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

Jonathan Edwards, who is chair of the 2012 athletes' panel, in an apartment bedroom in the Olympic village

London Eye: Where Beckham will meet Bolt - inside London's Olympic village

Athletes will find single beds and shared rooms in neat yet basic apartments in Stratford

Ruby Walsh celebrates winning the 2009 Gold Cup on Kauto Star

James Lawton: Once again, Ruby is set to be brightest star of the Festival firmament

No contemporary sportsman, not Messi, Pacquaio or Djokovic, has done more

They call him The Mad One – but there's method in Bielsa's madness

Athletic Bilbao's Argentinian coach has been to World Cups and won Olympic gold. But, as Tim Rich reports, he does it his way
Gareth Bale: The Spurs winger is frequently ‘kicked from pillar to post’, Harry Redknapp said

Bale not a diver but a victim of crude fouls, claims Redknapp

Harry Redknapp has dismissed suggestions that Gareth Bale is prone to diving, claiming instead that the Tottenham Hotspur winger deserves greater protection from referees.

Alexis Sanchez celebrates scoring his - and Barcelona's - second goal

Sanchez puts Barca in driving seat

Bayer Leverkusen 1 Barcelona 3

Pepe appeared to stamp on the hand of Messi

The problem with Pepe is that he is just not very good

As if failing to beat Barcelona in their last seven home games against them and losing the last three "clasicos" were not enough, Real Madrid fans were yesterday recoiling at the thought that while their rivals have the world's most adored player ... they have the world's most abhorred.

Pepe feigns injury after a brush with Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas

Pepe's problem? He's not very good

Row over stamp masks defender's lack of talent as Barça outsmart Jose Mourinho's Real again

Barcelona have set up a final against Santos

Barcelona overpower Al-Sadd to reach Club World Cup final

Al-Sadd 0 Barcelona 4

Guardiola got the better of Mourinho at the weekend

Pep Guardiola in modest mood as Barcelona arrive for Club World Cup

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola resisted the temptation to bask in Saturday's electrifying 3-1 'Clasico' victory over Real Madrid after arriving in Japan for the Club World Cup.

Contrasting emotions for Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and the Barcelona players

James Lawton: Team player Messi shows sulky Ronaldo the way

It is not true that Real Madrid played Barcelona off the Bernabeu park in the first half before suffering their latest subjection in moments of sublime skill and one flash of outrageous misfortune.

Contrasting emotions for Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and the Barcelona players

James Lawton: Maestro Messi eclipses sulky Ronaldo

Although the gap is closing between Spain's big two, Barça's genius puts team ethic first, a trait still lacking in Real man

Phil Jones in action against Sweden

Sebastian Coe disputes Alex Ferguson view of Olympics football team

Sebastian Coe has insisted Sir Alex Ferguson's young stars could benefit from being part of the Great Britain Olympic football team.

Messi is congratulated by his captain Carles Puyol

Lionel Messi in sight of Barcelona record after hat-trick

Lionel Messi is 34 goals short of becoming Barcelona's all-time top scorer after netting a hat-trick in the Champions League last night, and the only real question left is when he will achieve that accolade and not if.

Wayne Rooney is the only English player nominated for the award

Wayne Rooney only Englishman short-listed for Fifa Ballon D'Or

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney is the only Englishman on the 23-man shortlist for the prestigious Ballon D'Or, which was released by FIFA this morning.

Levante captain Sergio Ballesteros was unable to keep his side top of La Liga

Little Levante finally brought back down to earth at Osasuna

It had to happen sooner or later. La Liga minnows Levante finally lost their first game of the season yesterday, 2-0 at Osasuna , ending their run of seven successive league wins, surrendering their position at the top of the table to Real Madrid, who battled to a 1-0 victory away at Real Sociedad on Saturday.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment