Marcelo: La Liga is not over yet

Real Madrid full-back Marcelo has stated his belief that the Liga title race is far from over following his side’s 2-2 draw with Barcelona, and expressed his satisfaction with his team’s performance against the Catalan giants.

Despite still being eight points behind their Clasico rivals, the Brazilian feels content with his club’s exploits in Catalunya on Sunday.

“Camp Nou is a really difficult stadium to win in,” Marcelo told the press after the match. “I’m really glad because we have fought hard and made a great effort, so I’m satisfied.

“We had our chances, but we couldn’t score – we’ve won games in the past with fewer chances, but the draw is not a bad result.”

On the subject of closing the eight-point gap between Madrid and Barcelona, the 24-year old is all too aware that there is a mountain to climb, but is willing to put in the work to see the deficit closed.

“It’s going to be hard to overtake Barcelona, but we we’ll work hard to reduce the gap,” he went on. “La Liga is not over, it’s too soon to say that.”

“Eight points is a big difference, but nothing is decided yet.”

'Benzema and Higuain are not top level strikers and that cost Real Madrid against Barcelona' – reacts to latest Clasico

Real Madrid becoming a better team than Barca

Real Madrid becoming a better team than Barca

Tito Vilanova’s team remain eight points clear of Barca after Sunday’s 2-2 but Jose Mourinho’s men no longer fear the Catalans and are looking more and more like the stronger side

Cristiano Ronaldo gets green light for Portugal

Real Madrid’s medical team have given Cristiano Ronaldo the green light to travel to Portugal to report for international duty.

The prolific attacker sustained a shoulder injury in Madrid’s 2-2 La Liga draw away against Barcelona on Sunday, and there were fears that he would face a spell on the sidelines.

Nevertheless, Ronaldo has undergone further examination by Madrid’s doctors at his home, and the Spanish champions have announced on their official website that the injury is not too serious.

The 27-year-old is expected to fly to his homeland on Monday afternoon as Portugal gather in Obidos ahead of their upcoming 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Russia on Friday and versus Northern Ireland four days later.

The Seleccao sit joint first in their qualification section with Russia. Both sides have collected six points from two games.

La Liga Team of the Week: Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi & Falcao make up dream front line

After the world stopped for 90 minutes during the Clasico on Sunday night, the seventh round of La Liga concluded with Atletico Madrid’s dramatic late win over Malaga, which saw Diego Simeone’s side join Barcelona on top of the Primera Division.

And following the latest round of La Liga, takes a look at the standout performers from the weekend action.

Adrian is the goalkeeper in our first-choice XI. The Betis canterano made several outstanding saves in his side’s 2-0 win over Real Sociedad, which moved them up to fourth place in the table.

In defence, Andoni Iraola shone at the back and going forward for Athletic Bilbao in their 1-0 win over Osasuna, while Paulao was exceptional for Betis as he scored and made a happy return from injury, and Jose Manuel Casado was key for Rayo Vallecano against Deportivo La Coruna, especially as the Galicians piled on the pressure in the closing minutes of the Madrid side’s 2-1 success.

Oscar de Marcos was his side’s main creative outlet and set up Aritz Aduriz for the only goal of the game as Athletic Bilbao beat Osasuna. Another Basque, Benat, was impressive for Betis assisted Ruben Castro’s goal against Real Sociedad, while Piti scored and was a constant threat for Rayo in their victory over Deportivo.

Just behind the attack, Mesut Ozil was one of the Clasico’s protagonists, setting up Cristiano Ronaldo’s all-important leveller in the second half at Camp Nou on Sunday night.

But without doubt, the biggest stars from the weekend are to be found in attack. Lionel Messi hit two goals including a fantastic free kick for Barcelona against Real Madrid, but was cancelled out by an equally exceptional Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored twice himself as the world’s two best players stole the show in the entertaining 2-2 draw. But completing the trident is Atletico’s Radamel Falcao, who scored the first and helped force the second – an own goal by Weligton – as Simeone’s side beat Malaga 2-1 and moved joint-top of La Liga.

Cartoon of the Day: Out-of-this-world Messi and Ronaldo touch down at El Clasico

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho claimed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were “from another planet” after their Clasico exploits on Sunday evening – and few who watched the action at Camp Nou would disagree.

The showpiece Liga clash was billed as the Ballon d’Or decider, the match which could determine once and for all which of the world’s two leading lights should be considered the greatest of the modern game. However, after two sublime goals apiece and a share of the spoils for either side, the debate has only been further fuelled.

The Argentina and Portugal stars shone the brightest on a field of stellar talent as each side fought back from a goal down to draw a thrilling contest 2-2 and leave the title race (just about) still open.

Out-of-this-world Messi and Ronaldo touch down at El Clasico