The way Gareth Bale swept through the defences of Chelsea and Norwich City recently underlined the hope that he plays for Great Britain at London 2012

Gareth Bale only Premier League player in Uefa.com team of the year

Tottenham winger Gareth Bale was today named in UEFA.com users' team of the year for 2011 alongside eight Spain-based players.

No regrets for Jerome Boateng over City

Former Manchester City defender Jerome Boateng has no regrets about leaving the club in the summer.

Lampard welcomes Mata option

Frank Lampard believes Juan Mata can provide Chelsea with something different as they attempt to keep pace with the early-season frontrunners from Manchester.

Mourinho 'will not make apology' after latest run-in with Barça

Jose Mourinho is not going to apologise for his behaviour during his team's 3-2 defeat to Barcelona in the Spanish Supercup last week, his spokesman said yesterday.

Feyenoord tell Craig Bellamy to 'stop the nonsense'

Feyenoord technical director Leo Beenhakker has told Craig Bellamy to "stop the nonsense" as the Wales striker continues to talk about a move to Rotterdam.

Japanese teenager lines up with Messi for shot at goal award

Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben are battling with a Japanese teenager and a Swedish second division player for Fifa's goal of the year award.

Van der Vaart says Arsenal move would have been 'fantastic'

Tottenham Hotspur ace Rafael van der Vaart has suggested that he could have stayed at Real Madrid rather than leaving for first-team football in England.

Brazil star Melo came close to quitting football

Juventus midfielder Felipe Melo has revealed that he was ready to quit football following Brazil's disappointing 2-1 World Cup quarter-final loss to Netherlands in South Africa this summer.

Webb admits he made errors in World Cup final

Six weeks since he 'lost control' on the biggest night of his career, England's top referee has finally answered his critics

Bayern furious with Holland over Robben injury

Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has stoked the fire once more after he claimed Netherlands physiotherapist Dick van Toorn needs glasses for failing to spot Arjen Robben's thigh injury during the World Cup.

Rooney shortlisted for Europe's best club player award

Wayne Rooney is the only Premier League player on the 12-man shortlist for Uefa's Club Footballer of the Year. Internazionale, who won the Champions League under Jose Mourinho, have five and Barcelona four.

Sam Wallace: It is far too easy and lazy to blame the referee this time

In what will have been the proudest moment of their careers, Howard Webb and his two linesmen Darren Cann and Mike Mullarkey were booed by Dutch supporters when they went up to receive their World Cup final medals on Sunday.

Iniesta settles war of attrition with a moment of inspiration

Netherlands 0 Spain 1

Manchester United deny making Sneijder bid

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists he has not made a bid for Holland midfielder Wesley Sneijder.

'Pretty football gets you nowhere,' say Dutch

Unified Holland believe this is their time as fired-up Robben claims 'I don't need friends, I want to be a world champion'
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Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...