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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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories