Sport Racing Santander speak to the referee after refusing to contest their Copa del Rey quarter-final due to unpaid wages

They lined up on the pitch against Real Sociedad, but then refused to contest the ball

Thiago Alcantara – La Roja's boy from Brazil

Manchester United’s target Thiago is more than ‘anarchist’

Free spirit who inspired Spain to Euro Under-21s glory has Barça buyout clause of just £15m

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

Lionel Messi investigated over £3.4m 'tax fraud' in Spain

The Argentina international is among the best paid athletes in the world

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.

Barcelona midfielder Xavi pictured ahead of the tie with Bayern Munich

Champions League: Barcelona v Bayern Munich match preview

A look ahead to tonight’s Champions League semi-final second leg at the Nou Camp

Roberto Mancini has received the backing of Manchester City’s low-profile chief executive, Ferran Soriano

Roberto Mancini is our 'champion', says Manchester City chief Ferran Soriano in rare public backing

Ferran Soriano breaks cover to praise under-pressure manager and dampen speculation on his exit

Bradley Wiggins

Relentless Bradley Wiggins takes charge in Tour of Catalonia opener

Team Sky rider finishes sixth after splitting pack

Lionel Messi trains with his Barcelona team-mates

Barcelona v AC Milan: 'Monster' Lionel Messi means no easy ride for Milan in the Champions League

AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani hopes Ballon d'Or winner has a night off

Ferran Soriano (left) with City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak

Manchester City chief executive, Ferran Soriano, accused of spying on Barcelona

Manchester City chief executive allegedly used intelligence company to monitor staff emails

Lionel Messi has signed a new contract with Barcelona

Lionel Messi signs Barcelona deal to 2018

The World Player of the Year has formally signed a new contract

Victor Valdes (centre) in action for Barcelona

Victor Valdes stuns Barcelona after telling them he wants to quit

Goalkeeper's decision will alert Premier League sides

Michael Laudrup has shrugged off suggestions that he could be the man to replace Jose Mourinho should the Portuguese’s contact with Real Madrid be terminated in the summer

Split vote leaves Catalonia's separatists in quest for allies

The leader of Catalonia's largest nationalist party insisted yesterday that plans for the region's referendum on independence from Spain would go ahead despite his party losing ground in Sunday's regional election.

Supporters of the Pro-independence Catalan party Convergence and Union (CIU) fly a Basque Country flag

Nationalists triumph in Catalan elections

But lack of clear mandate for leading party casts doubt on prospects for independence referendum

Leader of the pro-independence CiU, Artur Mas, has promised to begin the referendum process in the new year

Catalans vote on whether to remain in Spain

Economic woes are fuelling separatist feeling in the region

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BBC series 'Sherlock' scooped a hat-trick of awards on the night. Benedict Cumberbatch received the award for Actor, Miniseries or Movie ('Sherlock: His Last Vow') while Martin Freeman won the award for Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie. Neither actor was present to collect their awards
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Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

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Pete Jenson: A Different League

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