Sport

The Real Madrid forward must continue to work hard says the three-time World Cup winner

Talent Scout: Adam Maher, AZ Alkmaar

There never seems to be a shortage of teenage superstars in the modern game, especially in the Netherlands, a country famed for its remarkable production line of supreme prospects. But scratch beyond the hype and natural excitement young players attract, and the truth is few are consistently good enough to have earned such a reputation so early.

Phil Brown was in charge for just 11 months

Preston sack manager Phil Brown

Phil Brown has been sacked by Preston North End after just 11 months in the job.

The new St George's Park facility, which is nearing completion, will put England on a par with France

St George's can deliver, says Pearce

Under-21 manager thinks new national centre will help England end their 45-year trophy drought

The legendary Brazilian midfielder, Socrates, died yesterday aged 57

The Socrates philosophy

The legendary Brazilian midfielder, who died yesterday aged 57, believed it was how you played rather than if you won that counted most – as his 1982 side showed

FA admit failure as 11-a-side teams in England decline

The numbers of teams offering men the chance to play full 11-a-side football is dropping, figures released by the Football Association today will show, with more than 1600 sides disappearing across the country in the last three years alone.

Two great No 10s go head-to-head

Football's most famous No 10 went for a kickabout at another famous No 10 yesterday, as Pele dropped in to Downing Street for a game in the Prime Minister's garden with a group of youngsters.

Sexy singers and rolling balls fail to prevent another bore draw

It was about 20 minutes into The Preliminary Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ that it became clear you would need a passion for consuming large amounts of mostly meaningless data or an in-depth knowledge of Brazilian music to get much out of it.

Marta plans to take Brazil one step beyond

The Women's World Cup finals kick off in Germany today with Pele set to be the star attraction. That's 'Pele de Saias' (Pele in a skirt), the Brazilian striker, Marta, whose brilliance as a youngster so enraptured the nation's football followers that she was handed the iconic nickname that has stuck to a genius who has been named Fifa's World Player of the Year five times in succession.

Neymar helps Santos to reprise glory days of Pele

Santos hope that Neymar, the Brazilian teenager with the Mohican and the quicksilver feet, will resist the lure of Europe for one more season after the club won the Copa Libertadores – the South America equivalent of the Champions League – for the first time since Pele's heyday in 1963.

Neymar delivers Copa Libertadores triumph to Santos

Santos 2 Peñarol 1 (Santos win 2-1 on aggregate)

Messi is even better than Pele and Maradona, says Ardiles

Lionel Messi will go down as the greatest player in footballing history, better even than Diego Maradona and Pele, according to the former Argentina and Tottenham midfielder Ossie Ardiles, who claims Barcelona's Messi is similar to their fellow countryman Maradona – except better.

Messi will be 'greatest ever player'

Lionel Messi will go down as the greatest player in footballing history - better even than Diego Maradona and Pele, according to Ossie Ardiles.

Drawn to the stars: Sketchy memories of Sir Alf and his ilk

From a naked Evonne Goolagong to a very distracted George Best, Paul Trevillion tells Simon Hart of some amazing artistic encounters

James Lawton: Standing on the shoulders of the 'Gentle Giant', Ramsey can inspire a Welsh revival

Jimmy Murphy, the Wales manager, said that Charles was more than one of the greatest players he had ever seen, 'he is a messiah'
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Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable