Sport Spain midfielder Juan Mata

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

None better than George Best

A TV drama which looks beyond George Best's celestial skills, and towards his family, throws new light on the star's life, says Gerard Gilbert

Snooker: O'Sullivan aiming to be The Crucible's George Best

Ronnie O'Sullivan wants to be remembered as a showman more than as a prolific winner of trophies. The 33-year-old began his World Championship campaign with a 10-5 victory over Stuart Bingham at the weekend.

George Best and me: My life-changing relationship with the fiery footballer

When Rosalyn Hollidge met George Best, she was living in the aftermath of a violent attack and he was slowly dying. Their unlikely relationship – despite his destructive tendencies – was to give her a new lease of life

Chelsea hope London life will win over Hiddink

Guus Hiddink may be unerring in his insistence that he will return to his job with the Russia national team in May, but the Dutchman's admission that he has been quickly won over by life in London will do nothing to dissuade Roman Abramovich from attempting to transform the manager's temporary stay at Chelsea into a permanent one.

Charlton backs Ronaldo for more glory

Sir Bobby Charlton is confident Cristiano Ronaldo will become the first Manchester United player to lift the Ballon d'Or more than once.

Let's strike gold in Abu Derby, says City great

Summerbee aims to have the last laugh over guffawing Ferguson today and reveals why he thinks Ronaldo will never be the Best

A makeover for the murals that depicted hate, violence and bigotry

An important step in toning down the violent image of the Shankill Road is to be taken this week with the announcement of an agreement on the removal of some of its most ferocious murals. Ten of the district's most militant wall paintings are to be replaced as part of a project to replace portrayals of militarism with more pacific material relating to the area's cultural and industrial heritage.

Ferrovial in talks with JPMorgan to sell Belfast's George Best airport

Ferrovial is in negotiations with JPMorgan Asset Management to sell the George Best Belfast City Airport as part of its efforts to reduce its debt burden of more than €30bn (£24bn). Ferrovial is the owner of the embattled British Airports Authority, which operates the Gatwick, Stansted, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and South-ampton airports, as well as Heathrow.

James Lawton: San Siro provides the perfect stage for inconsistent Fabregas to come of age

You can go only so far with promise. You reach a point where potential slides away

Newcastle offer a helping hand to aid troubled Gascoigne

Kevin Keegan said yesterday that Newcastle United "will do everything we can as a club to help" Paul Gascoigne. The 40-year-old former Newcastle midfielder was sectioned under the Mental Health Act on Thursday following an incident at a Newcastle hotel and appears to have hit rock bottom in his post-playing personal life. But Keegan said the latest development was "a positive".

Pandora: Ring the changes, Gordon

Brrring, brrring! It's for you! Pandora's stilettoed mole found herself in the Prime Minister's House of Commons office. On Gordon Brown's desk is his phone (great insight, this). The third person down on his speed-dial? None other than Tony Blair's curly-maned chief-of-staff Jonathan Powell, now a mega-banker and the only fella at No 10 to last the distance with TB. Tone and Gord's relations have thawed, but surely not to the extent that the new PM would disgorge the beans to his old rival's most trusted lieutenant?

Terence Blacker: Ken's thoughts on alcohol? I'll drink to that ...

It is absolutely pointless being censorious about this national affection for celebrity boozers

The second time around: You can never go back (or can you?)

Kevin Keegan's return to Newcastle United raises intriguing issues about the wisdom of trying to recapture past glories. Do comebacks ever succeed? Mark Hughes considers the evidence

Last Night's TV: This arrived just in the nick of the time

Double Time, ITV1; Coronation Street ITV1
Career Services

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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there