Rory Smith

Rory Smith is a football writer for The Independent.

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The Catalan farmhouse at La Masia surrounded by Barcelona's suburbs

Kids To Kings: The Barca Way

La Masia is widely imitated so Rory Smith talked to those responsible to learn the method of the magic

Spain’s Iker Casillas (left) and Xavi are both hungry for more success

Spain's 126-cap keeper Casillas still looks to the future

Asked to cast his mind back over 10 years and 125 caps for his country, the man they call Saint Iker was quick to thank those who helped him adjust when he was first selected to play for Spain. "Fernando Hierro, Raul, Luis Enrique, Pep Guardiola, Fernando Morientes," said Iker Casillas, the Spanish captain. "It is important not to turn a blind eye to what happened before the last four years."

Arshavin: 'No one goes to Wenger to try to change things. They know what the answer will be'

Arshavin hits out at 'severe' Wenger tactics

Andrei Arshavin, the Arsenal midfielder, has issued a forthright critique of his manager, Arsène Wenger, suggesting the Frenchman makes substitutions based on philosophy rather than performance, revealing players feel he is so stubborn as to be unapproachable and describing him as the "most severe" coach he has ever worked with.

Marco Reus is attracting interest from Arsenal

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger tracks talented Marco Reus

Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has made contact with Borussia Mönchengladbach over signing the Bundesliga club's Germany international midfielder Marco Reus.

Jose Bosingwa says he will not play for Portugal again while Paulo Bento is in charge

Bosingwa snubs Bento and Portugal

Jose Bosingwa, the Chelsea defender, has said he will not play international football again while Paulo Bento remains Portugal manager. The 29-year-old had been pre-selected to join his national side for the Euro 2012 play-off games with Bosnia but was left out of Bento's final 25-man squad.

<b> LIVERPOOL v NORWICH , Saturday 17:30pm</b> <br/>
Liverpool were unlucky not to beat Man Utd last weekend and without the added burden of playing in Europe this season, will have high hopes of breaking back into the top four this season. Manager Kenny Dalglish has captain Steven Gerrard back playing which is a huge boost to his side and provides even more competition for places among the talented array of midfielders he has at his disposal. Norwich have been lively this season and have picked up good wins against Bolton and Swansea but Liverpool should be a far greater challenge.
<br/><br/><b>Recent results:</b> Norwich 1-2 Liverpool (03/01/2005, PL) Liverpool 3-0 Norwich (25/09/2004, PL) <br/><br/><b>One to watch:</b> <b>Luis Suarez</b> has been accused of being a racist and a diver this week as the battle between Man Utd and Liverpool spilled over past the full time whistle. Both he and his accuser Patrice Evra have the full backing of their respective managers and the Uruguayan striker denies the claims. He will be hoping to get himself some rather more positive headlines with a good performance against Norwich and it would be foolish to bet against him doing just that. <br/><br/><b>Did you know?:</b> Liverpool have allowed their opponents only 27 shots on target this season, the joint lowest total in the top flight.
<br/><br/><b>Fantasy pick:</b> Luis Suarez, 35 (Liverpool), Antony Pilkington, 36 (Norwich)*
<br/><br/><b>Tweet of the week:</b> 'I'm upset by the acusations of racism. I can only say that I have always respected and respect everybody.' @ luis16suarez - <b>Luis Suarez</b> gives his side of the story.
<br/><br/><i>* Based on Fantasy Premier League, the official Premier League fantasy game</i>

Suarez breaks silence in Evra race row

Luis Suarez, the Liverpool forward, has risked the wrath of the Football Association by speaking for the first time about the allegation he racially abused Manchester United's Patrice Evra at Anfield last month.

Tottenham's Gareth Bale celebrates his goal

Frantic finale tests Redknapp recovery

Fulham 1 Tottenham Hotspur 3

Spurs manager to defy medics and return to work in less than a month

Harry Redknapp hopes to resume his full responsibilities as Tottenham Hotspur manager more quickly than his doctors have recommended, with the 64-year-old insisting he will be back in less than a month.

Arsene Wenger: The Arsenal manager: 'Have we got through the storm? You never know.'

Wenger believes Arsenal can still have shot at title

Watching Arsenal crumble to humiliation at Old Trafford and plunge into the lower reaches of the Premier League might have been one of the most difficult periods of Arsène Wenger's career, but the Frenchman insists he enjoyed an experience which brought out his team's true character.

Ferguson admits he needs striker to return

Rooney's ability in midfield just highlights lack of flair at United

Manager admits he needs striker to return to attack despite his fine efforts in the middle

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The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

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He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
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Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
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Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

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11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
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Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

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Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

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Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz