BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — After Lionel Messi scored a wonderful third goal to complete his 51st career hat trick, Real Betis supporters did what only true fans can do when in the presence of genuine...
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's soccer association announced Saturday that the national women's league will be granted professional status, marking a milestone in a country that is home...
NYON, Switzerland (AP) — A new generation of Manchester United players will have to get through Barcelona to win the Champions League.
Ronaldo inspires praise, and more goals, from Messi
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Now playing in different countries, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo still find ways to inspire one another to new heights.
Messi helps Barcelona beat Lyon 5-1 to reach CL quarters
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Just when the Camp Nou crowd was getting nervous, Lionel Messi turned a close game into a complete rout.
Messi scored two goals before setting up two more for...
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina's Boca Juniors women's soccer team hammered Lanus 5-0 in La Bombonera Saturday in a landmark game that was the first time an official women's tournament...
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — With Lionel Messi in top form, Barcelona looks ready to erase its Champions League frustrations.
Messi made sure Barcelona backed up consecutive wins over Real Madrid...
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Lionel Messi is back with Argentina's national team.
The five-time world player of the year was called up by interim Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni on Thursday...
PSG becoming Champions League specialists in failure
PARIS (AP) — There really are no excuses left for Paris Saint-Germain.
For the second time in three seasons, the cash-rich French club made the wrong kind of Champions League history in a...
MADRID (AP) — Lionel Messi looked more relaxed than ever as he drove with his family on the roads that lead to the Pyrenees.
Apparently headed to his refuge in the region of La Cerdanya, by...
MADRID (AP) — Rayo Vallecano lost 2-0 to visiting Girona on Friday, missing a chance to leave the relegation zone in the Spanish league.
It was the fifth straight defeat for the Madrid club,...
What to see in midweek in Europe’s main soccer competitions
What to watch in the midweek action in Europe's leading soccer competitions:
With Barcelona boosted by another brilliant performance from Lionel Messi and Real Madrid reeling...
Messi back to his best ahead of games against Real Madrid
MADRID (AP) — With consecutive matches coming up against Barcelona, Real Madrid got a glimpse of a Lionel Messi that it would rather not see again this week.
Soccer symmetry as Mbappe, Messi reach milestones
PARIS (AP) — It seemed like soccer symmetry when Kylian Mbappe made French league history on the same day Lionel Messi reached another incredible milestone.
After resisting Barcelona’s attack, Lyon loses 2-0 at Monaco
PARIS (AP) — After keeping Barcelona's mighty attack quiet during the week, Lyon succumbed to a 2-0 defeat at Monaco on Sunday that hampers its chances of qualifying automatically for next...
Messi hits 50th hat trick to give Barca 4-2 win at Sevilla
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Just when Barcelona was at its worst, Lionel Messi gave one of his best performances of the season.
Messi scored his 50th hat trick for club and country on Saturday...
Mbappe scores again as runaway leader PSG beats Nimes 3-0
PARIS (AP) — Kylian Mbappe scored twice to take his league-leading tally to 22 goals as Paris Saint-Germain beat Nimes 3-0 on Saturday to move 17 points clear at the top.
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...
Messi misses 1 penalty, makes another in Barcelona win
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi had a penalty saved after scoring from the spot as Barcelona struggled to end a run of poor results before it turns to the Champions League knockout rounds.
Messi's first penalty opportunity proved good enough in an uninspiring 1-0 victory over Valladolid at Camp Nou in the Spanish league on Saturday. But Barcelona's all-time leading scorer had a second spot kick stopped by goalie Jordi Masip.
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.
Rested Barcelona looks to find its stride again
MADRID (AP) — In a slump and under pressure, Barcelona hopes it got to fully recharge ahead of the most difficult stretch of the season.
After three consecutive draws, including two in the Spanish league that allowed Real Madrid to cut into its lead, Barcelona got a rare week off before facing a series of crucial matches in the league, Copa del Rey and Champions League.
In soccer-mad Argentina, women fight sexism and inequality
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Almost 90 years after men's soccer turned professional in Argentina, the women's game is still being played by amateur athletes who get little to no money for their work on the field.
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.
Messi doesn’t practice ahead of ‘clasico’ because of injury
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi has not practiced with his teammates on Monday, raising doubts about his presence in the Copa del Rey match against Real Madrid on Wednesday.
Messi hurt his right leg in the 2-2 draw against Valencia in the Spanish league on Saturday and remains doubtful for Barcelona's home game against Madrid in the first leg of the Copa semifinals.
Make or break: Barcelona and Real Madrid face decisive month
MADRID (AP) — Real Madrid and Barcelona suddenly see themselves facing a critical series of games that could decide their fates this season.
After being drawn to face each other in the semifinals of the Copa del Rey, the Spanish powerhouses will meet three times in less than a month, before and after other crucial games in the Spanish league and Champions League.
