Sport Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates

The Real Madrid striker scored a brace in the 3-0 win over Celta Vigo

Sport on TV: French provide kiss of death but everyone's lips are sealed

It was always likely to be a night of passion in Paris. Sagna was sporting a dash of scarlet lipstick, Gourcuff had gone heavy on the eye-shadow, Henry just couldn't keep his hands to himself. Zidane and Barthez sat in the stands, nary a hair between them, the old goalie maybe whispering "Kiss my bald head" to bring the French luck. The brilliant successor to Zizou, Karim Benzema, was deemed too young to take part. He was only allowed to watch.

Five ways Ireland can beat France

Mental fortitude and calmness under pressure crucial to Trapattoni's ambitions

View from Lyons: French press hails revolution as clubs finally challenge elite

"La France qui monte" (France is on the up) proclaimed the nation's leading football magazine, France Football, yesterday, capturing the heady view in the country that, on recent evidence, its clubs are capable of overcoming all that the rest of Europe has to throw at them. Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Zurich were defeated two weeks ago by Lyons, Bordeaux and Marseilles respectively and the same clubs are up against the French again this week in the Champions League.

Real suffer incredible thrashing by minnows

The Real Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini was last night clinging to his job after the most humiliating defeat in the club's history. Real were beaten 4-0 in the Spanish Cup by a third division side.

Reds in the line of fire for reborn Lyons

After losing their title and two key players, Claude Puel's side have rebuilt and are targeting success in Europe. Bad news for Liverpool, writes John Lichfield in Paris

Owen insists he's still England material

Michael Owen insists he remains as good a player as he was when he was England's leading striker.

'Small club' aim to knock Fergie off his perch

Hughes insists City will overtake rivals because 'these things go in cycles' but United's manager 'ain't bovvered'.

Recession? What recession? Football goes for broke

Premier League clubs spent around £477m during the transfer window, according to calculations by The Independent. That figure has only ever been topped in one window, summer 2008, when the elite spent £500m. So much for the recession.

Madrid accept Inter offer for Sneijder

Real Madrid have accepted an offer from Inter Milan for midfielder Wesley Sneijder.

Tax rises hurting Premier League says Kenyon

Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon believes top foreign players are being deterred from moving to the Premier League football due to tax increases and the high value of euro.

Ronaldo needs time to adapt say Real

Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini has called for Cristiano Ronaldo to be given time to adapt to his new surroundings following his world record transfer.

Robben linked with Manchester United switch

Dutch winger Arjen Robben has been linked with a big money move to Manchester United.

Foster and Brown fit for Manchester United's season opener

Ben Foster and Wes Brown are likely to be fit for champions Manchester United's opening Premier League game at home to Birmingham City after a close-season full of injuries and high-profile departures.

Alonso was 'determined' to leave Liverpool

Xabi Alonso bade Liverpool a fond farewell after completing his move to Real Madrid last night - but admitted he had been "determined" to leave for some time.

Real turn focus to trimming squad

Real Madrid have ended their search for new signings with the deal to land Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso from Liverpool and will now focus on trimming their squad, director general Jorge Valdano said today.

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