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

Prose master: Norman Lewis had more of an interest in conflict than taking in the view

Stephen Bayley: Fact and fantasy – in the right hands – can work magic

Who is the greatest modern travel writer of them all? My favourite is Norman Lewis. As the first importer of the Leica to Britain – the RG Lewis camera shop still exists in Holborn, central London – he has some claim to have helped to create the genre of travel journalism. That, for personal use, he also imported the first Porsche is simply further evidence of a commitment to mobility combined with a passion for technical excellence which is reflected in his witheringly precise prose.

The Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini, had previously held talks over managing Monaco

Roberto Mancini mocks Pep Guardiola as Catalans arrive in Manchester

City manager remains on defensive over his long-term future amid executive reshuffle

Sheffield Wednesday sign striker from Barcelona

Sheffield Wednesday have signed striker Rodri on loan from Barcelona, subject to international clearance.

El Clasico, by Richard Fitzpatrick

Forget Rangers v Celtic – an easier thing to do from the coming season onwards – the Manchester derby, Boca Juniors v River Plate; the biggest club confrontation on the planet is undoubtedly Real Madrid v Barcelona.

Mother who murdered children sentenced to 30 years

A woman who murdered her young son and daughter in a Spanish hotel room has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Lianne Smith found guilty of killing her children in Spanish hotel

A British woman who smothered her two children in their beds has been found guilty of their "abominable" murders.

Mother gave children 'perfect holiday' before killing them

A mother who suffocated her young son and daughter in a Spanish hotel said she had given them a "perfect holiday" before killing them, a court heard today.

Itinerant inspiration: James Joyce

Dublinesque, By Enrique Vila-Matas, trans. Rosalind Harvey and Anne McLean

A burnt-out publisher embarks on a literary pilgrimage - and recovers the sheer joy of texts.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s austerity plans have come under heavy criticism

Spain on a knife edge as austerity cuts hit poor

"I don't mind cuts in my wages," says José Ruanco, a teacher in Granada, southern Spain, "but what I object to is that there are so many politicians out there who aren't taking any at all."

Pep Guardiola: Victory tonight will give the departing coach his 14th trophy since 2008

Barça hope to give Guardiola an emotional send-off

Pep Guardiola's glorious reign as Barcelona manager will end tonight with the Copa del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao at the Vicente Calderon Stadium in Madrid. Victory would mean Guardiola ending his four-year tenure at the Nou Camp with his 14th trophy – the perfect end to the best spell at a European club side for a generation. This date has been marked since, one month ago, the former Barça midfielder announced he would step down.

Riot police in Barcelona block the door of the stock exchange

Spain burns as strikes bring nation to its knees

Dozens injured and more than 170 arrested as austerity marches descend into violence

Messi scoring his third goal last night, the 234th of his Barcelona career

Lionel Messi hat-trick sees him become Barcelona's all-time top scorer

Lionel Messi last night surpassed the goal record set by Cesar Rodriguez during the 1940s and 50s to become Barcelona's all-time top scorer.

The past that has not passed away: A banner displays pictures of people who went missing during Spain's civil war, at a demonstration in Madrid, February 2012

The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth-Century Spain, By Paul Preston

In Spain today, the civil war triggered three quarters of a century ago is still "the past that has not passed away". When a Spanish judge, Baltasar Garzón, internationally renowned for his championing of human rights, opened an investigation into the conflict's core of extreme extrajudicial violence (in which more than 200,000 people were killed), he was charged with abuse of power. Although Garzó* was acquitted this week, the fact both that he was put on trial at all and that judicial investigation into the violence is now blocked leaves unresolved the vehement memory polemics of Spain's civil society, and so renders Paul Preston's monumental, rigorous and unflinching study important and opportune in ways that reach far beyond the purely academic.

World champions Red Bull have been forced to change their testing plans

FIA force F1 teams to alter testing

Champions Red Bull and rivals Ferrari have been forced to change their plans for the final pre-season Formula One test after the sport's governing body ruled that all testing must end by Sunday.

Wine: Something For The Weekend

Couch potato

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David Ryall in Harry Potter
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

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Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

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Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

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