Casillas Prefers Champions League Title over La Liga

MADRID – Iker Casillas, captain and goalkeeper for Real Madrid, said he would prefer to win the Champions League over La Liga, and emphasized the merit of Los Blancos to become the first club to win the Champions League for two consecutive seasons.

  • Published in Sports

Messi scores 400th Barcelona goal to preserve two-point lead

Lionel Messi scored the 400th goal of his Barcelona career as the Catalans beat Champions League-chasing Valencia 2-0 at the Camp Nou on Saturday.

Luis Suarez got Barca off to a flying start as he slotted home the opener after just 54 seconds from Messi’s through ball to give the league leaders an early lead.

However, Valencia then went on to enjoy the majority of the chances but were left to rue Dani Parejo’s missed penalty in the first half when the Argentine skipper scored a late second to seal the game.

Messi made sure of all three points with the final kick of the game after Diego Alves had saved his initial effort to reach the remarkable 400-goal mark.

“400 goals with Barcelona. Hopefully I can score many more,” Messi posted on his official Facebook page. “But the most important thing was that we won three points in a very difficult match.”

Defeat, meanwhile, leaves Valencia four points adrift of third-placed Atletico Madrid, who beat Deportivo la Coruna 2-1 thanks to a double from Antoine Griezmann.

“We played very well in the first-half and had a lot of good chances,” lamented Valencia boss Nuno Espirito Santo. “We go away hurt, sad and angry because we wanted to win. In the first-half we had too many chances to end up with this result.”

Malaga win comes at a price for Real

Real Madrid remain just two points behind Barca at the top of the table as goals from Sergio Ramos, James Rodriguez and Cristiano Ronaldo secured a 3-1 win over Malaga despite a rare missed penalty from Ronaldo.

However, victory came at a cost for the European champions as Gareth Bale and Luka Modric hobbled off with injuries just days before their decisive Champions League quarter-final clash with Atletico Madrid.

“Modric has a problem in his knee, Bale in his calf,” said Real boss Carlo Ancelotti. “Right now we can’t say anything. We will evaluate them in the coming days. They are not completely ruled out.”

  • Published in Sports

European Leaders Express Condolences to Families of Airbus A320 Passengers

European leaders and high-ranking officials expressed their condolences to the families of the passengers of the Airbus A320 plane that had crashed in southern France Tuesday.

There were around 150 people on board the flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf.

French President Francois Hollande said that the conditions of the accident suggested that there were no survivors adding that there had likely been many German nationals aboard the plane.

The French president spoke to the German chancellor and the Spanish prime minister by telephone.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was "shocked" ober the Germanwings plane crash with about 150 people aboard believed to be dead, the German leader's spokesman said. Merkel "cancelled her appointments to follow developments", spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement.

Angela Merkel said Germany, France and Spain had agreed to jointly investigate the Airbus A320 crash.

German Foreign Minister Steinmeier expressed his condolences to the families of the victims of the plane crash. German ambassador to France is heading to the crash site.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy confirmed during a Tuesday press conference the creation of a crisis cabinet after a Germanwings passenger jet crashed in France.

The prime minister said he was cutting short his trip to Vitoria, the capital city of Spain's Basque Autonomous Community, and was returning to Madrid to take charge of the crisis cabinet.

"Shocked by the air accident in the Alps. A tragedy. We are cooperating with the French and German authorities in the investigation," Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in a Twitter message after French officials said nobody survived in the accident.

Spanish King Felipe VI has reportedly cut short his state visit to France following the Airbus 320 plane crash.

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered his condolences to the Spanish king over the plane crash, a statement by the Kremlin press service read.

"Putin stressed that Russia shares the grief of those who lost their relatives and friends in this tragedy," the statement said.

  • Published in World

Socialists Obtain Plurality in Andalusian Regional Vote

MADRID – The Spanish Socialist Workers Party, or PSOE, won a plurality in the elections Sunday in the southern region of Andalusia, which were seen as a test of strength for the traditional political parties and new parties ahead of the regional and national elections later this year.

  • Published in World

Hemingway’s Great-Grandson Meets Author’s Old Spanish Friend

VALENCIA, Spain – Bullfight photographer Francisco “Canito” Cano on Tuesday told Ernest Hemingway’s great-grandson Michael about the “feasts and binges” that he shared in his youth with the famous American author in the Spanish cities of Malaga and Pamplona.

  • Published in Culture

Almost 100 families evicted daily in Spain – statistics

At least 95 families were evicted every day in Spain in 2014, fresh statistics say as Spaniards struggle to meet mortgage payments. Home foreclosures have become a stark symbol of the 7-year economic crisis, with 2014 seeing a further rise in numbers.

  • Published in World
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