Cristiano Ronaldo's son starstruck by Lionel Messi

Video: Could Cristiano Jr.'s love of Messi bring the two great rivals closer together?

Captain Lionel Messi provided the words of wisdom in the team-talk to inspire Argentina to victory

Argentina v Netherlands: Did Lionel Messi's team-talk inspire Argentina to World Cup semi-final penalty shootout victory?

The Argentina captain delivered a compelling team-talk before Argentina won 4-2 in the penalty shootout, securing their place in the World Cup Final

Barcelona revealed their plans for the redevelopment of the Nou Camp Stadium

Barcelona set to redevelop Nou Camp to increase capacity to a staggering 105,000 - 15,000 more than its closest rival Wembley

Club president Sandro Rosell has confirmed that a vote will take place in April over whether to approve the build after plans for a new stadium were scrapped

Cristiano Ronaldo at the Fifa Ballon d'Or awards alongside Franck Ribery and Lionel Messi

Fifa Ballon d'Or: Franck Ribery still fuming over award snub - 'Cristiano Ronaldo won nothing'

The Bayern Munich winger says he is no longer interested in the award

Lionel Messi and Antonella Roccuzzo
Cristiano Ronaldo fights back tears after winning the Fifa Ballon d'Or award

Cristiano Ronaldo admits Rio Ferdinand attempted to persuade him into a Manchester United return following Ballon d'Or success

Ronaldo has confirmed that he seriously considered a return to Old Trafford when his future was uncertain last summer before he signed a new £76m contract

Fifa Ballon d'Or: Cristiano Ronaldo in numbers

The Real Madrid forward was today anointed the world's best player

Fifa Ballon d'Or: Cristiano Ronaldo unable to hold back tears after beating Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery to award

The Real Madrid forward wins the award for the second time in his career

Fifa Ballon d'Or: Cristiano Ronaldo deserves to win ahead of Franck Ribery and Lionel Messi, say readers of The Independent

We asked you who deserved to win among the three short-listed players

Lionel Messi heads wide in the draw with Atletico Madrid

Lionel Messi is 'an alien' says Arda Turan following Atletico Madrid's draw with Barcelona

The Argentine forward returned to La Liga action in the 0-0 game

Lionel Messi heads wide in the draw with Atletico Madrid

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid content with draw that allows Real Madrid to close the gap

The sides drew 0-0 in the Spanish capital in a game of few clear chances

Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring for Liverpool against Cardiff City

Luis Suarez is 'the best player in the world', claims Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard

Step aside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo - the best player on the planet resides at Anfield

The players run for cover after referee Mark Clattenberg postpones the League Cup quarter-final, although the Stoke City players don't appear to be in a rush as they want play to continue.

Stoke 0 Manchester United 2: League Cup quarter-final postponed for 10 minutes after heavy rain and hail hits the Brittania Stadium

Players run for cover as the Potteries turns into a Winter Wonderland

An aerial view of the Christ The Redeemer statue (F) and the venue for the final - the Maracana Stadium

World Cup 2014: England's possible route to glory - taking in Spain, Germany and Brazil

We take a look at the path Roy Hodgson's side would likely take to the final in Rio

Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez celebrate after the former scores for Uruguay

Transfer news: Any move for Liverpool striker Luis Suarez would break Gareth Bale's £86m world-record fee, claims Edinson Cavani

The Paris St-Germain striker claims Suarez is on a par with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo according to his Uruguayan team-mate

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Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada