Germany football coach Joachim Löw talks to German chancellor Angela Merkel and president Joachim Gauck after the World Cup final victory over Argentina in Rio. Photograph: Guido Bergmann/Reuters/via Bundesregierung

If the World Cup was assessed by a grading system, the 2014 finals in Brazil would be assured of an A plus. Over the last month the sporting world and(...)

A resident stands amongst the remains of demolished homes in the Metro Mangueira favela, approximately 750 metres from the Maracana stadium, where the final of the World Cup will be played tomorrow. The homes were thought to have been knocked down for a parking lot for the stadium, though that has yet to be built. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Journalists are getting ready to go home, after the frenzy of uncovering the “real Brazil”. Favelas all over Brazil have been invaded by camera crews (...)

 Argentinian fans celebrate after the penalty shootout fagainst the  the Netherlands  at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil. More fans are making theoir way to Rio for the final.   Photograph: Sebastiao Moreira/EPA 0:52

Still in shock at the destruction of their national team by Germany on Tuesday, Brazilians now fear they are about to have salt grinded into their wou(...)

 Fifa has rejected an appeal by Luis Suárez and the Uruguay Football Federation (AUF) against his four-month ban from all football activities for biting an opponent.  Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire.

Fifa has rejected an appeal by Luis Suárez and the Uruguay Football Federation against his four-month ban from all football activities for biting an o(...)

Mauricio Pinilla (right) of Chile rattles the crossbar in the closing stages of extra-time in their second round match against Brazil   in Belo Horizonte.

Fifa is investigating a remarkable bust-up at the World Cup after claims Chile striker Mauricio Pinilla was punched by Brazil’s communications direct(...)

Uruguay are likely to try to hit Colombia them on the break through their  one remaining world-class player, striker Edinson Cavani (right). Photograph: EPA

Inevitably the Luis Suárez situation has overshadowed the build-up to today’s second round match. And while he will be absent the disgraced striker(...)

A Uruguayan fan holds a sign in solidarity with player Luis Suarez while waiting for his arrival outside Montevideo’s Carrasco international airport . Photograph: Carlos Pazos/Reuters

Following its vehement defence while waiting on Fifa’s judgement, all Uruguay is today grieving with the condemned Luis Suárez, thrown out of the Worl(...)

A Spanish court has upheld corruption charges against Princess Cristina de Borbon, sister of newly-crowned King Felipe VI, and her husband in one of the last steps before a trial that could cloud the monarchy’s bid to rebuild its reputation. Photograph: Daniel Aguilar/Files/Reuters.

A Spanish court has upheld corruption charges against Cristina de Borbon, sister of newly-crowned King Felipe VI, and her husband in one of the last s(...)

A security guard walks in front of the Planalto Palace In Brasilia as it is lit up in the colours of the Brazilian national flag ahead of the World Cup. Photograph: Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

There are parts of Brasilia, Brazil’s federal capital created out of nothing in the middle of the country in the late 1950s and early ’60s, that seem (...)

Graeme McDowell expects that people will support Rory McIlroy’s decision to play with Ireland for the Rio Olympic games in 2016. Photograph: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Graeme McDowell is a popular interviewee, displaying a candour that’s as crisp as his short irons. He generally doesn’t need a leg-up when it comes to(...)