Sport Spain midfielder Juan Mata

Juan Mata follows in the footsteps of Cristiano Ronaldo, George Best and Eric Cantona

Sammy McIlroy said the Manchester United players were given confidence by their manager, Tommy Docherty

How Docherty's resurgent Reds beat Dutch greats

United have met Ajax only once before in Europe, in 1976. The key performers recall an electric occasion

Paul Gascoigne has settled his claim against News International

Sorry day for Murdoch as High Court hears hacking apology

News International hopes to settle claims - but lawyer says more victims emerge every day

Ferdinand: 'When I'm retired I will be judging my career on what my team won'

James Lawton: Sorry, Rio, trophies are not the way to judge greatness

Maybe, just maybe, he is the like of which we have not seen since the unforgettable George Best

Gareth Bale celebrates his second - and sumptuous - goal against Norwich on Tuesday

James Lawton: Best since Best? Bale is making a convincing case

He might just break a trend and say there are things more valuable than the pay packet

The legendary Brazilian midfielder, Socrates

Socrates: the man who made Brazil really beautiful

The outspoken star, who died yesterday, played the game with style. By Tim Rich

Brendan Rodgers: 'The city and the club have waited years for this sort of game. It's going to be a wonderful occasion'

Brendan Rodgers: You might not remember me, Sir Alex...

When Swansea entertain Manchester United next Saturday, their manager will be meeting his old boss of more than 20 years ago. Steve Tongue meets Brendan Rodgers

Ian Herbert: Uncelebrated and unknown: The genuine story of George Best's babysitter

It is prurience that tempts you to reach for Celia Walden's Babysitting George from the bookshelves; an itch to know how the scion of a distinguished political family – and the Daily Telegraph – could have conspired to antagonise all those women George Best left behind to the point of uniting them.

Dylan Jones: 'It's the minutiae of George Best’s behaviour which is the most fascinating thing'

By rights, your friends should never write books, principally because when they do you're a) expected to read them, and b) say exceedingly nice things about them. Which means you often have to lie. Which in the long run is no big deal, but if you know a lot of writers, that's an awful lot of lying.

Business Diary: Perloff ramblings bemuse City

Andrew Perloff, the eccentric chairman of Panther Securities, is known for his forthright opinions, which included predicting the financial meltdown. In the property group's full-year results yesterday, he vented fully in a section appropriately titled "Chairman's Ramblings". Mr Perloff aired his opinion on subjects from BP and bankers, to an anecdote about George Best, only failing to reveal how they related to his company.

James Lawton: Language barriers? Even Ramsey had his problems on that front

Any difficulties with the spoken word would in the long run be dwarfed by his football knowledge

Ryan Giggs voted Manchester United's greatest ever player

Sir Alex Ferguson can see just why Ryan Giggs has been voted the greatest player in Manchester United history - even though the man himself cannot quite believe it.

Coldest December on record puts brakes on start of the big getaway

December 2010 is "almost certain" to be the coldest since records began in 1910, according to the Met Office.

Best's cup medal sells for £156,000

George Best's European Cup winner's medal sold at auction for £156,000 yesterday.

Ian Holloway: Too many will end up like George Best

Football has a real problem with morality and the game has a duty to stamp out culture of excess

Ryanair boss blames delays over Belfast airport pull-out

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary today blamed government delays over approving a controversial runway extension for his decision to pull out of George Best Belfast City Airport.

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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
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11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone