Sport Andres Iniesta trains with the Spain squad

The playmaker came through the ranks at Barcelona while van Gaal was manager at the Camp Nou and reserved praise of the highest order for the Dutch coach

Fifa Ballon d'Or: Cristiano Ronaldo in numbers

The Real Madrid forward was today anointed the world's best player

Lionel Messi heads wide in the draw with Atletico Madrid

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid content with draw that allows Real Madrid to close the gap

The sides drew 0-0 in the Spanish capital in a game of few clear chances

Xavi and Iker Casillas formed a bond playing together at the Under-20 World Cup in Nigeria

Pete Jenson: What England could learn from Spain (and it's not the benefits of a midwinter break)

A Different League: Placing greater importance on the forming of young England teams is just as important as giving senior players a rest

An aerial view of the Christ The Redeemer statue (F) and the venue for the final - the Maracana Stadium

World Cup 2014: England's possible route to glory - taking in Spain, Germany and Brazil

We take a look at the path Roy Hodgson's side would likely take to the final in Rio

Thiago Alcantara

Manchester United dealt blow in bid to sign Thiago Alcantara from Barcelona

Spain manager Vicente del Bosque urges midfielder to remain at the Nou Camp

Two goals by Jordi Alba, pictured, and another from Fernando Torres set up a semifinal showdown with Italy

Confederations Cup: Spain lifted by Alba double

Spain survived a stiff first-half examination from Nigeria to clinch their place in the last four of the Confederations Cup yesterday. Two goals by Jordi Alba and another from Fernando Torres set up a semi-final showdown with Italy.

Jose Mourinho

'I'm humble. Sometimes it doesn't look like I am - but I am': The best bits from Jose Mourinho's press conference

The 'Special One' addresses the media for the first time since his reinstatement

Sevilla winger may follow Isco to join Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad Stadium

Jesus Navas quits Sevilla to join David Silva at Manchester City in £17m deal

The Spanish club have accepted an offer

Neymar is presented to Barcelona fans after signing a five-year deal

Neymar unveiled by Barcelona after signing five-year deal

The Brazilian striker has put the finishing touches to his move

Victor Valdes

Victor Valdes offers 'explanation' for Barcelona exit plans

Goalkeeper will not renew his contract which expires next summer

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates a brace against Athletic Bilbao

Barcelona and Real Madrid win 3-0 as La Liga draws closer to conclusion

Tito Vilanova's side close in on title

David Beckham goes past Xavi and Lionel Messi in Paris

PSG boss Carlo Ancelotti: I was not forced to start David Beckham against Barcelona

Ancelotti denies suggestions he was forced to start the former England captain

Tito Vilanova

Barcelona defender Eric Abidal send Tito Vilanova his support

Coach to undergo surgery and chemotherapy

Lionel Messi (centre) celebrates breaking Gerd Müller’s record

Gerd Muller hails 'gigantic' Lionel Messi after seeing 40-year-old record broken by Barcelona forward

Two goals last night see Messi reach 86 goals for the calender year

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi

'Supernatural' Lionel Messi has no limits says Barcelona team-mate Gerard Pique

Messi breaks 40-year-old record

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003