are the in-form side in Group C, winning 11 of their last 13 European qualifiers dating back to 2014. Moreover, Germany have won five of their last seven (1D 1L) in all competitions. 

Germany have scored two or more goals in nine of their last ten games – scoring 28 in total – and have kept four clean sheets in their last six matches. 

FBL-EURO-2020-QUALIFIER-BLR-GER

Contrastingly, Belarus have lost six of their last eight games, conceding 13 goals in the process. Things are not much better at the other end of the pitch, as the White Wings have scored a measly four goals in their last eight games. 

The eastern European side have a poor away record in the Euro 2020 qualifiers (L2 W1) and currently sit 81st in the FIFA World Rankings, 68 places behind their opponents in 13th. 

Here is how both teams have fared in their previous five fixtures.

Germany? ?Belarus
?Estonia 0-3 Germany (13/10) ?Belarus 1-2 Netherlands (13/10)
?N. Ireland 0-2 Germany (09/10) ?Belarus 0-0 Estonia (10/10)
?Germany 2-4 Netherlands (06/09) Estonia 1-2 Belarus (06/09)
?Germany 8-0 Estonia (11/06) ?Belarus 0-1 N. Ireland (11/06)
?Belarus 0-2 Germany (08/06) ?Belarus 0-2 Germany (08/06)

Prediction

FBL-EURO-2020-QUALIFIER-BLR-GER

Given the superiority of the German side in terms of points and personnel, this should be a relatively straightforward game for Löw and co. 

A win is imperative for Germany as they look to achieve qualification from Group C in the smoothest manner possible, meanwhile Belarus will be hoping they do not finish rock bottom of Group C as they hold a three-point lead over Estonia who remain in fifth. 

All in all a comfortable win should be on the cards for Germany, who should ease past Belarus in their penultimate game of the Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Prediction: Germany 4-0 Belarus


Let’

Didier Deschamps Insists Antoine Griezmann’s Spell at Barcelona Has Been ‘Far From Catastrophic’

?France manager Didier Deschamps has defended Antoine Griezmann’s start to life at Barcelona, hinting that a change of position has harmed his development at Camp Nou.

Griezmann joined Barça from Atletico Madrid during the summer following a long and drawn-out transfer saga, and was thrown in at the deep end straight away as injuries to Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez stopped Ernesto Valverde from being able to start his three illustrious forwards together.

Antoine Griezmann

The former Real Sociedad forward has four goals and three assists in his 11 La Liga appearances so far this season and is yet to find the net in the ?Champions League for his new side, but Deschamps has come out in support of his World Cup winner regardless.

He said ahead of France’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Moldova, as quoted by ?ESPN: “Things could be better, but I watch each match, and things are far from catastrophic. It is also a question of how he is used. He was in his best role with ?Atletico Madrid.

“Perhaps he is less decisive [with ?Barcelona] than he is with us. However, he knows his importance to us and my confidence in him.”

Griezmann is without a goal for Les Bleus in his last six international fixtures, last scoring for his national team back in June during the 2-0 victory over Bolivia.

A positive result against Moldova will see France qualify for Euro 2020 ahead of their last game of the year, a trip to Albania.

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Speaking on the game, Deschamps added: “Being prudent does not mean being fearful. It is always good to be careful or vigilant. 

“The reality is that we have not qualified – that is a fact. We will do everything to reach our goal. We must not believe that we have already qualified. We must ensure our qualification here. This is no trap.”

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Jordan Henderson Claims He Was Ready to ‘Kill’ Luis Suárez After Liverpool Training Bust Up

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has shed light on an incident in training between himself and Luis Suárez back when the Barcelona striker played for the Reds. 

The pair spent three seasons together and although both Henderson and Suárez enjoyed some inspiring moments on the pitch – such as coming close to winning the Premier League back in the 2013/2014 season – it is apparent that there were some tense moments shared between the two at Liverpool’s Melwood ?training ground.

Jordan Henderson,Luis Suarez

?Henderson has revealed that the two didn’t always see eye-to-eye, telling The Greatest Game Podcast (via ?HITC) that he wanted to kill ?Suárez in training due to the high demands of the Uruguayan. 

At the time I was trying to do the best I could do and it comes as a footballer, the criticism and people doubting you,” Henderson said. “At the time I was a young player and there was one or two things Luis did in training that I didn’t like and it made me feel like I wasn’t good enough to be in the same team.”

“The arms would go up, it was like ‘what’s he doing’, as if I shouldn’t be there. It really hurt and frustrated me. He did it one, two, three times and then I exploded and I was ready to kill him!

Luis Suarez,Jordan Henderson

“But from that point I had a really good relationship with Luis, I actually set him up the game after that.”

Henderson has now featured 339 times for ?Liverpool and become a mainstay in Jürgen Klopp’s side, who currently sit eight points clear at the top of the ?Premier League table. 

Meanwhile, Suárez departed for ?Barcelona in the summer of 2014, and has since found the net 185 times in 260 games for the Catalan giants. 

After the international break, Liverpool face ?Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, before a crucial Champions League group stage fixture against Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli at Anfield. 

Meanwhile, Suárez and Barcelona travel to the Estadio Municipal de Butarque to face Leganes in the league, and face ?Borussia Dortmund at Camp Nou four days later. 

Let’

Uruguay Teammate Nicolas Lodeiro Insists Luis Suarez ‘Wants to Come to MLS’

?Barcelona forward Luis Suarez is plotting a transfer to Major League Soccer once he departs Camp Nou, according to Uruguayan international teammate Nicolas Lodeiro

With his current contract set to expire in 2021, Suarez is already considering his next career move and supposedly open to achieving his American dream after conquering Catalonia. 

Luis Suarez

Sooner or later he’ll come to MLS. Well, hopefully” Seattle Sounders defender Lodeiro revealed, adding that: “He likes the league. He’s always asking me things about it.

I think you need to convince Barcelona. He wants to come to MLS”, Lodeiro added, in an interview with Major League Soccer‘s official website.

?Suarez may be approaching his 33rd birthday, but his finishing ability has shown no signs of diminishing in the 2019/20 season so far. The Uruguayan has helped himself to six goals in ten La Liga appearances and two strikes in three Champions League fixtures, taking his Blaugrana tally to 185 goals in 260 appearances. 

As Lodeiro puts it himself: “His dream was to play for Barcelona. He’s playing at a great level and he feels comfortable there.” But perhaps Suarez is ready for a new challenge, with his contract winding down and the twilight of his career on the horizon.

While Lodeiro is hopeful that Suarez might join him in the Emerald City, LA Galaxy, New York City FC and David Beckham’s Inter Miami CF have been touted as likely ?MLS destinations. 

This news has cranked the rumour mill up a few notches in recent days, with some reports implying that ?Barcelona would prefer to cash-in before Suarez’s contract expires and recoup a portion of the £65m paid to Liverpool in 2014. 

With Barcelona leading a tight La Liga title race and currently top of their Champions League group, perhaps there’s time for Suarez to add to his 13-trophy haul for the Catalan giants.

  

Let’

When & Where to Watch Barcelona’s Players During the November International Break

?Barcelona have several players taking part in international fixtures over the next week, including the likes of Lionel Messi, Arthur Melo and Luis Suarez.

Here’s a look at how you can follow them.

All TV/live stream information relates to UK availability.


Lionel Messi (Argentina)

FBL-ARG-TRAINING

Argentina will face arch-rivals Brazil in Saudi Arabia before travelling to Israel to face other fellow South American side Uruguay.

The Barca star is returning to international duty after a three match ban.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Brazil vs Argentina 15 Nov @ 17.00 (GMT) Bet 365
Argentina Vs Uruguay 18 Nov @ 19.15 (GMT) N/A

Arthur (Brazil)

Arthur

?The five-time world cup winners are also touring the middle east, facing Argentina on Friday, followed by a meeting with South Korea in Abu Dhabi? on Tuesday.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Brazil vs Argentina 15 Nov @ 17.00 (GMT) Bet 365
Brazil vs South Korea 19 Nov @ 13.30 (GMT) N/A

Sergio Busquets (Spain)

Sergio Busquets

?Sergio Busquets is the only Barcelona player in the current Spain squad, which is remarkable considering that only seven years ago, six players from Barcelona started their Euro 2012 final win.

