Messi goes off at halftime in 1st start since injury layoff
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi was substituted at halftime of his first start for Barcelona since a long injury layoff because of a leg muscle problem.
Hit by injuries, Barca turns again to youth factory
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — With its top scorers hit by injuries, Barcelona has returned to basics.
Gone are the days when Barcelona's youth training academy produced star after star, churning...
Barcelona’s depleted squad held again in Spanish league
MADRID (AP) — The absence of Lionel Messi and other injured players took its toll on Barcelona again.
Barcelona's depleted squad stumbled in the Spanish league for the second time in three...
Madrid and Barcelona coping with injury-ridden start
MADRID (AP) — Eden Hazard still hasn't set foot on the field for an official match. Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez sat side-by-side in the stands while their teammates played in front of...
With stars out injured Barcelona promotes its youngsters
MADRID (AP) — After watching Barcelona rout Real Betis from the stands, the injured Lionel Messi went down to the dressing room to give a special hug to a couple of youngsters on the...
Messi to miss Barcelona’s game at Real Betis
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi has been left out of Barcelona's squad to face Real Betis in the Spanish league on Sunday.
Messi returned to training this week after recovering from a...
Messi back in training, could be fit for weekend’s game
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi was back in full training again on Wednesday and may be fit to face Real Betis in the Spanish league on Sunday.
Barcelona forward Dembele out 5 weeks with thigh injury
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Forward Ousmane Dembele has joined Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez on Barcelona's injury list.
The club says on Monday that Dembele has a left thigh muscle injury and is...
Crunch time for Coutinho as Barcelona goes to Liverpool
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...
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona says that France forward Ousmane Dembele has a leg injury and is unfit to play just two days before its Champions League semifinal at Liverpool.
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona says forward Ousmane Dembele will be sidelined for up to a month because of a left leg muscle injury, putting in doubt his availability for the Champions League...
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...
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.
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.
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.
Tottenham advances to CL round of 16 after 1-1 draw at Barca
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — An eye-popping goal by Ousmane Dembele and a superb performance by Barcelona's backup goalkeeper were minutes away from keeping Harry Kane's Tottenham out of the Champion League's last 16 on Tuesday.
But Kane provided the pass that substitute Lucas Moura used to finally score one past Jasper Cillessen in the 85th minute and secure a 1-1 draw that was as good as a victory to the English visitors and the few thousand fans that traveled with them to Spain.
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.
Barcelona retakes lead of Spanish league after Sevilla slips
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona retook the lead of the Spanish league on Sunday after beating Villarreal 2-0 while Sevilla was held to a draw at Alaves.
Barcelona's first win in three rounds left it one point above second-placed Sevilla, which rallied to a 1-1 draw at fourth-placed Alaves.
Injury-depleted Barcelona got goals from Gerard Pique and rarely used reserve player Carles Alena in each half at Camp Nou.
Barcelona scores late, frustrates Atletico Madrid again
MADRID (AP) — Another late goal for Barcelona, another disappointing draw for Atletico Madrid.
For the second consecutive year, Atletico wasn't able to hold on to its lead against Barcelona at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, missing another chance to end its winless streak against the Catalan club in the Spanish league.
Ousmane Dembele's 90th-minute goal gave Barcelona a 1-1 draw in Madrid on Saturday, extending its unbeaten run against Atletico to 17 leagues matches.
Late goal extends Barca’s unbeaten streak against Atletico
MADRID (AP) — Ousmane Dembele scored a late equalizer for Barcelona to draw with Atletico Madrid 1-1 on Saturday, extending its unbeaten run against the Madrid club to 17 Spanish league matches.
The result also kept Barcelona in the lead, one point in front of Atletico.
Sevilla has a chance to move past both clubs if it defeats Valladolid at home on Sunday.
Suarez scores 2 as Barca rallies late to beat Rayo 3-2
MADRID (AP) — Luis Suarez netted his second goal of a 3-2 comeback win at Rayo Vallecano in the 90th minute on Saturday, extending his scoring run with Lionel Messi injured.
Rayo was winning the Spanish league match 2-1 until the 87th when substitute Ousmane Dembele drilled in a headed back pass by defender Gerard Pique, who joined the attack.
Suarez then scored his second goal to complete the fightback when he was left unmarked to stab in Sergi Roberto's cross at the far post.
With Messi out, Coutinho, Dembele must step up for Barcelona
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — With Lionel Messi out with a broken arm, the two most expensive signings in Barcelona's history have a perfect opportunity to step up and show their value.
Barcelona spent more than 300 million euros ($350 million) to sign Brazil midfielder Philippe Coutinho and France forward Ousmane Dembele last season as it reinvested the money — and then some — from Neymar's move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Messi scores record 8th Champions League hat trick
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona fans can stop worrying. Lionel Messi is just fine — and he scored a record eighth Champions League hat trick to prove it.
