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La Liga News: 14 January 2016; Madrid Giants Handed Transfer Ban, Levante Chasing Giuseppe Rossi

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Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid given transfer bans | Sky Sports
Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been banned from registering players between next month and the summer of 2017. Both clubs have been punished by FIFA's disciplinary committee for breaching regulations governing the transfer of players under the age of 18. The bans do not affect the current window, but neither club will be able to bring in new signings in the summer or next January.

Real Madrid duo Gareth Bale Sergio Ramos miss team training - ESPN FC
Real Madrid centre-back Sergio Ramos remains a doubt for Sunday's Bernabeu clash with freefalling Sporting Gijon, with Wales forward Gareth Bale also missing training on Wednesday. Club captain Ramos has been regularly troubled by different fitness issues over the last 12 months, and was substituted at half-time in Zidane's first game in charge, last Saturday's 5-0 home win over Deportivo La Coruna.

Cristiano Ronaldo statue tagged with Lionel Messi's name | Sky Sports
Cristiano Ronaldo's statue on his home island of Madeira has been vandalised with Lionel Messi's name and shirt number painted on it. The graffiti appeared on the statue in the island's capital Funchal on Tuesday night shortly after Barcelona's Messi claimed a fifth Ballon d'Or ahead of the Real Madrid star.

How Antoine Griezmann became this season's most important player in Europe | Eurosport
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar may have made it a La Liga 1-2-3 at the Ballon d’Or, but the most important player in the Spanish league title race this season didn’t make the podium. Real Madrid and Barcelona’s depth of attacking talent means they can continue to win while even the best of their forwards are out of service – but the current La Liga leaders would be nowhere near top spot if it wasn’t for one man.

Can Atletico Madrid do it again? | WorldSoccer
The first title of 2016 went to Atlético Madrid. There’s no trophy handed out — there never is — and there’s a bit of an asterix next to their name, but Atlético are Spain’s "Winter Champions". And, yes, that really does mean something here. Diego Simeone’s side reached the half-way stage, nineteen games in to the campaign when every team has played every other team once thanks to the mirror-image way the season is structured, top of the table.

Valencia reappoint Jesus Garcia Pitarch in bid to revive top-four bid | Sky Sports
Neville is yet to win a league match in five attempts since taking his first senior managerial role last month as Valencia have fallen to 11th in the table - 16 points off their pre-season target of a top-four finish. Garcia Pitarch was sporting director between 2002 and 2004 during one of the most successful periods in the club's recent history before being sacked after clashing with the board and then coach Rafael Benitez.

Report: Levante join Rossi chase | Football Espana
Levante have reportedly joined the chase for Fiorentina’s Giuseppe Rossi, with Villarreal, Getafe, Real Sociedad and Real Betis also interested. cites Valencia-based publication Super Deporte as saying Levante are in the running with four more Primera teams.

La Liga: ‘Team of the Year’ - with a twist | Eurosport
The glitz and glamour that was the Ballon d’Or ceremony has finally ended and, as is commonplace these days, it’s sparked debate amongst the football community as to how certain choices were made. With the results being published almost immediately after the awards have been given out, we can see the trend of players voting for their teammates as opposed to who they genuinely thought were the best players last year. I don’t think there’s any doubt the right man won the Ballon d’Or itself but the ‘Team of the Year’ was questionable to say the least.