The next 30 days could make or break for Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Messi has injury scare after scoring 2 goals in Barca draw
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Nothing can silence the Camp Nou crowd like the thought of an injury to Lionel Messi — especially four days before a clash against Real Madrid.
So a chill ran through Barcelona's supporters during the Spanish league match against Valencia on Saturday when Messi sat down on the sideline, his right leg stretched before him, and received a massage from a team trainer.
Cirque du Soleil presents new production inspired by Messi
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — With Lionel Messi and some of his Barcelona teammates in attendance, Cirque du Soleil has presented its production inspired by the Argentina great.
Guests were given red-carpet treatment on Thursday as producers showed details about "Messi10," the production that Barcelona says is "inspired by the talent, success and living legend that is Leo Messi, who so brilliantly exemplifies the spirit and values of the beautiful game."
Coutinho nets 2, Barca routs Sevilla 6-1 to reach Copa semis
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — For Lionel Messi, Barcelona's 6-1 win over Sevilla on Wednesday that put it into the Copa del Rey semifinals means his team will aim for nothing less than another treble of titles.
Barcelona completed the rare sweep of Copa del Rey, Spanish league and Champions League trophies in 2011 and 2015.
‘Leo never misses’: Messi scores again as Barca beats Girona
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The game that the Spanish league had wanted to play in the United States still featured a traditional attraction of the competition — Lionel Messi scoring a goal.
Messi coolly put the result beyond doubt in a 2-0 victory for Barcelona at 10-man Girona on Sunday, helping the defending champions to keep their five-point league lead with an eighth straight win.
Messi scores as Barcelona wins 8th straight league game
GIRONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona won its eighth straight Spanish league game as Lionel Messi scored in a 2-0 win at 10-man Girona on Sunday.
Barcelona kept its five-point lead over Atletico Madrid with Messi grabbing his 10th goal in a seven-game scoring streak in the league. He was left all alone to chip the ball over goalkeeper Yassine Bounou in the 69th minute.
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.
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.
Griezmann standing in way of Barcelona’s title march
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Antoine Griezmann is almost single-handedly keeping Atletico Madrid in the Spanish league title race.
With the league at its halfway point, Griezmann is challenging Barcelona's Lionel Messi for the status of most valuable player for their clubs.
While Messi is beyond doubt the top player in Spain — and more — Atletico has stayed in second place behind Barcelona almost exclusively thanks to the goals of Griezmann.
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.
Suarez, Messi lead Barca to 3-0 win over Eibar to keep lead
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Luis Suarez scored two goals and Lionel Messi added another to lead Barcelona to a 3-0 win over Eibar and stay five points ahead of Atletico Madrid as the Spanish league reached its midway point on Sunday.
Messi scored his 400th league goal, and leads the competition this season with 17 through 19 rounds. Suarez is next with 14 goals.
Without Messi, Barcelona loses to Levante in Copa del Rey
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona could not overcome the absence of Lionel Messi and other regular starters on Thursday, losing 2-1 at Levante in the first leg of the Copa del Rey's round of 16.
Barcelona's second-stringers struggled from the start in Valencia, escaping an even greater defeat only because Levante's forwards squandered some clear scoring chances.
India striker overtakes Messi in national team scoring
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — His name is being mentioned in the same breath as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, even though it's a name few soccer fans are familiar with.
By scoring two goals in his first match at this year's Asian Cup, India striker Sunil Chhetri displaced Messi as the second-most prolific scorer in national team soccer. He now has scored 67 times for his country, trailing only Ronaldo's 85.
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.
Sevilla forward Sarabia, the biggest bargain in Spain
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Sevilla's signing of Pablo Sarabia three years ago has proven to be more than a bargain.
It was an authentic steal.
Leading his team in scoring with 15 goals in all competitions this season, the 26-year-old Sarabia is the driving force behind a Sevilla side in the thick of the Spanish league title hunt — three points behind Barcelona.
Only Lionel Messi, with 20 goals, has scored more times than Sarabia this season for a Spanish club.
Messi receives 5th Golden Shoe award for Europe’s top scorer
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi received his record fifth Golden Shoe award on Tuesday for leading all of Europe's soccer leagues in scoring last season.
Messi's fifth win breaks the tie he had with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi scored 34 goals in the Spanish league last season to lead Barcelona to the title. Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah was the second leading scorer of Europe's domestic leagues with 32 goals in England.
Messi-powered Barcelona looking like a true champion
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — With a hat trick and two assists, Lionel Messi showed again this weekend why Barcelona is favored by many to successfully defend its Spanish league title.
Sevilla and Atletico Madrid may be only three points behind as the season approaches the midway mark, but neither challenger can count on the unrivaled talent of Messi to single-handedly turn competitive matches into blowouts.