Sport Barcelona's Lionel Messi

During large parts of El Clasico Messi was an aimless figure. Dare we say that, at 27, the Messiah’s best days are behind him?

Mignolet, 25, has been in fine form for Sunderland

Liverpool agree fee with Sunderland for Simon Mignolet with medical planned for next week

Sunderland goalkeeper set for Anfield switch amid team's continuing negotiations over fee with personal terms and medical set for discussion next week

Thiago Alcantara

Transfer speculation: Manchester United 'close' to securing transfer of Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara

Spain Under-21 captain has grown frustrated with lack of first-team appearances alerting David Moyes who could make £17 million swoop to bring him to Old Trafford

Neymar in action against Brazil

Confederations Cup: Neymar inspires Brazil to place in last four

The hosts beat Mexico to progress

Thiago Alcantara

Gerard Pique says Barcelona must keep Thiago Alcantara amid interest from Manchester United

The midfielder scored a hat-trick in the European Under-21 Championship final against Italy

Luis Alberto of Sevilla

Liverpool make 'very good offer', but it's not enough for Sevilla to sell Luis Alberto

Reports suggest the Spanish side want £7m for the midfielder

Cesc Fabregas with the Spain squad

Cesc Fabregas insists he has not spoken to Manchester United or Arsenal about a possible move

The Spain midfielder wants to remain at Barcelona

Simon Mignolet could be about to move to Liverpool with deal thought to be 'close' to complete

Liverpool 'close' to signing Sunderland's Simon Mignolet casting Pepe Reina's future into doubt

Liverpool could complete the £10m deal this week which could see Reina leave the club, while Luis Suarez continues to push for an exit of his own

Brazil 3 Japan 0: Neymar shines for Brazil

Brazil opened the Confederations Cup with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Japan last night, goals from Neymar, Paulinho and Jo earning victory in Brasilia for the World Cup hosts.

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup

Michael Laudrup insists he will stay despite breakdown in relationship between his agent and Swansea

There have been disagreements over the club's transfer policy

Fabregas: 'What I truly want is to triumph at Barcelona'

Cesc Fabregas set to snub advances from Arsenal and Manchester United and fight for place at Barcelona

The Spain international has been linked with a return to the Premier League

Postcard from... Barcelona

It wasn’t quite “blink and you’ve missed it”, but Christopher Columbus’s 21-day spell as Spain’s largest football fan in history came to an abrupt end on Sunday morning, when a giant replica Barça shirt that had adorned a statue of Europe’s most famous explorer in downtown Barcelona for the past three weeks was removed.

Jose Mourinho waves to the Real Madrid fans during his final game in charge

Jose Mourinho at Chelsea: Manager hits back at Andres Iniesta after being accused of 'damaging' La Liga

The new Chelsea manager explains the reasons for the strong feelings in Spain about him

Bradley Smith ready to return for Catalan round of MotoGP after injury

Britain's Bradley Smith will be fit to race at the Catalan Grand Prix, despite suffering wrist and hand injuries in his heavy practice crash at last weekend's Italian Grand Prix.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Transfer speculation: Liverpool register interest in Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan

The Armenia international has emerged as a £22m target for the Reds

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

Life and Style
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Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
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arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
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films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities