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

Luis Suarez is targeting a return to the Champions League with Liverpool

Luis Suarez 'masterclass' enjoyed by Liverpool team-mate Joe Allen

The Uruguay striker scored four goals against Norwich

Southampton v Aston Villa: Christian Benteke backed to end goal drought by Paul Lambert

The striker has gone seven games without a goal

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A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
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UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
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Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
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In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

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New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
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Can scientists save our sea life?

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Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice