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Cristiano Ronaldo

While Real stalls, Barcelona finds way to overcome problems

In the hothouse of Spanish football, traditional giants Real Madrid and Barcelona entered the Spanish league facing different burdens of expectation. There were some doubts about Barcelona, and mostly high expectations of Real Madrid under new coach Rafa Benitez. It has all changed quickly after just one round. Real Madrid couldn't manage more than a disappointing 0-0 draw against newly promoted Real Gijon. Barcelona, with a depleted squad and coming off a humbling loss in the Spanish Super Cup final, did well enough to get a 1-0 win against Athletic Bilbao. With the Madrid-born Benitez at the helm, the team arrived for the opener mostly at full strength and the traveling fans...