BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Philippe Coutinho is facing his most important match since joining Barcelona from Liverpool when the Brazil midfielder returns to Anfield with a place in the Champions...
MADRID (AP) — Spanish champion Barcelona sacrificed its unbeaten streak on Saturday to prepare to reach the Champions League final at Liverpool's expense.
MADRID (AP) — There was Lionel Messi as usual, backed by many of the same supporting players.
The main difference for Barcelona this time was the coach.
Barcelona manages Messi’s time ahead of Champions League
MADRID (AP) — For the biggest moments, there is always Lionel Messi.
The 31-year-old Argentine has been the key to Barcelona's success ever since he made his debut, but more and more this...
Messi helps Barcelona clinch Spanish league title
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi conjured the perfect finish to a dominant title march by Barcelona on Saturday, when he came off the bench and scored the goal that clinched the Spanish league...
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde wants his team to wrap up the Spanish league title this weekend so it can fully concentrate on its European semifinal against...
Barcelona on the brink of another Spanish league title
MADRID (AP) — Now it's just a matter of time for Barcelona.
The Catalan club is on the brink of another Spanish league title after beating Alaves 2-0 on Tuesday to move within three points...
MADRID (AP) — Step by step, Barcelona is moving closer to the treble.
Days after beating Manchester United to reach the Champions League semifinals, Barcelona turned its focus to the Spanish...
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Luis Suarez has found the net 23 times this season, including goals in his last two Spanish league matches that helped keep Barcelona on track to defending its domestic...
Messi rests for Man United as Barca draws 0-0 at Huesca
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — With Lionel Messi and most of his regular fellow starters resting up for Manchester United, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde tried to get a glimpse of the club's...
Messi to sit out league match ahead of ManU visit
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has left forward Lionel Messi off his squad for this weekend's Spanish league match, giving him more rest before the visit of Manchester...
MADRID (AP) — For Barcelona, three straight quarterfinal exits from the Champions League is quite a slump.
The Catalan club has been plenty dominant at home, winning seven Spanish league...
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Ernesto Valverde has a message for his players before Barcelona hosts Atletico Madrid on Saturday in a match that will go a long way toward deciding the Spanish league...
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez came to Barcelona's rescue Tuesday, scoring late goals to salvage a 4-4 draw at 10-man Villarreal in a thrilling seesaw match that saw both...
MADRID (AP) — With Real Madrid on the ropes in front of its own fans, Barcelona showed no mercy.
The Catalan club threw the knockout punch on Saturday, leaving Madrid reeling from a second...
Barca stuns Madrid 3-0 at Bernabeu, reaches Copa final again
MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid couldn't put Barcelona away when it had the chance, and ended up being dealt a hard blow by its biggest rival.
In the first of two consecutive games between the...
Barcelona struggling in attack entering decisive stretch
MADRID (AP) — Suddenly, scoring has become a problem for Barcelona's prolific attack.
And it's happening at a bad time, with the team entering the decisive stretch of the season.
Barcelona’s attacking stars disappoint in 0-0 draw at Lyon
LYON, France (AP) — On a scoreless night in the Champions League, not even Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez could find a way to get a goal.
Barcelona's attacking stars were held in check by Lyon...
Valverde agrees to coach Barcelona for another season
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Ernesto Valverde has agreed to stay on as Barcelona coach for at least one more season.
Valverde will exercise the option in his contract to continue, the defending Spanish champions said on Friday. They added Valverde also agreed to add the possibility of coaching for the 2020-21 season.
The 55-year-old Valverde joined Barcelona from Athletic Bilbao in mid-2017 to replace Luis Enrique.
Madrid earns 1-1 draw at Barca in 1st leg of Copa semifinal
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Leaning forward in his winter coat, Lionel Messi fidgeted with an empty water bottle as he watched his Barcelona teammates trailing their fiercest rivals.
