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

Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo admits he has 'bad image'

Cristiano Ronaldo concedes he has a “bad image” but remains hopeful of being voted as this year's Ballon d'Or winner.

<b>Wigan 2-2 Everton</b>
Wigan Athletic's Argentinian striker Franco Di Santo celebrates scoring their second goal

Argentina call up Wigan striker Franco Di Santo

The Wigan Athletic striker Franco Di Santo has been called up by Argentina for the first time for the friendly away to Saudi Arabia on 14 November.

Aston Villa fans

Aston Villa announce appointment of Simone Farina as community coach

Simone Farina, who played a key role in helping to stop a match-fixing attempt in Italy last year, has joined Aston Villa as a community coach.

Cristiano Ronaldo pictured during the Super Cup

Cristiano Ronaldo seals Super Cup win for Real Madrid despite wonder free-kick from Lionel Messi

Real Madrid 2 Barcelona 1 (4-4 on aggregate; Real Madrid win on away goals)

Oscar and Neymar in action

Favourites Brazil face South Korea in Olympic semi-finals

One by one, they were all knocked out. Uruguay, Spain and Team GB.

Javier Mascherano has been the driving force behind Barcelona's recent run

Javier Mascherano set to extend Barcelona contract

Javier Mascherano is on the verge of extending his contract with Barcelona until 2016.

<b>11. LIONEL MESSI </b><br/>
<b>Total earnings: </b>£24.9 million <br/>
<b>Salary/winnings: </b>£12.7 million <br/>
<b>Endorsements: </b>£12.2 million <br/>
Lionel Messi is now regarded as the best footballer in the World, slightly above Christiano Ronaldo. Messi broke the 39 year record for most goals in a European club season in 2012 when he finished the season having netted 73 times. He won FIFA player of the year three times and his biggest endorsement is from Adidas.

Bangor City striker Les Davies stunned by Uefa's best player in Europe nomination

Semi-professional Bangor City striker Les Davies admits his inclusion on the list for a top Uefa honour is “crazy but a great surprise”.

Bangor's Les Davies voted among Europe's best

Les Davies, a 27-year-old winger who is a cult hero for his club Bangor City, has made it on to the 32-man list of players nominated for Uefa's best player in Europe award.

Andrea Pirlo chips his penalty against England

Italy playmaker Andrea Pirlo says chipped penalty was key to beating England

Italy playmaker Andrea Pirlo believes his cheeky penalty changed the course of Sunday's Euro 2012 quarter-final with England.

FIFA 13 Ultimate Edition details and release date confirmed

Premium package set to supply fans with ultimate team of football superstars.

Way to get ahead: Lescott rises to score against France

On me 'ead son: Why are so many headers being scored at Euro 2012?

A 'true' ball, certain sides – not just England – defending deep and fifth officials watching for blocking has revived an old art

Midfield maestro: Since emerging from retirement Paul Scholes has galvanised United and must be in England's European Championship squad

Alex Ferguson standing firm over selection of Manchester United players for Olympics

Sir Alex Ferguson has set out his stall over the London 2012 Olympic football tournament and told the FA none of Manchester United's over-age players apart from Ryan Giggs can be selected.

John Terry cannot believe he has been sent off - but he had to go

'That special spirit is part of the DNA of these Chelsea players', says Roberto di Matteo

Roberto di Matteo, the Chelsea interim manager, last night hailed the never-say-die spirit of his players that took them past Barcelona and into their second Champions League final in five seasons.

Not so super Mario: Balotelli (far left) loses the plot against Sunderland. I bet my bottom dollar that he doesn't want Carlos Tevez to be at the club

Ian Holloway: Mancini mistaken in bringing back Tevez and splitting dressing room

I have a strong feeling that Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini will end up regretting bringing Carlos Tevez back. Mancini was doing great, he had made a stand and told Tevez he wouldn't play for the club again.

Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez falls down in the penalty area after being challenged by Milan keeper Chistian Abbiati. No penalty was given

Milan survive as sublime Barca lack end product

Milan 0 Barcelona 0

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

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
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

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

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015