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 'Black Museum'

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In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
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'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
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Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
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Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
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