Sport Arjen Robben was the star once again in the World Cup quarter-final clash with Costa Rica

The 30-year-old has become frustrated after being subjected to fierce criticism following his confession that he dived against Mexico

The Last Word: Why I'll be backing Netherlands to paint the World Cup orange

Just who do we think we are – with our 44 years of hurt, our gimcrack "golden generations", our self-pity and entitlement? There is only one merit in entering the World Cup with such a mindset. And that is in choosing a sentimental alternative to England, so as to retain an interest after the quarter-finals. Some of us, admittedly, are fortunate enough to owe a genetic allegiance to the Germans. (Sorry. But there it is. Thanks, Mum.) All those whose neutrality is inflected only by considerations of equity and poetry, however, will surely be unanimous in getting behind the Dutch.

World Cup Countdown: 01/06/2010

10 days to go

World Cup Countdown: Gallas starts tonight to prove fitness

France defender William Gallas is set to start against Costa Rica in tonight's friendly in Paris. The 32-year-old looks to have overcome a calf injury, which has sidelined the Arsenal player since March. Coach Raymond Domenech, however, has stressed he is still not a certainty to make his final World Cup squad: "He proved he could cope in critical situations and that's reassuring but his calf is a question mark," he said.

French despair as Lyons' home capitulation extends European misery

Lyons' defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday night has led a national round of soul-searching in France, a nation acutely aware that it has produced just one European club champion in its footballing history.

Arsenal have improved claims Wenger

Arsene Wenger believes that his Arsenal side have made significant progress this season, even though the club's run without a trophy has now been extended to five seasons. Sunday's 3-2 defeat at Wigan Athletic has left Wenger with no hope of claiming the Premier League title and the Frenchman is left having to explain to fans why the club has not won a trophy since the FA Cup in 2005.

Ribéry to decide on future within 10 days

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea are interested, according to Bayern winger

Champions' League exit to champions is United's goal

They have all been through it and now one of them must do it again. Year after year, either Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United have been ejected from European competition – often in cruel manner – only to respond by becoming champions of England. The difference this time is that all three, having suffered their disappointment a little earlier than usual, are still in contention for what would be a more highly prized consolation than ever.

Manchester United v Bayern Munich player ratings

Man-for-man marking from Old Trafford

Glenn Moore: United's Young blades blunted by immaturity

How do you reinvigorate a team which lacked energy? Add youth. That was Sir Alex Ferguson's response to Manchester United's leaden performances in Munich and at home to Chelsea on Saturday. The introduction of two men young enough to be his grandchildren, Darron Gibson and Rafael, respectively aged 22 and 19, for Paul Scholes and Gary Neville (both 35), lowered the average age of this United team by nearly three full years and injected it with vim and vitality.

United class outshines Coyle's positive spin

Bolton Wanderers 0 Manchester United 4

Spotlight on the main contenders: Netherlands

Countdown to South Africa 92 days to go

Bayern plan Ribery talks

Bayern Munich will sit down with Franck Ribery to discuss his future in early March, according to the club's director of sport Christian Nerlinger.

Last-gasp winner from Van Buyton saves Bayern's blushes

A late goal by defender Daniel van Buten handed a 2-1 victory to Bayern Munich against Eintracht Frankfurt at the Allianz arena on yesterday. Bayern were unconvincing throughout, going behind and squandering a host of chances before second half goals from Arjen Robben and van Buyten saved coach Van Gaal's blushes.

Robben linked with Manchester United switch

Dutch winger Arjen Robben has been linked with a big money move to Manchester United.

Benitez sets 48-hour deadline for Alonso to decide on Anfield future

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez has told Xabi Alonso to make a decision once and for all on his Anfield future in the next 48 hours.

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