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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Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back