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GUARDIAN – Juventus dismiss Mario Balotelli transfer from Liverpool as ‘made up’

• ‘He is not a player that can arrive at Juventus’• ‘Mario has gone to the best league in the world’• Napoli president wants officials banned after Juve lossThe Juventus coach, Massimiliano Allegri, has denied media reports linking Liverpool’s misfiring striker Mario Balotelli with a move to Turin in the January transfer window.The Italy international has scored only two goals since joining Liverpool from Milan in a £16m transfer in August and has yet to find the back of the net in the Premier League this season. Continue reading…

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ESPN – Messi integral for Barca, Bale dazzles for Real: 5 things we learned in La Liga

The ESPN FC crew respond to your questions in regards to Spain's big three, if MLS needs promotion and relegation and if there is any player loyalty left in football. 1. Messi rules at Camp Nou Sunday night's 3-1 win for Barcelona over Atletico Madrid was all about Lionel Messi. After a dramatic week at the Camp Nou, the Argentine set up his side's first two goals for Neymar and Luis Suarez, scored their third, and even gave away the penalty from which Atletico got back into the game. BARCELONA LATEST – Corrigan: Barca stars shine for Enrique – Player Ratings: Messi on track vs. Atleti – Hunter: Messi frustration grows – Marcotti: What it would take for Messi to go – Study: Messi worth €220m – Bartomeu: Early elections called Messi afterwards told Barca TV that he was “just one player more,” said it was “lies” he had asked for coach Luis Enrique to be removed, and claimed he had “no intention” of leaving…

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ESPN – Messi, Neymar silence critics in Barcelona’s reassuring Copa win

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol believes Luis Enrique will lose if he tries to go up against Lionel Messi. Barcelona achieved a reassuring 5-0 win against Elche at the Camp Nou in the first leg of their Copa del Rey round-of-16 tie. Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba scored a goal each, while Neymar added a brace. The Blaugrana enjoyed 75 percent of possession, created 19 goal-scoring chances and attempted 15 shots, 10 of which on target. Cules were certainly delighted to see the ball rolling again after one of the most eventful weeks in Barcelona's recent history. The CAS ratifying the club's…

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