Sport

English sides paid out over $1bn in 2013

Top clash: The skill of Portugal’s Ronaldo will do battle with the team ethic of Mesut Özil’s Germany

Transfer news: PSG did 'everything' they could to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid

However, he shouldn't win the Fifa Ballon d'Or says former sporting director Leonardo

Roy Hodgson at the World Cup draw

World Cup 2014: Roy Hodgson suffers first World Cup defeat

Fifa have bowed to pressure to bring forward England's match in Manaus with Italy

Roy Hodgson's England side will begin the 2014 World Cup in Manaus, where fans have been warned of meeting alligators during the night

World Cup 2014: England v Italy kick-off could change from 2am start as Manaus tourist board warn of 'alligator risk'

Broadcasters want the 2am GMT kick-off brought forward while fans have been warned that 'it is possible to meet alligators at night' in the Amazonian city

England manager Roy Hodgson has admitted that he is more concerned about the location of the World Cup fixtures rather than the opposition

World Cup draw: Roy Hodgson has 'no qualms' if England are moved to Pot Two

Such a switch would likely result in a tougher draw for the Three Lions

A view of the World Cup trophy

World Cup 2014: Italy call for drinks breaks to counter heat in Brazil

Noon kick-offs have been criticised

Zahir Belounis looks on during a news conference in Paris on Thursday

Zahir Belounis: Striker to sue his two former Qatari clubs for fraud, extortion of money and inhuman working conditions

French player arrived back from Qatar last week after being allegedly being stranded there for 17 months

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 'I don't need the Ballon d'Or to know I'm the best'

PSG forward scores yet another Champions League goal - but claims he doesn't need an award to tell him how good he is

A fan inspects the damage at the partly finished Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, where two people died in an accident

World Cup 2014 stadium collapse: Deaths in Sao Paulo Arena Corinthians add to worries ahead of tournament

Fifa concerned at slow construction pace and Brazilian public’s protests over costs

A metal structure that buckled is seen atop a part of the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo on Wednesday

World Cup stadium collapse: Two killed as Sao Paulo Arena Corinthians collapses

Pressure to complete work  on time blamed for fatal accident in Sao Paulo

Greece's Kostas Mitroglou vies with Romania's Dorin Nicolai Goian

World Cup 2014: Greece reveal gesture that spared Romania possibility of forfeited defeat in play-off

An act of sportsmanship by Greece coach Fernando Santos and team director Takis Fyssas saved Romania from the possibility of a forfeited 3-0 defeat in the first leg of their World Cup play-off last week, they have claimed.

Thiago Silva and Neymar celebrates Brazil's Confederations Cup semi-final win over Uruguay

Ballon d'Or 2013: Thiago Silva now has the opportunity to change his vote to Neymar, but will he take it?

Brazilian admitted he did not know he was allowed to vote for his compatriot

Cristiano Ronaldo (right) receives the Ballon d'Or award from Pele in 2008

Fifa Ballon d'Or: Cristiano Ronaldo closes in on award ahead of Franck Ribery and Lionel Messi after voting is extended

Voting system changed on the same night the Portugal forward scored sublime hat-trick against Sweden

Foreign workers in Qatar are beholden to employers who sponsor their visas

Fifa must address abuse of 2022 World Cup workers in Qatar, Amnesty says

Fifa, international football’s governing body, must urgently address Qatar’s exploitation of migrant workers that has become “routine and widespread”, a new report warns.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo pictured in October's El Clasico

Fifa Ballon d'Or: Lionel Messi's brother mocks Cristiano Ronaldo by comparing the trophy haul of the duo

The Barcelona and Real Madrid forwards are in the running for the Fifa Ballon d'Or, although Franck Ribery is the favourite to win the prize

Bayern's Thomas Mueller celebrates after scoring a penalty during the German first division Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Munich and FC Augsburg

Football round-up: Bayern Munich set 37 game unbeaten record

Bayern Munich pulled four points clear at the top of the Bundesliga and set a new record of 37 games unbeaten with a 3-0 win over Augsburg yesterday. Jerome Boateng, Franck Ribery and Thomas Müller scored the European champions.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape