Gareth Bale celebrates after providing the assist for one of Cristiano Ronaldo's goals against Galatasaray

Roberto Carlos bucks the trend by claiming Gareth Bale IS worth £86m

Former defender says Real Madrid were right to break the world record transfer fee to sign the Welshman

Espanyol club president Joan Collet alongside manager Javier Aguirre

La Liga sides could go on strike in an effort to force a fairer distribution of television funding

Espanyol president Joan Collet has claimed that the 18 clubs outside of Real Madrid and Barcelona could strike to try and force through a fairer deal with the Primera Division

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?

Sergio Aguero celebrates with Alvaro Negredo and Samir Nasri

Alvaro Negredo relishing strike partnership with Sergio Aguero at Manchester City

The 4-1 win over United was the first time the summer signing had started with the Argentinian

Cristiano Ronaldo pictured in the 2-1 win over Elche

Was it a penalty? Decide for yourself if Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo 'stole' a La Liga victory over Elche

The Spanish giants were awarded a controversial penalty in the 96th minute

Lionel Messi (right) says he did not make a gesture after being taken off by coach Gerardo Martino (left)
Jose Mourinho ushers substitute Juan Mata on to the pitch on Wednesday

Chelsea coach urges Juan Mata to trust Jose Mourinho - 'look how he helped Cristiano Ronaldo'

Steve Holland says the Blues manager has a track record of bringing the best out in players

Victor Valdes

Victor Valdes starts season in impressive form, leaving Barcelona perplexed over decision to quit

The goalkeeper will move on at the end of the current campaign

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo agrees £76m Real Madrid deal to end hopes of Manchester United return - and insists he has 'no issue' with Gareth Bale

The Portugal international was on target in his side's 2-2 draw with Villareal

Gareth Bale forced a goal in from inside the six-yard box

Villarreal 2 Real Madrid 2 match report: Gareth Bale’s goal makes him instant hit on debut

Despite the awkwardness off the pitch, there is a steel to Welshman that is impossible to overlook

Barcelona defender Carles Puyol

Carles Puyol nears return for Barcelona

The captain is recovering from knee surgery

Samuel Eto'o admitted he would never play under Jose Mourinho until the current Chelsea boss changed his mind at Inter Milan

Striker had a 'tense' relationship with Mourinho due to the Chelsea-Barcelona rivalry but claims they are now friends after he linked up with the Portuguese boss at Stamford Bridge

Roberto Martinez: Manager says in Spain teenagers improve by playing in ‘real’ games with men

Premier League makes first move to help FA improve English talent

Development follows Greg Dyke's speech on the national team

Gareth Bale in action for Wales against Serbia

Real Madrid unlikely to overburden £86m signing Gareth Bale

The former Tottenham player is due to make his debut this weekend

Sergio Ramos celebrates with Mesut Ozil

Transfer news: Mesut Ozil thanks former Real Madrid team-mates for their support after record £42.5m Arsenal switch

Sergio Ramos, Isco and Alvaro Arbeloa admitted their surprise at the sale of the German midfielder while Cristiano Ronaldo was said to have been 'angered' by his departure

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'