Spain have already qualified and will likely view the games against Malta and Romania as an opportunity to experiment tactically.?

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Spain vs Malta 15 Nov @ 19.45 (GMT) Sky Sports Football / NOW TV
Spain vs Romania 18 Nov @ 15.00 (GMT) Sky Sports Red Button

Frenkie de Jong (Netherlands)

Evgeni Yablonski,Frenkie De Jong,Igor Stasevich

One of the key men in the Dutch midfield will be crucial when the Netherlands travel away to Northern Ireland? on Saturday. Things are tight at the top of Group C ahead of the final two qualification fixtures. Rivals Germany are on equal points, while Northern Ireland are only three behind Oranje.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Northern Ireland vs Netherlands 16 Nov @ 19.45 (GMT) Sky Sports Football / Sky Sports Main Event
Netherlands vs Estonia 19 Nov @ 19.45 (GMT) Sky Sports Red Button

Marc Andre ter Stegen (Germany)

Marc-Andre ter Stegen

It’s unlikely ter Stegen will feature, but Germany need to win both of their fixtures to guarantee qualification. They will face Belarus and then Northern Ireland in two home games in Monchengladbach and Frankfurt respectively.?

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Germany vs Belarus 16 Nov @ 19.45 (GMT) Sky Sports Red Button
Netherlands vs Estonia 19 Nov @ 19.45 (GMT) Sky Sports Premier League

Arturo Vidal (Chile)

FBL-COPA AMERICA-2019-ARG-CHI

?Vidal is part of the Chile squad for their single fixture against Peru. He has already racked up 115 caps for his country.?

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Peru vs Chile 20 Nov @ 01:30 (GMT) N/A

Clement Lenglet and Antoine Griezmann (France)

Clement Lenglet,Antoine Griezmann

The world champions are in second place behind Turkey in Group H and they will be hoping the presence of Clement Lenglet and Antoine Griezmann will qualification? for Euro 2020.

Fellow Frenchmen Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele are not included in the squad.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
France vs Moldova 14 Nov @ 19.45 (GMT) Sky Sports Mix
Albania vs France 17 Nov @ 19.45 (GMT) Sky Sports Football

Luis Suarez (Uruguay)

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Suarez’s Uruguay face Hungary in Budapest on Friday, followed by their trip to face club teammate Lionel Messi’s Argentina in Israel on Monday.

Suarez missed the last round of fixtures for his country through injury.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Hungary vs Uruguay 15 Nov @ 18.00 (GMT) N/A
Argentina Vs Uruguay 18 Nov @ 19.15 (GMT) N/A

Moussa Wague (Senegal)

Moussa Wague

Moussa Wague will be hoping to make his way through the international break injury free.

Injuries to Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto mean that the right back may be in contention for Barca when he returns from facing Congo and Eswatini.

Game Date/Time Channel/Live Stream
Senegal vs Congo 13 Nov @ 19.00 (GMT) N/A
Eswatini vs Senegal 17 Nov @ 13.00 (GMT) N/A

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Argentina vs Uruguay Friendly in Tel Aviv at Risk of Being Called Off Amid Security Fears

?The friendly fixture between Argentina and Uruguay in Israel could be cancelled or rescheduled amid security concerns.

The game is due to take place on Monday 18 November in the New Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv.

However, a recent escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine has led to fears for the safety of the players and staff of both countries.


Tensions in the region escalated on Monday and Tuesday after some 150 rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel in response to an air strike that killed a Palestinian militant.

According to reports from ?Marca, the situation has led both the Argentine and Uruguayan football federations to start actively looking for ways to relocate the match.

It is thought that the Euro 2020 qualifier between Israel and Poland will not be affected, as the fixture will be played in Jerusalem.

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Uruguay and Argentina have a fierce rivalry and contested the first ever World Cup final in 1930, showing the great footballing history of both nations.

The match – assuming it goes ahead – is set to see ?Barcelona teammates ?Luis Suarez and ?Lionel Messi go head to head with their national teams for the first time since 2017.

Domestically the two Barca legends have been part of a side that has struggled to find their best performances under Ernesto Valverde this season.

Lionel Messi,Luis Suarez

Despite sitting top of both La Liga and their Champions League group, they have been somewhat underwhelming and injuries to both players have been detrimental to the Blaugrana’s progress.

When they return from international duty both Messi and Suarez will be hoping to help their club side recapture their most scintillating form in a tough run of fixtures which sees Barça take on ?Borussia Dortmund, ?Atletico Madrid and ?Inter Milan within the space of two weeks.

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11 Players Who Have Played With Both Cristiano Ronaldo & Lionel Messi

They’re two footballers who have defined a generation, but most players only ever have the same experience as fans when it comes to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – watching them on television. 

Some are lucky enough to play against two of the best players of all time, while a select few even get to play alongside one of these greats.

But only a handful of footballers of the last 15 years have ever played with both Ronaldo and Messi either at club level or internationally.


?Gerard Piqué

Manchester United's Portugese midfielder

Played With Ronaldo: 2004-06 & 2007-08 (Manchester United)

Played With Messi: 2008-present (Barcelona)

As Barcelona’s seventh most capped player of all time, it’s easy to forget that Gerard Piqué’s career in senior football actually started at Manchester United.

Piqué moved to Old Trafford one year after Ronaldo and left one year before the Portugal international moved to Spain – he also spent one season on loan at Real Zaragoza – but the defender still made 23 appearances for United.

The centre back even scored twice in the Champions League group stages in 2007, including in a win over Dynamo Kyiv where Ronaldo also found the back of the net.

Piqué is the only player who has played with both Ronaldo and Messi at club level.


Paulo Dybala

FBL-COPA AMERICA-2019-ARG-CHI

Played With Ronaldo: 2018-present (Juventus)

Played With Messi: 2015-present (Argentina)

Having made his international debut under Gerardo Martino shortly after his move to Juventus from Palermo, Paulo Dybala has gone on to make 28 appearances for La Albiceleste.

It’s been suggested for some time that Dybala could link up with Messi at club level too as he frequently gets linked with a move to Barcelona in the back pages, but the 25-year-old instead became Ronaldo’s teammate in 2018.

Dybala’s been directly involved in 20 goals in 56 appearances since Ronaldo’s move to Turin, compared to 90 goals or assists in 140 games for Juventus before the 2018/19 season.


André Gomes

UEFA Champions League"FC Barcelona v Chelsea FC"

Played With Ronaldo: 2014-present (Portugal)

Played With Messi: 2016-18 (Barcelona)

Everton’s André Gomes was tipped for instant success at Barcelona when he made a move to Camp Nou from Valencia in 2016, but the Portugal international could never really find his feet and only spent two years alongside Messi in Catalonia.

Gomes even dropped out of international duty with Ronaldo during his fledgling years at Barcelona, but the midfielder was recalled to the squad last month and will likely return once he recovers from a horrific ankle injury.


Nélson Semedo

Cristiano Ronaldo,Nelson Semedo

Played With Ronaldo: 2015-present (Portugal)

Played With Messi: 2017-present (Barcelona)

Nélson Semedo isn’t the first player on this list who’s played with Messi at Barcelona and Ronaldo with Portugal, and he won’t be the last mentioned either.

The 25-year-old has been part of the national team for over four years, but he’s only ever made 14 senior appearances with the Selecção das Quinas.

In two years in Catalonia, Semedo has already played 98 times and has even set up five goals for Messi during that time, including four penalties.


Carlos Tevez

Cristiano Ronaldo,Carlos Tevez

Played With Ronaldo: 2007-09 (Manchester United)

Played With Messi: 2005-15 (Argentina)

Even though Carlos Tevez broke into the national team in 2004 under Marcelo Bielsa, he didn’t actually play alongside Messi until Argentina’s World Cup qualification match against Peru the following season.

It was Tevez’s performances with Argentina that saw West Ham come in for his signature soon after, before Manchester United brought him to Old Trafford where he’d form a devastating partnership with Ronaldo in the north-west.


Gonzalo Higuaín

Gonzalo Higuain,Lionel Messi

Played With Ronaldo: 2009-13 (Real Madrid) & 2019-present (Juventus)

Played With Messi: 2009-2019 (Argentina)

Having arrived at Real Madrid two years before Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuaín was a regular part of their starting lineup thanks to his impressive record in front of goal, but chances became few and far between when Karim Benzema arrived in 2009.

Even though Ronaldo went on to join Higuaín’s Juventus in 2018, the Argentina international spent last season on loan at Milan and Chelsea, so the 31-year-old has only joined up with his former teammate once again this year.

Higuaín spent a decade alongside Messi with Argentina, but the striker decided to hang up his boots with La Albiceleste last season.


Gabriel Heinze

Gabriel Heinze,Cristiano Ronaldo

Played With Ronaldo: 2004-07 (Manchester United)

Played With Messi: 2005-10 (Argentina)

Gabriel Heinze was actually on the books at Sporting CP – Ronaldo’s boyhood club – at the same time as the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, but the defender ended his loan spell in Portugal some years before the 34-year-old’s debut.

Heinze eventually did have the chance to play alongside Ronaldo at Manchester United, while a year later he also stepped onto the pitch with Messi whilst on international duty.

The defender not only started Messi’s international debut against Hungary, but Heinze also scored the winning goal of the match after Sándor Torghelle had cancelled out Maxi Rodríguez’s opener.

Messi came off the bench just after Heinze’s winner, replacing Lisandro López, but it was a debut to forget as the Barcelona legend was sent off after just 43 seconds as a senior international footballer.


Fernando Gago

Lionel Messi,Fernando Gago

Played With Ronaldo: 2009-11 (Real Madrid)

Played With Messi: 2007-17 (Argentina)

For those who warm to specific quiz shows on the BBC, Fernando Gago would probably be the best chance of a pointless answer if this question were ever to be asked by Alexander Armstrong. Cue funny Richard Osman quip.

Even though the 33-year-old goes under the radar, Gago was actually one of the most highly rated defensive midfielders in his prime, going on to make more international appearances than legends like Wálter Samuel, Pablo Aimar and Juan Román Riquelme.

Gago spent four years on the books at Real Madrid too, before moving back to Argentina where he still plays at Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield.


Ezequiel Garay

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Played With Ronaldo: 2009-11 (Real Madrid)

Played With Messi: 2007-15 (Argentina)

Ezequiel Garay is a player who has never quite reached the heights that many were expecting when he first broke through at Real Madrid in 2008, going on to have spells in Portugal and Russia before returning to La Liga with Valencia.

Garay didn’t spend long playing with Ronaldo, but the two actually combined for one of Real Madrid’s goals during their 6-0 win over Real Zaragoza in December 2009.

He never combined like that with Messi for Argentina, although he was an ever-present for La Albiceleste at the 2014 World Cup and 2015 Copa América.


Deco

Cristiano Ronaldo,Deco

Played With Ronaldo: 2003-10 (Portugal)

Played With Messi: 2004-08 (Barcelona)

Deco didn’t just play alongside Messi during his career, but the Portugal legend actually came off the pitch when the Barça star made his debut for the club.

He was also on the pitch when Ronaldo made his Portugal debut against Kazakhstan.

Deco and Ronaldo first combined for a goal at Euro 2004, going on to be directly involved in six strikes between them.


Ángel Di María

Angel Di Maria,Cristiano Ronaldo

Played With Ronaldo: 2010-14 (Real Madrid)

Played With Messi: 2009-present (Argentina)

Arriving at Real Madrid a year after Ronaldo, Ángel Di María went on to make 190 appearances for the club where he formed part of a formidable front three, including Karim Benzema.

The 31-year-old won six trophies alongside Ronaldo before moving to Manchester United in 2014, where he spent just one season.

Although Di María is more memorably associated with Ronaldo, he actually lined up alongside Messi for Argentina two years before his move to the Spanish capital.

Di María hasn’t played for La Albiceleste since the Copa América.


For more from Ben Carter, follow him on Twitter!

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