Sport Craig Johnston

When managing Middlesbrough in 1975, Jack Charlton proclaimed one of the club’s youngsters “the worst player he’d ever seen”. That player was a 15-year-old Australian called Craig Johnston.

Both Barcelona and Lionel Messi's management have rubbished claims of a dispute over his recovery from injury

Transfer news: '£209m for Lionel Messi? That's absurd' says Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after he rubbishes links with Barcelona forward

Reports in Spain suggested that the Champions League holders were prepared to meet Messi's release clause but the Bayern chairman has dismissed any possibility of such a move

Craig Johnston was part of Liverpool's 1986 double-winning squad

Blades of gory: The story of 'lethal' hybrid boots that caused injury to Wayne Rooney

The former Liverpool player Craig Johnston invented concept but says evolving footwear could now end a career

Greg Dyke has given the thumbs down to a summer World Cup in Qatar

Greg Dyke shifts FA’s stance to urge winter World Cup in Qatar

New chairman claims summer event in 2022 is impossible – and opposes Premier League position

Thomas Mueller

'A dampener amidst all the sunshine': The reaction in Germany to Bayern Munich v Arsenal

Arsenal won 2-0 on Munich but Bayern progressed to the quarter-finals of the Champions League on away goals

Arsène Wenger was forced to watch from the directors' box

Arsene Wenger's stock suffers untimely plunge ahead of difficult Arsenal AGM

Arsenal and England await Jack Wilshere’s return with a sense of desperation

Jack Taylor: Referee best known for awarding the first penalty in a World Cup final

If the football authorities could have drawn up their ideal prototype for a referee – tall, burly and darkly forbidding, oozing authority and charisma in equal measure, steely enough to keep even the most fractious of temperamental stars in order – then surely they would have come up with something very close to Jack Taylor.

FA chairman David Bernstein opposed to Sepp Blatter running for fifth term as Fifa president

Football Association chairman David Bernstein today insisted he would be against an attempt by Sepp Blatter to extend his reign as Fifa president.

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Iker Casillas (Spain)

'Spain rewrites history': The Spanish press reaction to Euro 2012 triumph

The Spanish media has been heaping praise on their national side following their spectacular 4-0 victory over Italy.

Best foot forward: Steven Gerrard's leadership has given England a credibility and a belief that they can eclipse previous achievements at the Euros

England no longer a national joke

Euro 2012 has seen a return to old values after years of chronic failure

Euro 2012 Short Takes: Swedes dig for excuses

Sweden refuse to go quietly. So stung were they by that rare defeat to the English that they blamed bad luck.

Did Didier do it? Chelsea players react ecstatically as Didier Drogba buries the last kick of the penalty shoot-out

Fifa president Sepp Blatter labels penalties 'a tragedy' and seeks alternative

FIFA president Sepp Blatter today labelled penalty shoot-outs "a tragedy" and challenged Franz Beckenbauer to come up with an alternative.

Messi was stymied on Tuesday in a way that Cruyff seldom was

James Lawton: Cruyff at 65 still has a thing or two to teach the magical Messi

One of the best things about history is that it so regularly submits itself for revision – and never more arrestingly than in Barcelona this week, when the damage to one ultimate superstar's reputation (yes, Lionel Messi's) was maybe balanced by the recall of the great strength of another whose playing career ended 28 years ago.

Messi was stymied on Tuesday in a way that Cruyff seldom was

James Lawton: Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff at 65 can still teach the magical Lionel Messi a thing or two

Birthday greetings for a great but can Barca's young prince hold a candle to Dutch master?

Kick-off Tonight, 7.45pm, Sky Sports 2.Ref HWebb (Eng)

Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry are Bayern Munich's main threats to Real Madrid's ambition

As if reaching a European Cup final in their own stadium were not motivation enough, Bayern Munich will have countless reasons to want to end Real Madrid's European adventure at the Allianz Arena tonight.

Pope celebrates his birthday in the Vatican

The pope is having a very Bavarian birthday, celebrating his 85th milestone at the Vatican with his brother and bishops from his native land.

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Day In a Page

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
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
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?