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The Cardiff-born Wales international moved to the Spanish capital earlier this year after his sale to the Spanish club for a world-record fee

Dunga silences sound of samba

The Emirates plays host as the second favourites for the World Cup take on Ireland tonight. But don’t expect the beautiful game, writes Glenn Moore

Spain's media rounds on Real after Lyons lesson

Real Madrid's hopes of winning a 10th European Cup in this year's final at the Bernabeu suffered a blow with their 1-0 Champions League last-16 defeat away to Lyons on Tuesday evening.

Ferguson spies chance in the shadow of Kaka

United manager believes Milan test will be easier this time

Kaka remains committed to Real Madrid

Real Madrid superstar Kaka remains determined to show his undoubted class in Spain, following recent rumours of a move back to Italy.

Ronaldo hails return of Kaka

Cristiano Ronaldo welcomed the return to action of team-mate Kaka as Real Madrid's two biggest summer signings were able to start only their second league match together since September against Real Mallorca last night.

Cook: plan to replace Hughes began in summer

City's chief executive admits he was lining up other managers before start of season

A masterclass from City in how to make a crisis out of a drama

The tortured history of Manchester City managers – 17 of them in the last 20 years – is littered with examples of a successor being lined up before the incumbent has been seen through the revolving door.

Villa aiming to show Real exactly what they missed

Euro Zone

Football in brief: Striker Benjani to stay and fight for first-team place at Eastlands

Out-of-favour striker Benjani insists he has no desire to leave Manchester City, despite being a long way down Mark Hughes's selection list.

Ronaldo set to start for Real Madrid

Real Madrid will welcome back Christiano Ronaldo for his first home game in over two months, but are likely to be without their other talisman, Kaka, for the La Liga visit of mid-table Almeria on Saturday.

Atletico reject bid for Aguero

Atletico Madrid claim to have rejected another approach from a major European club for star striker Sergio Aguero.

Barcelona edge bitter rivals in 'El Clasico'

Barcelona 1 Real Madrid 0: Ibrahimovic volleys second-half decider between most expensive line-ups in history

Chelsea interested in Brazil youngster Piazon

Chelsea are stepping up their interest in Brazilian wonderkid Lucas Piazon it was reported today.

England outmuscled by Dunga's power rangers

Brazil 1 England 0: No disgrace in defeat for reserves but Brazil's 'big lads' reveal the size of the challenge that awaits Capello's men in South Africa

Boys from Brazil prove Fabio's understudies have lot to learn

Brazil 1 England 0: Questionable enterprise provides little insight for Capello as captain Rooney fails to inspire side
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future