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Transfer Rater: Icardi to Madrid, Godin to Milan

Football Whispers
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Alvaro Morata can reboot himself on loan, a system that helped Jesse Lingard and Harry Kane become stars

The ball floated down from the heavens and it seemed that his time had come.

With his team trailing by a goal and one of the world's greatest defenders in pursuit, the forward outstretched the toes of his right boot and brought down the pass as gently as a firefighter catching a child thrown from a burning building. His second touch was arguably more delicate still, a swirling lob that soared over the head of the approaching goalkeeper and, with a single bounce, landed in the net. The forward,...

Atletico spoil Cristiano Ronaldo's return to Madrid, Juve's UCL hopes

ESPN FC's Sid Lowe credits Atletico Madrid for showing their mental strength by overcoming the reversed decisions made by VAR.
Following Atletico Madrid's opener, ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Alejandro Moreno saw a Juventus side that appeared 'flustered and rattled.'

MADRID -- "I've got five Champions Leagues, you have none," was Cristiano Ronaldo's icy response as he rushed through Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano mixed zone Wednesday night, after the former Real Madrid star's return to his old city had gone disastrously for both him and his new team, Juventus.

A rip-roaring second-half display that ranks with any from Diego Simeone's eight years as Atletico coach brought a 2-0 victory, both goals courtesy set pieces from centre-backs Jose Maria Gimenez...

Wild Champions League Wednesday: VAR effect, vintage Atletico, fortunate Man City

ESPN FC's Sid Lowe credits Atletico Madrid for showing their mental strength by overcoming the reversed decisions made by VAR.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley believes Manchester City showed another facet of their game by coming from behind in a gritty contest against Schalke.
Following Atletico Madrid's opener, ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Alejandro Moreno saw a Juventus side that appeared 'flustered and rattled.'

As European nights go, this one was not bad for the neutral. It served up a cauldron of grit, intensity and Diego Simeone magic as Atletico beat Juventus in Madrid, and in Gelsenkirchen, Manchester City narrowly avoided a seismic shock vs. Schalke, thanks in no small part to a local lad, Leroy Sane. Oh, and VAR had a prominent role to play in both games.

Here are eight takeaways from a wild Wednesday:

1. VAR was introduced into the Champions League for only this season's knockout rounds and, one...

Juventus' twin towers of Ronaldo, Mandzukic to provide a unique test for Atletico's stingy defence

With two aerial specialists in Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus are a bit of a throwback and present a unique challenge to any defence.
With two aerial specialists in Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus are a bit of a throwback and present a unique challenge to any defence.

It might not provide the most enthralling technical football of the Champions League round of 16, but there's something wonderfully intriguing about the tie between Atletico Madrid and Juventus, the first leg of which takes place on Wednesday evening.

These are effectively the two nearly-men of the last half-decade in this competition, both defeated finalists twice: Atletico losing to Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016, Juventus falling to Barcelona and Real in 2015 and 2017. But that status, and...

Marcelo lurches from one disaster to another while Diego Simeone's renewal doesn't sit well

It's been a week of new beginnings in La Liga or at least, a week of new opportunities. One was merited, one is doubtful and one disastrous.

The three characters on stage are Ernesto Valverde, Diego Simeone and Marcelo, so let's start with the disastrous and build from there.

Even though it's the decision that, in all probability, cut the legs off Madrid's title chase, Santi Solari was well within his rights to think that Sunday's match against Girona was an acceptable opportunity to sharpen...

ESPN FC  By ESPN

ESPN FC writers' Champions League round-of-16 predictions

France legend Frank Leboeuf joins ESPN FC to talk the ramifications for PSG should they fail to progress in the Champions League for yet another season.
Bayern Munich great Bastian Schweinsteiger throws his support behind Niko Kovac and tells ESPN FC they can get back to the Champions League final this season.

Which eight clubs will make it through to the Champions League quarterfinals? Here are our writers' predictions.

UEFA Champions League 2018-19 round of 16 draw
The lineup is set for the Champions League Round of 16.

Gab Marcotti

Man United, Roma, Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool, Barcelona, Juventus, Man City

Mark Ogden

Man United, Roma, Real Madrid, Tottenham, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Man City

Graham Hunter

Man United, Porto, Real Madrid, Tottenham, Liverpool, Barcelona, Juventus, Man City

Raphael Honigstein

PSG, Porto, Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool, Barcelona,...