Sport Hector Herrera of Mexico

Counting down the 100 players to look out for in Brazil this summer

Vicente del Bosque in pensive mode at yesterday’s press conference

Vicente Del Bosque tries to keep Spain's doubters at bay at Euro 2012

All around Spain's training base there are banners reminding Vicente del Bosque's team that history does not win tournaments. Instead, the slogans state that "concentration", "talent" and even "humility" will be the key ingredients if Spain are to win a third major championship in a row.

Xabi Alonso: Kept possession. Played simple ball (pictured). Stunning vision. Split Irish defence in half on numerous occasions. Substituted for Javi Martinez after 65 minutes. 7/10
Xavi Hernandez: Technically superb. Pulled the strings in the middle of the park. Teased and probed in possession and sprayed the ball out wide. Seemed to create space for himself. 8/10 Sergio Busquets: Sat deep, plugged holes, and supplied possession to the more creative Spanish players. 6/10

Xabi Alonso relieved after Spain progress by beating Croatia

Midfielder Xabi Alonso was simply happy that Spain won their group after they came through a nerve-wracking clash with Croatia to reach the European Championship quarter-finals.

Andres Iniesta of Spain and Ivan Rakitic of Croatia compete for the ball during the UEFA EURO 2012 group C match
Andres Iniesta of Spain and Ivan Rakitic of Croatia compete for the ball during the UEFA EURO 2012 group C match

Spain leave it late to ensure top billing

Spain 1 Croatia 0

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli surprised by Republic of Ireland displays

Cesare Prandelli has admitted his surprise that the Republic of Ireland will not be fighting for Euro 2012 qualification tonight.

Spain midfielder Juan Mata

Spain midfielder Juan Mata wary of familiar faces in Croatia side

Spain midfielder Juan Mata knows just how dangerous Croatia will be today when the two sides meet in the final Group C game at the European Championship.

Give us an inch and we'll take a mile: Confident Croatia coach Slaven Bilic

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic says racist fans must be punished

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic has condemned the racist behaviour that led UEFA to opening disciplinary proceedings against his country's football federation and hopes the problem can be stamped out once and for all.

Headache: Mario Balotelli has been subjected to abuse from rival fans

Croatia charged over racist chants at Balotelli

Uefa have laid their first formal racism charges at Euro 2012 by opening disciplinary proceedings against Croatia over alleged monkey-chanting directed at Italy's Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

<b>Damien Duff: </b>Always on the back foot. Spent most of the evening providing cover to John O’Shea. Never got far enough forward to influence the game. 6

Damien Duff deflated by Republic of Ireland defeat to Spain

Damien Duff was today reflecting on the end of a dream after the Republic of Ireland's bruising defeat by Spain.

Mario Mandzukic of Croatia scores the opening goal past Gianluigi Buffon of Italy

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli confident of Euro 2012 progress

Defiant Italy coach Cesare Prandelli insists the Azzuri still have every chance of qualifying for the Euro 2012 knockout stages despite having to settle for their second consecutive Group C draw.

Tsonga on his finger injury: 'I think it's serious'

Wimbledon fitness fear for defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

With Andy Murray, Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt out of the tournament by the end of the second round, organisers of the Aegon Championships here might have thought things could not get any worse. If that was the case they were reckoning without the little finger on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's racket hand.

Mario Mandzukic of Croatia scores the opening goal past Gianluigi Buffon of Italy

Mandzukic equaliser punishes Italians

Italy 1 Croatia 1

Giovanni Trapattoni expects Spain to play with a striker tonight

Irish 'heart' to pull off shock win, says coach

Giovanni Trapattoni, the Ireland coach, is taking a more secretive approach this time around and not revealing his team to face Spain in the European Championship tonight.

Giovanni Trapattoni expects Spain to play with a striker tonight

Giovanni Trapattoni backs Irish 'heart' to pull off shock of the tournament against Spain

Giovanni Trapattoni came out smiling at the PGE Arena yesterday. As did Robbie Keane.But, when you put Ireland's task today into a certain context, it's difficult not to wonder whether that was just the serenity derived from a situation where things really cannot get any worse.

Simon Cox and Richard Dunne go head to head during training

Upbeat Irish say loss will bring out their best

It's the moments after Ireland's defeat to Croatia and there is a flatness in the dressing room. Barely anyone is speaking. It could not have been more different at the team's training camp yesterday. Almost everyone wanted to speak. All had the same message: that the disappointment has fired the team.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
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As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

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Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

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Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
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She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
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The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
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Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
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Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
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Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

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Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

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No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
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