What's at stake in season finales across Europe?
The club seasons in Europe's five major leagues come to an end this weekend, and while the title drama is gone in all of them but one, there is still plenty at stake and a handful of notable milestones or moments to watch for as teams put a bow on 2015-16.
As the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 wrap up, here is what to watch in this weekend's finales:
La Liga's title race
Barcelona and Real Madrid will duke it out for La Liga's trophy at 11 a.m. ET Saturday, with Barcelona playing at Granada and Real Madrid also on the road at Deportivo de La Coruña. Barcelona enters the day ahead of Real Madrid by a point, and it holds the tiebreaker between the two.
The scenarios are simple, thanks to Atletico Madrid bowing out of the title race and leaving it between the two traditional powers: If Barcelona wins, the title returns to Camp Nou. If Barcelona loses and Real Madrid wins, Zinedine Zidane's squad will raise the trophy.
If Barcelona loses and Real Madrid draws (or if both draw), Barcelona will keep the title, winning it for a third time in four seasons.
At the bottom of the table, Levante is already going down, and two of Sporting Gijon, Getafe and Rayo Vallecano will join it. All four are in action at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.
Premier League's race for fourth
Pep Guardiola will find out if he's taking over a Champions League-bound team or a Europa League-bound one after Sunday's Premier League finales. All 10 league matches will be played at once (at 10 a.m. ET), but with Leicester having claimed the title, Tottenham and Arsenal wrapping up Champions League berths and the relegation race already being sorted (sorry, Aston Villa, Norwich City and Newcastle). All that's left is to determine fourth and fifth place, and it's down to the two Manchester squads.
A win at Swansea City for Manchester City would ensure Guardiola takes over a team heading to the Champions League. Manchester United needs a win over Bournemouth and a City loss to claim fourth place. A loss to Bournemouth opens up the possibility of no European soccer at all, though. West Ham sits just a point behind the Red Devils for fifth after Tuesday's dramatic win in the club's farewell to Upton Park.
For Tottenham and Arsenal fans, there is the matter of London pride. Tottenham hasn't finished ahead of Arsenal in the table in over 20 years and can prevent another St. Totteringham's Day with a win or draw at Newcastle. A loss opens the door for Arsenal to sneak into second place if the Gunners can beat last-place Aston Villa.
Ranieri's guard of honor at Chelsea
Twelve years ago, Claudio Ranieri was fired by Roman Abramovich in favor of Jose Mourinho, told he'd never win a Premier League title. Well, then. Ranieri returns to Stamford Bridge as a Premier League champion with Leicester City, and given it's customary for opposing teams to provide the guard of honor for newly crowned champions–as Everton did last weekend at King Power Stadium–it could make for quite the eyesore for Abramovich.
Don't expect Ranieri to say anything provocative or boast in any way, as that's not how he operates, but you can imagine there will be a massive sense of accomplishment for the 64-year-old Italian manager.
Howard's Goodison goodbye
U.S. men's national team goalkeeper Tim Howard will put on an Everton uniform for a final time in the Toffees' finale against Norwich City. It's been a season to forget for Everton, which fired manager Roberto Martinez on Thursday, and Howard, who has been benched for Joel Robles. Sunday offers a chance to secure some closure on a positive note before Howard turns his attention to playing for the Coloraro Rapids.
Pep's farewell at Allianz Arena
Pep Guardiola didn't bring a Champions League title to Bayern Munich, and plenty will debate whether he was a failure in Germany because of it, but he'll celebrate a third straight Bundesliga title (fourth for the club) at Allianz Arena in his farewell to the home fans when Bayern takes on Hannover. Bayern still has the matter of the German Cup final against Borussia Dortmund next weekend in Berlin.
Below Bayern in the table, Mainz, Hertha Berlin and Schalke are all tied on points and fighting for two places in the Europa League. That'll be settled in the 9:30 a.m. ET finales across the league on Saturday.
On the other end of the spectrum, Eintracht Frankfurt, Werder Bremen and Stuttgart are fighting relegation. One will stay up, one will go into a relegation playoff and one will spend next season in the 2. Bundesliga. As fate would have it, Eintracht Frankfurt and Werder Bremen play against each other, with the former a point clear in 15th place.
Zlatan chases goal record
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is leaving PSG at the end of the season, but he can do so in record fashion. After leading PSG to a fourth straight Ligue 1 title, Ibrahimovic can set France's single-season goal mark with a pair against Nantes. He trails Carlos Bianchi's record of 37 by one after his midweek header.
He claims he "came like a king, left like a legend." He can also leave as a record-holder.
Below PSG, Monaco and Nice are vying for third place and a spot in the Champions League qualifying stage, with Monaco currently up by two points entering the league finales (3 p.m. ET).
At the bottom, Toulouse, Gazelec Ajaccio and Reims are warding off relegation, with the former two each on 37 points and Reims on 36. Troyes is already going down.
Serie A relegation scrap
Just about everything is wrapped up in Italy. Juventus has won a fifth straight Scudetto and will be joined by Napoli and Roma in the Champions League. As it stands, Napoli will go into the group stage automatically, but a loss and a Roma win would put the capital side in the group stage and Napoli in the qualifying round.
Inter Milan and Fiorentina will be playing in next season's Europa League, and Frosinone and Hellas Verona have already secured relegation.
That leaves a battle between Palermo, where coaches rotate more than a carnival carousel, and Carpi for one place in next season's top flight. Palermo leads by a point and faces last-place Hellas Verona. Carpi must hope for some help while beating 16th-place Udinese.