Three days after a rare poor performance in the Spanish league, Messi returned to normal service on Tuesday with three goals in a 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven in their Champions League opener. That took the Argentine past longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has seven Champions League hat tricks.
Dembele stakes claim to big role at Barca with another goal
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Ousmane Dembele came to Barcelona's rescue for a third time this season on Saturday, when the France forward struck a second-half winner to complete a comeback at Real Sociedad 2-1.
Dembele was quickest to a poor clearance of a corner kick by Sociedad's defense in the 66th minute, rifling a left-footed shot through a crowd while goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli was off his line.
Dembele, Suarez lead Barcelona 2-1 comeback win at Sociedad
SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain (AP) — Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez scored in the second half to lead Barcelona to a 2-1 comeback win at Real Sociedad in the Spanish league on Saturday.
Suarez equalized for Barcelona in the 63rd minute, when Samuel Umtiti fought for a high ball in the area after a corner kick which finally fell to the striker to tap in.
Dortmund looking for Alcacer’s goals to put it in contention
BERLIN (AP) — Borussia Dortmund is looking for goals, and hoping Paco Alcacer provides them.
Despite an array of attack-minded players, Dortmund has struggled to score since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang departed last season for Arsenal. The Gabon striker scored 98 goals and set up 25 more in 144 league appearances. Replacement Michy Batshuayi managed seven in 10 games before his loan spell from Chelsea was ended by injury.
World Cup winners Griezmann, Dembele lift Atletico, Barca
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — World Cup winners Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele scored second-half goals to give Atletico Madrid and Barcelona 1-0 victories over promoted teams on Saturday.
Dembele rifled in a headed pass from Sergi Roberto in the 57th minute to help defending champion Barcelona triumph at Valladolid and secure a second victory in as many Spanish league games this season.
French tactics under question after opening World Cup win
KAZAN, France (AP) — If Didier Deschamps was looking for answers to his tactical headaches, he certainly didn't find any during France's World Cup opener.
One thing, however, was clear to the French coach: having three top-class strikers assembled does not solve all problems.
The most optimistic fans of Les Bleus will remember that France started its campaign in Russia with a 2-1 win over Australia. But given the quality packed in the squad, the result was just disappointing.
Fear of failure to motivate France’s stars against Australia
KAZAN, Russia (AP) — With a group of players worth more than a billion dollars, anything other than a win against Australia will be deemed as a failure for France in its World Cup opener.
The amount of individual talent within the France squad is impressive, including players such as Paul Pogba, Ousmane Dembele, Kylian Mbappe, Nabil Fekir, and Antoine Griezmann.
Having such star power assembled in Russia would be a dream for most coaches. For Didier Deschamps, it looks more like a headache.
NICE, France (AP) — France showed glimpses of its attacking potential with a 3-1 home win against Italy in a World Cup warmup match on Friday.
Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele scored, while Kylian Mbappe was involved in center half Samuel Umtiti's opening goal.
Center half Leonardo Bonucci briefly gave Italy hope when he made it 2-1 after 36 minutes.
France could have scored more with midfielder N'Golo Kante hitting the post and Florian Thauvin seeing his late volley brilliantly saved.
Griezmann declines to talk about his future at Atletico
LYON, France (AP) — Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone spoke with an air of resignation when asked if the club can stop Antoine Griezmann from leaving.
The France striker's stock rose higher when he scored two expert goals on Wednesday night to help the Spanish club win the Europa League with a 3-0 win against Marseille.
"If he stays with us, we'll continue to grow and develop. He's a lad who has given so much," Simeone said.
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Andres Iniesta returned to the scene of his greatest triumph in his penultimate game for Barcelona as the Spanish champion beat South Africa's Mamelodi Sundowns 3-1 in a friendly in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Iniesta played the first 45 minutes at FNB Stadium, where he scored the goal that won Spain the World Cup in 2010.
Barcelona stays unbeaten, Real Madrid loses to Sevilla
MADRID (AP) — Ousmane Dembele scored twice and Lionel Messi added to his league-leading tally as champion Barcelona stayed on track to finish unbeaten in the Spanish league with a 5-1 rout of Villarreal on Wednesday.
A depleted Real Madrid, without Cristiano Ronaldo and many other regular starters, lost 3-2 at Sevilla to remain in third place behind Atletico Madrid. It was an eventful night for captain Sergio Ramos, who missed a penalty, converted a penalty and scored an own-goal.
Column: A half-billion dollar problem for France’s Deschamps
PARIS (AP) — France coach Didier Deschamps has a half-billion dollar dilemma. In Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele and Paul Pogba, Deschamps has three of the top-five most expensive footballers of all time at his disposal for the World Cup in Russia, talents more valuable than the jeweled Faberge eggs Russian czars were so fond of.
Behind the glitz, France has problems to solve before WCup
PARIS (AP) — France's attacking soccer can be compared to an All-Star basketball game: showy moves, flashy individual skill and outstanding finishing.
Up front France boasts Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele, two of the world's three most expensive players, and the 2016 European Championship's top scorer in Antoine Griezmann.
When everything comes together, it's a joy to watch but, behind the glitz, France has significant problems to resolve before its World Cup campaign begins on June 16.
Dembele showing his worth, becoming important ally for Messi
MADRID (AP) — Lionel Messi may have gained an important ally at Barcelona.
Ousmane Dembele, who arrived at the beginning of the season under high expectations as Neymar's replacement, is finally starting to show his worth, becoming an important piece for the Messi-led Barcelona attack.
Aubameyang departure is the latest in Dortmund’s demise
BERLIN (AP) — The big-money moves of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembele show that Borussia Dortmund is still struggling to compete at the highest level.
Both players forced their way out after feeling the need to showcase their talents on bigger and better stages.
Aubameyang skipped a team meeting and refused to engage with the club before eventually sealing a 63.75 million euro ($80 million) move to Arsenal on Wednesday, the last day of the transfer window.
Barcelona forward Dembele injured again, out 3 to 4 weeks
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona says Ousmane Dembele is injured again and will be sidelined for up to a month.
The club says the young France forward picked up a hamstring injury in his left leg in the 4-2 win at Real Sociedad on Sunday.
Dembele, signed from Borussia Dortmund last year as a replacement for Neymar, was out for more than three months after rupturing a thigh tendon in his left leg on Sept. 16.
Barca coach Valverde says Dembele’s return a slow process
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is celebrating the return of Ousmane Dembele but says it will take time for the young forward to be fully reintegrated with the squad.
Dembele, the club's most expensive signing ever, could make his much-anticipated return from a long injury layoff in Thursday's Copa del Rey match at Celta Vigo.
The 20-year-old Frenchman, who arrived in the offseason to replace Neymar, hasn't played since rupturing a thigh tendon in his left leg on Sept. 16.
Dembele returns to training nearly 3 months after surgery
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Ousmane Dembele trained with his Barcelona teammates for the first time since rupturing a thigh tendon nearly three months ago.
Dembele, the most expensive signing in Barcelona's history, joined the rest of the group for the first part of Wednesday's session and then continued with his recovery routine.
Dembele arrives trying to avoid comparisons with Neymar
MADRID (AP) — Newly signed Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele said there is a long way to go before he can be compared to Neymar, the Brazilian star he is replacing at the Catalan club.
As he was officially introduced to fans on Monday, the 20-year-old Dembele tried to avoid any parallels with Neymar, who left in a world-record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in the offseason.
Dortmund signs forward Andrey Yarmolenko from Dynamo Kiev
DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Borussia Dortmund has signed Ukraine forward Andrey Yarmolenko from Dynamo Kiev following the departure of Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona.
The German Cup holder said the 27-year-old Yarmolenko signed a four-year contract on Monday. It gave no details of the transfer fee, but German daily Bild reported that it was approximately 25 million euros ($30 million).
Dembele arrives with potential to step into Neymar’s shoes
MADRID (AP) — Only two years ago, Ousmane Dembele was playing in France's lower divisions with modest club Rennes.
On Friday, he became the second-most expensive player in soccer history when Barcelona picked him to replace Neymar in a deal that could reach 147 million euros ($173 million).
The talented 20-year-old French forward suddenly turned into a star by joining the Spanish powerhouse in a transfer surpassed only by the Brazilian star's recent move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Barcelona brings in Dembele to try to replace Neymar
MADRID (AP) — Barcelona is shoring up its attack following Neymar's departure by buying Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund in a deal that could reach 147 million euros (about $173 million), second only to the Brazilian star's world-record transfer.
Barcelona said on Friday the 20-year-old Dembele will be officially introduced after undergoing a physical and signing his contract on Monday.
"Visca Barca, Visca Catalunya! (Long Live Barca, Long Live Catalonia!)," Dembele posted on Twitter.
Dortmund impresses without Dembele in Bundesliga-opener
BERLIN (AP) — Borussia Dortmund showed it can thrive this season without suspended forward Ousmane Dembele by opening its Bundesliga campaign with a 3-0 rout at Wolfsburg on Saturday.
United States international Christian Pulisic scored one goal and set up another.
Barcelona acknowledges interest in Coutinho and Dembele
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona is still after Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho and Borussia Dortmund forward Ousmane Dembele.
Coutinho put in a transfer request last week, but Liverpool has said that he is not for sale after rejecting two offers for the Brazil international from Barcelona.
Barcelona target Dembele remains suspended by Dortmund
DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Borussia Dortmund says France forward Ousmane Dembele remains suspended from team training "until further notice" as he agitates for a move to Barcelona.
Dembele, who was fined by the club for missing training on Thursday, was initially suspended for Saturday's German Cup game against FC Rielasingen-Arlen, but the decision to extend it was made between chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke, sporting director Michael Zorc and coach Peter Bosz.