Sneijder fails to silence Dutch critics

Holland 1 Japan 0: The 'Oranje' purists want more despite Holland becoming the first side to qualify for the last 16 by beating a stubborn Japan

Virtuoso Elia helps stuttering Dutch find their sense of rhythm

It is an understanding that sometimes important victories do not automatically accumulate once it has been established which team has superior gifts

Holland win opener against Denmark

Holland 2 Denmark 0

The Last Word: Why I'll be backing Netherlands to paint the World Cup orange

Just who do we think we are – with our 44 years of hurt, our gimcrack "golden generations", our self-pity and entitlement? There is only one merit in entering the World Cup with such a mindset. And that is in choosing a sentimental alternative to England, so as to retain an interest after the quarter-finals. Some of us, admittedly, are fortunate enough to owe a genetic allegiance to the Germans. (Sorry. But there it is. Thanks, Mum.) All those whose neutrality is inflected only by considerations of equity and poetry, however, will surely be unanimous in getting behind the Dutch.

World Cup Countdown: Gallas starts tonight to prove fitness

France defender William Gallas is set to start against Costa Rica in tonight's friendly in Paris. The 32-year-old looks to have overcome a calf injury, which has sidelined the Arsenal player since March. Coach Raymond Domenech, however, has stressed he is still not a certainty to make his final World Cup squad: "He proved he could cope in critical situations and that's reassuring but his calf is a question mark," he said.

Mourinho had faith in man nobody wanted

It was hailed as the day that Jose Mourinho would be confirmed King of the Bernabeu but ultimately it was the man they call The Prince who made Internazionale champions of Europe. Diego Milito was not one of the five players released by Real Madrid on the pitch – more everybody's reject than a Madrid one.

Milito ends wait in double quick time

Internazionale 2 Bayern Munich 0: Special One reaches top of European club game for second time as Argentinian puts paid to Inter's 45 years of hurt

'Having enemies is not a problem. I only ask them to be sporting'

Jose Mourinho has dominated Spain's sports pages this week. Pete Jenson digs out the gems on and by the Inter coach

Ronaldo to 'fight on' as title goes to wire

Euro Zone

Ribéry to appeal over Uefa's head

Franck Ribery yesterday lost his appeal to have his three-match ban reduced by Uefa. The Bayern Munich midfielder, 27, had hoped to face Internazionale in the Champions League final on 22 May, but will now have to serve the remaining two games of his suspension.

Sport on TV: Put your shirt on Mourinho and he'll strip you of your dignity

The atmosphere inside the Nou Camp was febrile. The 91,000 Barcelona fans could not have made more noise if Montserrat Caballe and Freddie Mercury had been in the stands. As the Champions' League semi-final second leg (ITV1, Wednesday) kicked off in more ways than one, with the Catalans needing to score twice against Jose Mourinho's parsimonious Internazionale, Clive Tyldesley informed us that "after their league game here they wore T-shirts promising they would quite literally play out of their skins". We've heard of shirts versus skins, but shirts versus flesh, tendons and nerve endings – shredded ones in this case? The next thing you know, they would be literally on fire.

Inter's 10 men squeeze life out of holders

Jose Mourinho loves a challenge, and last night he was presented with two: playing the Champions League holders with 11 men, then doing so with 10. With a full complement he replicated the tactics which had been so successful in Milan, a 4-2-3-1 with a pair of holding midfielders and the wide men tracking Barcelona's full-backs.

Mourinho's Inter reach Champions League final

Barcelona 1 Inter Milan 0 (Inter Milan win 3-2 on aggregate)
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
British author Helen Macdonald, pictured with Costa book of the year, 'H is for Hawk'
booksPanel hail Helen Macdonald's 'brilliantly written, muscular prose' in memoir of a grief-stricken daughter who became obsessed with training a goshawk
Sport
footballLive blog: Follow the action from the Capital One Cup semi-final
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Frozen out: despite being filmed in Iceland, 'Fortitude' is set further north, in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard
arts + ents
Sport
Owen Farrell (in black) is a concern for England after injuring his knee playing for Saracens at Clermont Auvergne on Sunday (Getty)
rugby
News
i100
Life and Style
Carmen Khu from The Royal China Club pours a cup of Dai-Hong-Po tea
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
film
Life and Style
food + drink
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century