An offside Jonathan Walters scores Ireland’s first-half goal at the Aviva. Photograph: Reuters / Cathal McNaughton. 6:59

It is sadly typical of this luckless Ireland team that the best performance they’ve given in a competitive game for about five years ended in the bitt(...)

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill gives his orders during squad training at Gannon Park, Malahide, ahead of the Group D Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland at the Aviva stadium in Dublin. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Reuters.

If team spirit is an illusion glimpsed in the moment of victory, then you could say the same thing about managerial ability. When you win you’ve got i(...)

 Barcelona players celebrate with the Champions League trophy after their victory over Juventus in Berlin. Photograph: Ettore Ferrari/EPA

In the last minute of the first half in Berlin, Lionel Messi got the ball on the right and bore down on the Juventus defence. He beat two men on an(...)

The Olympic Stadium in Berlin, where Barcelona will seek their fifth European Cup and Juventus their third. Photograph: Michael Sohn/AP

Is there a word for an anti-climax that happens before the actual event? Whatever that word is, it might in future make a snappier title for the so(...)

Orchestrating everything is Messi, an all-round genius who could run past four players or pick out a runner on the far side with a no-look pass. There’s no way to tell.

Rio Ferdinand tells a story in his autobiography about the time he asked Thierry Henry to pick a favourite between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Mes(...)

John Delaney has put on a hell of a show over the last 10 days. When do you ever see hubris followed by nemesis in such short order?

On Thursday, after an incubation period of almost a year, the story of Fifa’s payment of €5 million to the FAI at last broke out of Ireland via social(...)

FIFA president Sepp Blatter delivers the surprise news of his departure to press conference at the Fifa headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. Photograph: EPA/Ennio Leanza 2:49

There’s a scene in Fifa’s astonishing movie about itself, United Passions, in which the newly elected Fifa president, Sepp Blatter (Tim Roth), warn(...)

Former Fifa vice president Jack Warner was suspended by world soccer’s governing body for corruption in 2011. Photograph: Getty.

When Jack Warner was first suspended from Fifa for corruption in 2011, he was full of fighting talk. “I tell you something . . . you will see a footba(...)

Sepp Blatter celebrates as he is re-elected as Fifa president after the only other candidate, Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein of Jordan, withdrew from the second vote during the 65th Fifa Congress in Zurich. Photograph: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images.

Watching an incredible week in the history of Fifa unfold from this distant corner of planet football, we can be grateful to one man for helping us(...)

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers looks on grimly during the thrashing at Stoke. Photograph:  Tony Marshall/Getty Images

“Performances like today don’t help me and I’m fully aware of that.” It was a hell of a time for Brendan Rodgers finally to grasp the art of understat(...)