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

Cristiano Ronaldo and Sir Alex Ferguson enjoy an embrace after the match between Real Mardid and Manchester United

Manchester United conduct 'feasability study' into re-signing Cristiano Ronaldo

The Premier League leaders sold the Portugal forward to Real Madrid for £80m

Boateng and Muntari were the heroes for Milan
Sami Khedira celebrates his goal

International round-up: Sami Khedira clinches Germany's historic win

Germany came from behind to beat France for the first time in 26 years as Joachim Löw’s side triumphed 2-1 in Paris.

Socrates’ Brazil of 1982 are still considered the best team never to have won the World Cup

James Lawton: Why the beauty and pain of South Americans' game always guarantees emotion

From Pele's triumph in 1970 to Socrates' despair in 1982, no other nation comes close to matching Brazil's unbridled passion

Paul Lambert said: “I trust Randy [Lerner]. That’s the kind of relationship I have with him. I spoke with him after the game the other night and we have a good conversation every time.'

Aston Villa signings Yacouba Sylla and Simon Dawkins ready for action

Paul Lambert will have no hesitation in immediately calling up new signings

Cesc Fabregas struck for Barça at the Bernabeu last night
Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez 'deserves Champions League football' says Steven Gerrard

Concerns striker will move elsewhere if Liverpool fail to finish fourth

Fifa Ballon d'Or: Andres Iniesta and the best players never to win the award

Barcelona and Spain midfielder was overlooked yet again this week

Spot the winner: Lionel Messi at this year's awards

The Ballon d'Or: Shimmering statuettes, simmering rivalries – but dodgier suits

The Ballon d'Or is the Oscars of the football world

Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Manchester this week, but there is pain in Spain for the still under-appreciated Ronaldo

PSG 'target' Cristiano Ronaldo refuses to discuss his Real Madrid future

World's most expensive player has also been linked with a return to Manchester United

Lionel Messi told he must score another 22 goals this year to break record

Zambian FA claim record belongs to Godfrey Chitalu who scored 107 goals in a calendar year

Rafa Benitez, the Chelsea interim manager, was excused of blame

Rafael Benitez wants Europa League consolation prize for Chelsea

Champions League holders fail to progress from group

Wilfried Zaha made his England debut in Sweden on Wednesday

Wilfried Zaha has been shocked by his rapid rise, claims Ian Holloway

Wilfried Zaha may have been proclaimed as the latest saviour of English football, but Ian Holloway is worried that being in the spotlight may damage his development.

Steven Caulker had set his sights on making his breakthrough with the Three Lions before his 21st birthday

Tottenham defender Steven Caulker achieves personal milestone with England debut

Steven Caulker achieved a personal milestone with less than two months to spare when making his England debut in last night's friendly international against Sweden in Stockholm.

Fifa won't add Zlatan Ibrahimovic's wonder goal as a candidate for 2013 Puskas Award

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his astonishing overhead kick goal against England hours too late to be named best goal in 2012 in a Fifa contest.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

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Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
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Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

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Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

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Finally, a diet that works

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