But minutes before he decided to test his tender right leg, the chants at Camp Nou for "Messi! Messi!" turned into cheers as a little-used teammate scored an equalizer against Real Madrid.
Barca optimistic about Messi, Madrid all fit for Copa semi
MADRID (AP) — While Lionel Messi gave Barcelona reason to feel optimistic about his ability to play in Wednesday's Copa del Rey semifinal, Real Madrid's main concern is who to leave out for the "Clasico" game.
Messi returned to training on Tuesday and was included in the squad for the first-leg match at Camp Nou Stadium, although it was still unclear whether he had fully recovered from a right leg injury.
Messi practices ahead of Copa ‘clasico’ against Real Madrid
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi has returned to training, a day before Barcelona hosts Real Madrid in the first leg of the semifinals of the Copa del Rey.
Messi was sidelined from Monday's training session because of a right leg injury sustained in a Spanish league match on Saturday.
Barcelona signs young Dutch midfielder De Jong for 75M euros
Barcelona signed promising 21-year-old Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong from Ajax for 75 million euros ($85.5 million) on Wednesday, although he won't start playing for the Spanish champions until next season.
The deal could reach 86 million euros ($98 million) including possible add-ons depending on the youngster's and the team's performances during the five-year contract, which starts in July.
The transfer was finalized by Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu in Amsterdam.
Sevilla beats Barcelona 2-0 in 1st leg of Copa quarterfinals
MADRID (AP) — Sevilla took full advantage of Lionel Messi's absence, beating Barcelona 2-0 in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinals on Wednesday.
Pablo Sarabia and Wissam Ben Yedder scored in the second half to give Sevilla a big edge in the rematch of last year's final, which Barcelona won for its fourth straight Copa title. Sevilla also lost the 2016 final to its Catalan rival.
Getafe beats Valencia 1-0 in Copa del Rey quarterfinals
MADRID (AP) — Getafe defeated Valencia 1-0 as the Copa del Rey quarterfinals got underway on Tuesday, with substitute Jorge Molina scoring the winner from inside the area in the 77th minute.
The 36-year-old Molina netted his fourth goal in four games, less than 10 minutes after coming off the bench.
"It was just a small step, but a very important one, especially because we didn't concede any goals," Getafe midfielder Francisco Portillo said.
Barcelona signs Kevin-Prince Boateng until end of the season
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona surprisingly signed Kevin-Prince Boateng on loan from Italian club Sassuolo on Monday until the end of the season.
The 31-year-old Boateng has appeared to be past his prime after playing for the likes of AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, and Tottenham.
The agreement includes an option to buy the former Ghana international for 8 million euros ($9 million).
Boateng, who plays as a midfielder and as a forward, will be officially presented by Barcelona on Tuesday.
Messi comes off bench to help Barca beat Leganes 3-1
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi had to cut short a rare rest break to help Barcelona beat Leganes 3-1 and protect its five-point lead of the Spanish league on Sunday.
Messi came off the bench at Camp Nou with the score at 1-1 in the second half and set up a goal by Luis Suarez before adding one of his own.
Dembele hurts leg in Barcelona victory
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Ousmane Dembele injured his left leg during the second half of Barcelona's 3-1 win over Leganes in the Spanish league on Sunday.
The 21-year-old France forward slipped while trying to dribble past an opponent, causing him to fall back on his own leg.
After being attended to by team doctors he limped off and was substituted.
Barcelona reaches Copa quarters but could be disqualified
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona earned a spot in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey on Thursday, but its continued participation in the tournament remains under threat.
Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele led Barcelona to a comfortable 3-0 win over Levante at Camp Nou Stadium, helping it advance 4-2 on aggregate. However, the Catalan club could be disqualified for allegedly using a suspended player in the first leg.
Messi scores record 400th goal in Spanish league
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — That's 400 and counting.
Lionel Messi took his all-time Spanish league scoring record to 400 goals on Sunday after contributing to a 3-0 win over Eibar to keep defending champion Barcelona comfortably at the top.
Messi scored Barcelona's second goal shortly after halftime to reach a milestone in the competition after 435 league matches. Former Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo is second all-time in La Liga with 311 goals.
Barcelona increases lead in Spain as rivals drop points
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona took another step toward successfully defending its Spanish league title after winning at one of the toughest teams to beat in the competition on Sunday, while its rivals dropped points.
Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scored as Barcelona beat Getafe 2-1. That allowed it to open up a five-point advantage over second-placed Atletico Madrid, which had to fight back for a 1-1 draw at third-placed Sevilla.
Messi scores, Barca beats Getafe to take 5-point lead at top
MADRID (AP) — Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scored brilliant goals as Barcelona beat Getafe 2-1 on Sunday to increase its lead in the Spanish league.
Barcelona capitalized on slipups by its rivals earlier in the day to take a five-point lead over second-placed Atletico. Sevilla trails Barcelona by seven points in third place, and fifth-placed Real Madrid is 10 points behind, as the league reaches its midway point next round.
Left alone: Alba proving perfect sidekick for Lionel Messi
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — With Lionel Messi wowing fans game after game, it's easy to overlook Jordi Alba, the player who often puts him in position to score so many impressive goals.
Alba has become the indispensable sidekick for Barcelona's all-time leading scorer.
"Leo and Jordi understand one another perfectly," coach Ernesto Valverde said after Saturday's 2-0 win over Celta Vigo when Alba helped set up both of Barcelona's goals.
Messi, Dembele protect Barca’s 3-pt lead before winter break
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi ensured Barcelona reached the Spanish league's winter break atop the standings, playing a part in both goals of a 2-0 win at home over Celta Vigo on Saturday.
Messi scored Barcelona's second goal to take his league-leading tally to 15 in 17 rounds, including six goals in his last three matches, as Barcelona stayed three points ahead of Atletico Madrid.
Messi scores hat trick to hit 50-goal mark in 2018
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi hit the 50-goal mark for club and country in 2018 after scoring his 43rd career hat trick for Barcelona on Sunday.
Messi's brilliance powered Barcelona to a 5-0 victory at Levante and kept the defending champions three points ahead of Sevilla and Atletico Madrid in the Spanish league.
It also avenged Barcelona's only loss in the league last season when Levante stunned the visitors 5-4 in the penultimate round in a match that Messi missed.
Messi scores twice from free kicks in Barca win vs Espanyol
MADRID (AP) — Lionel Messi capped a brilliant performance by following up a superb free-kick goal in the first half with another stunning set-piece goal in the second half.
The perfectly struck free kicks led Barcelona to a 4-0 rout of Espanyol in the Spanish league on Saturday, and allowed Messi to reach yet another career milestone — he had never scored two direct free kicks in a league game before.
Atletico hosts Barcelona with chance to take lead in Spain
MADRID (AP) — Atletico Madrid may be looking at its best chance to end an eight-year winless streak against Barcelona in the Spanish league.
The teams meet on Saturday at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid with Barcelona facing one of its worst defensive struggles in decades. It has already conceded 18 goals in 12 matches, its worst mark at this point in the league in more than 40 years, according to sports daily Marca.
Messi-less Barcelona draws 1-1 at Inter after late goals
MILAN (AP) — Lionel Messi once again watched from the sidelines and Barcelona's attack struggled without him as the Spanish side drew 1-1 at Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday despite dominating for large periods of the match.
The result nevertheless meant Barcelona became the first side to secure qualification for the knockout.
Valverde cautious with Lionel Messi’s return from injury
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde says he will not rush Lionel Messi's return to action from a broken arm.
Messi has been practicing with the rest of the squad only two weeks after breaking his right forearm, but Valverde says it's probably too early to have him back for the team's Champions League match at Inter Milan on Tuesday.
Barca outclasses Inter in 2-0 win without injured Messi
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — His arm in a sling and a wide grin across his face, Lionel Messi was able to enjoy Barcelona's beautiful play from the stands for once.
Messi cheered and lifted his good left arm in victory after his teammates showed more than enough class to convincingly beat Inter Milan 2-0 even without its best player.
Messi breaks arm as Barcelona regains lead in La Liga
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona ended its slump and regained the Spanish league lead but there was little to celebrate as Lionel Messi broke his right forearm and will be sidelined for three weeks.
Also, Real Madrid lost again while suffering its worst scoring drought.
Messi breaks right forearm, out for about 3 weeks
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi broke his right forearm on Saturday and will be sidelined for about three weeks, a major setback for him and Barcelona right before some important games.
Messi will miss playing Inter Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday, and the clasico against Real Madrid next weekend. He'll miss three others, including the return game against Inter.
"It's a significant loss. We will notice his absence," Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said.
Barcelona held by Athletic for 3rd straight setback in Liga
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — With Lionel Messi rested for most of the match, Barcelona was held to 1-1 by Athletic Bilbao at home on Saturday in its third straight setback in the Spanish league.
Messi came off the bench in the second half to set up a late equalizer by Munir El Haddadi, but he wasn't able to lead the defending champions to victory at Camp Nou Stadium.
The result was enough to keep Barcelona in the lead after Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid went 0-0 in the derby.
Stunned: Barca loses to last-place Leganes, Real to Sevilla
MADRID (AP) — First it was Barcelona. Then Real Madrid.
Both Spanish league leaders were stunned Wednesday, with Barcelona losing 2-1 at last-place Leganes and Madrid falling 3-0 at Sevilla, marking the first time since 2015 that they lost on the same day.
Barcelona still far from its best despite perfect start
MADRID (AP) — Despite another win and a perfect record to start the Spanish league, there is reason for concern ahead of Barcelona's Champions League debut this week.
The defending league champions had another lackluster performance in its 2-1 come-from-behind win at Real Sociedad on Saturday, creating a bit of worry ahead of its match against PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday.
Messi scores Barcelona’s 6,000th league goal
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona scored its 6,000th goal in the Spanish league after another ingenious strike by Lionel Messi got its title defense off to a winning start.
Messi cleverly sent his free kick underneath Alaves' wall to open the scoring in the 64th minute of Barcelona's 3-0 win at Camp Nou Stadium on Saturday. He also closed the scoring in injury time after substitute Philippe Coutinho had added to the lead in the 83rd.
SPANISH LEAGUE 2018-19: 5 teams to contend for the top spots
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — From Lionel Messi's Barcelona to Atletico Madrid hoping to surpass Real Madrid orphaned by Cristiano Ronaldo, here is a look at the top contenders for the 2018-19 Spanish league:
Defending champion Barcelona has dominated the domestic competition for nine of the last 14 seasons.
Add in the huge loss suffered by Madrid following Ronaldo's transfer to Juventus in Italy, and the Catalan club has all the numbers to retain the title.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Without Lionel Messi to save the day, Barcelona bid farewell to its quest to make history in Spain.
Barcelona lost 5-4 in a wild game at Levante on Sunday, ruining the champion's chance to become the first team to finish a Spanish league season without a defeat under its current format.
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde left Messi— the competition's leading scorer with 34 goals— out of his squad to rest ahead of a demanding summer for the Argentina forward at the World Cup.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid showed Sunday that they don't need titles at stake to produce a thrilling game of football.
With Barcelona already Spanish league champion and Madrid focused on its Champions League final later this month, it was supposed to be the most low-key "clasico" in years.
Messi at the helm again as Barcelona wins another title
MADRID (AP) — Fittingly, it was a hat trick by Lionel Messi that helped Barcelona secure its 25th Spanish league title.
The playmaker has always been key for Barcelona, but this time he took it to another level by taking on even more responsibility after the departure of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.
"I'm very happy to have won this title," Messi said. "We know how difficult it is to win the league. We have to celebrate it."