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  • 13 Aug
    In his latest column, Guillem Balague says he does not believe Cristiano Ronaldo will see out his Real Madrid contract to 2021. Sky Sports Spanish expert Balague also runs the rule over Luis Suarezs controversial yellow card in Barcelonas win over Sevilla, as well as Atleticos surprise defeat at Real Sociedad.Balague also answers your Twitter questions, including Philippe Coutinhos suitability for Barcelona or Real Madrid and comparisons between La Liga and the Premier League. Gareth Bale has become the most important player for Real Madrid. Out of the five matches that he has scored goals, all five of them have been the first goal of the game.Real were struggling at times in the 3-0 win over Leganes. They couldnt build from the back, and again they came out relaxed. Everyone has been talking for weeks about the lack of intensity, especially Zinedine Zidane, as if it has nothing to do with him.Again they couldnt find the right rhythm or aggression without the ball, almost expecting that somebody was going to save the day. More often than not, this is Gareth Bale at the moment. Ronaldo signed a new contract with Real at the weekend Cristiano Ronaldo keeps moving position, but most of the time he is waiting for the cross or the ball to get to him, and raising his arms if it doesnt come, frustrated by the fact he has not scored at home since September. But its Bale making things happen.Its very interesting that all of this happens when both contracts have been renewed recently. Ive been saying for a year-and-a-half that physically Ronaldo has peaked. I know I got a lot of stick for saying that at the beginning, but I think everyone is in agreement that it is now the case.What that means is that Ronaldo had two options: either change your game, like Lionel Messi has done, or reduce your area of influence and just become a goalscorer, which Ronaldo is doing at the moment. That is obviously very useful for Real Madrid, even though he hasnt been scoring as freely as usual, because those goals will return. Bale is now the main man at the Bernabeu, says Balague But will it continue until 2021?He got special treatment on Monday at his contract renewal, but I dont see him staying at Real Madrid until 2021. I just simply dont see it.His area of influence has been reduced, and its not a problem, it just is what it is. But Gareth Bale has been growing, and I dont see Ronaldo reducing his influence even more to allow Bale to keep growing and becoming the big star of the team. I see him in around three or four years looking for an alternative either in a poorer league or away from elite football. Well see, and if anybody can beat the odds it is him. You cannot take that away from him. I admire him, because he has done what he once dreamed of and more, and hes done it through a lot of hard work.Dont discount him fighting his way to the end of 2021 with Real Madrid, but I just dont predict it will happen myself.Is Suarezs booking wrong? It happens everywhere…People are asking whether it is right or wrong for Luis Suarez to pick up a deliberate yellow card so he can have a clean slate and save himself physically for bigger Barcelona games in November and December. Luis Suarez said he was pleased with his booking for Barcelona on Sunday There is nowhere that says it is illegal. Of course, morally there will be places where people say it is morally wrong, but I hope one of those places is not England.I know around Christmas period, players get sent off to avoid having to play so many games in that period, I know that for a fact. It happens a lot, it happens everywhere, and of course it is good timing for Suarez, because he will be able to rest after the international duty.Its seen as clever, and one of those things that happens even though people do not admit it happens.Praise for La Real as Atletico slow downIt looked like Atletico, the formation was like Atletico, it was the Atletico players, but with one less level of pace as they lost 2-0 at Real Sociedad. It was like the cinema reel had just slowed down.Real Sociedad played fantastically well, with young players making an impact and the whole team playing well, especially Carlos Vela, who is back to his best. Carlos Vela scored in Real Sociedads 2-0 win over Atletico Vela is an up and down player emotionally. If he feels switched on, physically well, you get the best out of him. If not, he will even think of going to a less competitive league, so you have to look after him, and he is being looked after at the moment.Guillem answers your Twitter questionsDo you see Barcelona or Real Madrid coming in for Philippe Coutinho in the summer? Mohammed Hamza ‏@Hamza6_18Last time I spoke about Coutinho a few months back, I thought he wasnt ready for Barcelona or Real Madrid. I can now see that he is the most talented player at Liverpool, hes performing regularly, and is scoring. Yes, he is getting to that level where either Barca or Real can come for him.He needs a bit more glamour for Real Madrid to have big, big interest. For Barcelona, they need to decide what to do with Arda Turan, and then they have to decide whether a player like Coutinho fits in that team. Match highlights: Liverpool 6-1 Watford The problem with Coutinho as a No 10, he hasnt got a place in a Barcelona 4-3-3. He has to play wide, or play deeper, but that isnt his role, so its difficult to find a place for him.Lets see who the manager is at Barcelona next season, or if Luis Enrique continues, but certainly he would be so expensive that I couldnt see Barca coming in for him just yet. At the moment, neither of them are in the equation, but lets see how things progress.Is Messi the smartest player ever? Dropping deeper against Sevilla to affect the game - Sergio Rodriguez ‏@SergiorlfcHe was fantastic against Sevilla. Brilliant. It was one of the best games Ive seen this season in any competition this season. It was brave from both sides, both sides wanted the ball, wanted to attack, it was just fantastic.As Pep Guardiola says, when Messi is not moving hes resting actively, but also because he is waiting to see where he can impact the game better. Lionel Messi was in fine form Barcelona in their narrow win over Sevilla On Sunday, as we saw, he dropped deeper in the first half, but received the ball as a No 10 for his equalising goal. So he was moving all around.In the second half, he went 20 metres closer to the box because he saw Sevilla dropping deeper, and that the spaces were there when Sevilla lost the ball on the attack.It was just an amazing show, but he is hiding the Barcelona cracks. I see them not controlling the game as much as they used to, making individual mistakes and having difficulties building from the back. So Messi saved them again.How do you compare the quality of players between the Premier League and the La Liga? Crobrozi ‏@TheSouthCreatorIt depends what you mean. Which quality do you mean?Do you mean strength? The Premier League. Tactical knowledge? La Liga. Technically? La Liga. Pace? Possibly the Premier League. Both the Premier League and La Liga have qualities in their own right, says Balague Both leagues require different things from different players. Theyre all amazing players, to be able to play in the top division. Forget what they earn, they had to go through a lot to get there, and the best are those who stay there for 10 years or more at that level. How can they do that? They need to be so focused, so delicate with their body, so strong mentally, you have to admire them.Who are the favourites to go down in La Liga? Carter Guiney ‏@carterg999Quite clearly Granada will have difficulty putting together a run of wins. When the manager Lucas Alcaraz came in, he noted that the team only had two points having played against tough opposition, but now they only have four and look very unlikely to stay up.Osasuna are struggling too, and then there is always a surprise. It will be a team that cannot get away, its always a big team. At the moment, its anybody from 10th down in La Liga.Watch #CR7Live on Wednesday at 1pm on, Sky Sports Facebook page and on the Soccer AM You Tube Channel. Also See: Ronaldo signs until 2021 Ronaldo should retire at Real Revista de la Liga Guillem Balague Jerry Tillery Youth Jersey . -- Jakob Silfverberg is making himself right at home with the Anaheim Ducks, scoring four goals in his first four games. Junior Seau Chargers Jersey .com) - The Pittsburgh Penguins placed forward James Neal on injured reserve Tuesday. . It just didnt show when he hit the ice. Berra made 42 saves and Kris Russell scored at 1:32 of overtime, lifting the Calgary Flames to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night. Dan Fouts Womens Jersey . Detroit and Boston are deadlocked, 1-1, and Tigers manager Jim Leyland could be forgiven if he was caught rationalizing instead of dissecting how his club could blow a 5-1 lead late in Game 2. Kellen Winslow Chargers Jersey . The recently retired Stern was elected Friday to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and will be enshrined with the class of 2014 on Aug. Canterbury have condemned Newcastle to a club-record 14th straight NRL loss at Hunter Stadium, outclassing the hapless Knights 28-14 to move back into the top four.Newcastle lost 13 straight games in 2005, but their 2016 counterparts - winning just once this year and on track for a second-straight wooden spoon - have displaced them in the record books as the worst-performed team in club history.Bulldogs halfback Moses Mbye scored a try, set up another and kicked six goals from as many attempts on a wet Saturday afternoon to inspire the visitors to their sixth win from their past seven games.Canterbury (30 points) climb to third, at least temporarily leap-frogging Canberra (29) and North Queensland (28) who are yet to play this weekend. The Raiders take on Cronulla at Shark Park on Saturday night and the Cowboys travel to Leichhardt Oval on Sunday to face the Wests Tigers.Newcastle led 2-0 in the 12th minute courtesy of a penalty goal by former NSW Origin halfback Trent Hodkinson, playing against his old club for the first time.The Bulldogs eventually adjusted to the slippery conditions and responded with two tries in four minutes midway through the half to take a 12-2 lead.Hooker Michael Lichaa scooped up a Mbye pass and stepped past Jarrod Mullen to score in the 21st minute, then Josh Morris took a pass from twin brother Brett to touch down four minutes later. Mbbye converted both tries then added a 36th-minute penalty goal for a 14-2 lead at the break.ddddddddddddNewcastle created few genuine scoring chances and made life difficult for themselves with sloppy handling and a lack of discipline in the ruck, conceding five penalties while earning only one.Hodkinsons 40-20 kick in the 43rd minute provided a solid platform for the Knights to mount a second-half resurgence.Mullen took advantage two minutes later, bouncing out of Mbyes tackle and firing a one-handed pass for winger Brendan Elliot to score in the corner. Hodkinsons sideline conversion cut the deficit to 14-8 and the crowd of 13,318 found their voice.Elliot crossed for his second try just three minutes later, regathering Hodkinsons chip kick to score in the corner and Hodkinson converted from the sideline again to level at 14-14.The Bulldogs regained momentum in the 54th minute when Sam Kasiano charged down a Mullen clearing kick. Mullen tried to recover the ball but lost it in James Grahams tackle and Mbye was on the spot to pick up the crumbs and score next to the posts, then converted for a 20-14 lead.Mbye added a penalty goal in the 73rd minute to stretch the margin to 22-14, then Sam Perrett scored in the corner and Mbye converted. ' ' '