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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
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...