La Liga Preview: Barcelona, Real Madrid spend big to combat Atletico

“James Rodriguez, to Gareth Bale, to Cristiano Ronaldo: Goal. It took less than 10 minutes for three of Real Madrid’s world-class stars to combine for the first goal in the European champion’s 2-0 UEFA SuperCup win over Europa League winner Sevilla last week while sending out a clear message. Real Madrid’s summer showings, in which fellow new signing Toni Kroos has also been outstanding in a midfield three, announced to its La Liga rivals that the reigning Champions League winner is not taking the upcoming campaign lightly. But if you were expecting, after last season’s dramatic title triumph by Atletico Madrid, normal service in La Liga to resume and that the league would return to a two-horse race between Real and Barcelona, you may be surprised. Let’s look at the contenders ahead of this weekend’s season-opening matches…” SI

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