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

Lionel Messi

Jack Wilshere: Lionel Messi remains the best player in the world, despite the claims of Cristiano Ronaldo

The Arsenal midfielder revealed his view in a Q&A session

Fans pay tribute to Fifa Ballon d'Or nominee Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu

Cristiano Ronaldo thanks Real Madrid fans following show of support using face masks

Supporters of the Spanish club staged stunt to boost Ronaldo's chances of winning the Fifa Ballon d'Or

45,000 fans will wear Cristiano Ronaldo face masks when Real Madrid face Galatasaray tonight in a show of support for his Ballon d'Or campaign

Real Madrid v Galatasaray: 45,000 Real Madrid fans to wear Cristiano Ronaldo face masks in show of Fifa Ballon d'Or support

Two supporters groups have organised the stunt to support campaign for the forward to win this year's Ballon d'Or award

Ajax's Thulani Serero scores past Barcelona goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto

Gerardo Martino and Carles Puyol demand more intensity from Barcelona following shock defeat to Ajax

The Spanish champions lost 2-1 in Amsterdam

Franck Ribery

Fifa Ballon d'Or: Franck Ribery 'confident' of winning award ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi after 'setting defences on fire'

The France international helped Bayern to win an unprecedented Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup treble

Barcelona midfielder Xavi pictured ahead of the tie with Bayern Munich

Xavi and Cristian Tello join Lionel Messi on the Barcelona injury list

Concerns for the La Liga champions deepen with latest injuries

Cristiano Ronaldo (right) celebrates his first goal in the 5-1 win over Real Sociedad with Gareth Bale on Saturday

Fifa Ballon d'Or: Have the 2013 achievements of Cristiano Ronaldo been played down on Fifa's website?

Real Madrid winger has been at odds with Fifa and Sepp Blatter recently

Barcelona players, including Cesc Fabregas, celebrate a goal

Barcelona extend deal with UNICEF which sees club pay charity £1.25m a year

The name of the charity is displayed on the back of the shirt

FIFA 14's player ratings: How do the top fives stack up?

The overall top five doesn't contain many surprises, but who has clinched the top spot for pace or passing?

Fifa 14 launches on Xbox 360, PC and PS3 - player ratings scrutinized

Latest update to the long-running franchise met with excitement from fans and players alike

Fifa 14 launches on Xbox 360, PC and PS3 - player ratings scrutinized

Latest update to the long-running franchise met with excitement from fans and players alike

'Is it forbidden to dream?': Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa retains hopes of winning the Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi has won the award for the last four years

Barcelona defender Carles Puyol

Carles Puyol nears return for Barcelona

The captain is recovering from knee surgery

Lionel Messi
Neymar makes his debut against Lechia Gdansk

Barcelona's newest signing Neymar makes his debut for the Catalan club, but was it a winning one?

Neymar will expect to win a number of trophies during his career with Barcelona, but how did they fare against Polish side Lechia Gdansk

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The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
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Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution