Germany’s Philipp Lahm:  “I’d much rather be considered one of the favourites than one of the underdogs.” Photo: Simon Hofmann/Bongarts/Getty Images

The idea, Joachim Löw had said, was “to bid Germany farewell with a smile”. Friday’s effortless 6-1 win over Armenia in the last friendly did leave s(...)

Algeria’s El Arbi Hilal Soudani (left) celebrates his goal with fellow goalscorer against Romania Nabil Bentaleb. Photograph: Salvatore Di Nolfi / EPA

Algeria 2 Romania 1Algeria again looked anything but World Cup outsiders as they beat Romania 2-1 with a lively performance in a friendly marred by un(...)

This document brings our countries to a new stage of integration, says Russia’s president Vladimir Putin. Photograph:  Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a treaty with Kazakhstan and Belarus yesterday creating a vast trading bloc which he hopes will challenge the (...)

Conchita Wurst with the trophy after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen last night. Photograph: EPA

There are Eurovision victories - and then there are historic Eurovision victories. Last night’s was one of the latter, as Conchita Wurst won the conte(...)

 Anastasia and Maria Tolmachevy of the Tolmachevy Sisters from Russia perform on stage during the first semi final of the Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen, Denmark. Photograph:  Ragnar Singsaas/Getty Images

Global tensions found their way into Eurovision Song Contest last night: the announcement that Russia had qualified for Saturday night’s final was met(...)

Smoke rises after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad in the Armenian Christian town of Kessab on April 4th. The Syrian border overrun by militant rebel groups last month. Photograph: Reuters

In the hills overlooking the Mediterranean sea’s most easterly shoreline, a group of elderly men sit around a backgammon table laughing and arg(...)

Demonstrators ride atop an armored vehicle through a street near Independence Square in Kiev earlier this week. Photograph: Uriel Sinai/The New York Times

The events in Ukraine this week are changing Europe, potentially in ways that will last for a generation. The emerging European structure can b(...)

Alex Ferguson was today confirmed as Uefa’s new coaching ambassador. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

The Republic of Ireland will be among the second seeds for Euro 2016 qualifying after Uefa outlined plans for the preliminary competition in Nyon tod(...)

Keith Fahey (right) is tracked by Germany’s Sami Khedira during the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualifier at the Aviva Stadium in October 2012. Photograph: Alan Betson/THE IRISH TIMES

Republic of Ireland international midfielder Keith Fahey has returned to St Patrick’s Athletic ahead of the new League of Ireland season.It will be t(...)

Protesters rest in Kiev’s City Hall, having occupied the building, on Thursday.  Photograph: Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

As snow dusts the crowd on Kiev’s Independence Square, songs and jokes from the stage leaven demands for president Viktor Yanukovich and his governmen(...)