Sport Spain midfielder Juan Mata

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

Football: Sexton praises the new Chelsea

THE FORMER Chelsea and Manchester United manager, Dave Sexton, who had four wins and three draws from his seven trips to Old Trafford with the London club, feels playing at the stadium suits their style.

Tennis: A legend lives on in style

MAGNETISM IS important if you are a tennis player. I had realised a year before that John McEnroe, whom I had paid no previous attention to, had it. He had been on a chat show, shirt half open, (this had nothing to do with it), being funny and clever. Not brattish and no sign of the fluffy cartoon hair.

Welcome back, Miss World

How long ago it all seems, those rhetorical battles about what was meant by `beauty'

Football: Leeds' class struggle

David O'Leary knows he needs more quality to compete. By Simon Turnbull

The Seventies

How come the joke decade of the century has been doing

Boris and Gazza: the brothers in booze who suffer in public

They're a godsend for the media - drunks, losers, wasters, bums. Men to cluck with indignation at

You ask the questions: Camille Paglia

(Such as: Camille Paglia, feminist icon, how do you feel about being described as a misogynist?)

Football: Owen needs time to master learning curve

SO MUCH has happened so quickly for Michael Owen that too much may now be expected of England's youngest-ever international footballer.

Literature: The existential game

Next time someone asks you to sum up England's chances, you could always hit them with a haiku - "High expectations/ And low quality defence / Bad combination". Don't thank me, thank Pele's World Cup Poetry Workshop website, which has a neat 17-syllable line on each of the teams taking part this year. Concision in football writing is greatly to be valued these days - the body of work being sprung on us by publishers this summer has the bloated appearance of a gone-to-seed striker.

No wonder so many young men are alienated when we eulogise this ape

YOU will not catch me blubbering because of the latest tragedy to have befallen the nation. Indeed, if we are to use the word tragedy to describe what happens when an unfit footballer is left out of a team what will we say when something really bad happens?

Football: No place for mavericks in this age of team men

Pat Nevin, the Scotland international, ponders the passing of the prima donna, the entertainer who plays to the crowd

Football: Best has swipe at United 'failures'

GEORGE BEST has made an extraordinary attack on his Manchester United successors, saying that players like striker Andy Cole "couldn't play" and "weren't worth the transfer fee".

No need to rubbish Rudolf

Rudolf Nureyev is the latest victim of the tiresome documentary genre that knocks famous people. This time they chose the wrong man, says Louise Levene

Eye Give: 22 present-buying days to go ...

The most recognisable personalities in the Sixties forged their legends through the press portrait. In acknowledgement, the National Portrait Gallery has cannily picked up David Wedgbury's shots of Marianne Faithful and The Who, and Sefton Samuels' George Best photograph and printed them on to a casual white T-shirt with the statements "Faithfull", "Best" and "Who" on the reverse. An elegant fashion statement about the offhand canonisation that the three underwent. Price pounds 12.99
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Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
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Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
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Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
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Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
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League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
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Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

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