Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates after scoring one of his three against APOEL Nicosia in Cyprus. Photograph: EPA

Lionel Messi set a new Champions League scoring record with a hat-trick and Luis Suarez netted his first in Barcelona colours as the Spaniards compreh(...)

Luis Suarez was the sun at the centre of Liverpool’s solar system but he starts out at Barca as a peripheral satellite.  Photograph: Sergio Perez/Reuters

There are many well-founded objections to the unfair economic systems that have resulted in the concentration of the world’s top footballers at a hand(...)

 Brazil’s David Luiz scores his side’s second goal from a free-kick against Colombia during the World Cup quarter-final at the Arena Castelao in Fortaleza. Photograph:  Tolga Bozoglu/EPA

Brazil 2 Colombia 1 It was a supremely ugly win for Brazil, but one they will have been delighted with before the crushing news that Neymar, th(...)

To infinity and beyond Robin Van Persie may have looked like Buzz Lightyear as he took flight to head in one of the goals of the tournament in the Net(...)

Brazil’s players celebrate after winning the penalty shoot against  Chile at the  Mineirao Stadium in Belo Horizonte. Photograph: EPA

Brazil 1 Chile 1 (aet, 1-1 after 90 mins. Brazil win 3-2 on penalties)The hosts survived and Chile had to suffer yet more World Cup heartbreak against(...)

Neymar of Brazil celebrates scoring his team’s second goal in the World Cup Group A against Cameroon at Estadio Nacional in Brasilia. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Brazil 4 Cameroon 1It was a night when Neymar delivered yet another reminder of how much the hopes of one nation, and 200m football-mad people, rest o(...)

There’s no lack of passion from Brazil’s Marcelo, David Luiz and Julio Cesar as they sing their national anthem before the game against Mexico.

The first thing Argentina had to contend with upon their arrival in Belo Horizonte was a banner at their base welcoming “the next World Champions”. T(...)

Mexico’s goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa dives to stop a shot during their  World Cup Group A  match against Brazil at the Castelao arena in Fortaleza. Photograph:  Francois Xavier Marit/Reuters 1:20

Brazil 0 Mexico 0There has been plenty of talk of footballing ghosts here for Brazil and the scariest one for them is generally considered to be Urugu(...)

 Fred wins a dubious penalty against Dejan Lovren. Photograph:  Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Brazil 3 Croatia 1: So far, so Brazil. On a fretful, at times sleepy, ultimately rousing night in Sao Paulo Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team came from behin(...)

Neymar of Brazil and Felipe Baloy of Panama compete for the ball  at the Serra Dourada Stadium. Photograph:    Buda Mendes/Getty Images

Brazil beat Panama 4-0 in their penultimate friendly before hosting the World Cup, with Neymar, Dani Alves, Hulk and Willian scoring the goals in a le(...)