‘The world of football has possibly never known a man to distribute the ball like Xavi Hernández (L). Arguably only Andrea Pirlo (R) in the modern game can rival him in being so niggardly with possession.’ Photographs: Reuters and EPA.

Someone calculated that the gematria values – where a numerical value is assigned to a letter – of Xavi (56) and pass (55) and they are almost iden(...)

Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish looks to evade Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel and Emre Can during an impressive display in the FA Cup sem-final. Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Xavi Hernandez is one of those players of whom people say: he makes the game look easy. He’s also the first one to argue that it’s not really like (...)

Barcelona Lionel Messi: When asked if he thought the Argentinian wants to stay, Enrique replied: “I’m not the right person to answer that.” Photograph: Getty Images

Luis Enrique was still at Barcelona last night. How long for, no one knows, and there were certainly no guarantees, but if they carry on like this (...)

Lionel Messi takes part in a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper in Sant Joan Despi near Barcelona. Photograph: Reuters

Lionel Messi, hailed by many as the greatest footballer of all time, may leave Spain after continuing to fall foul of the tax authorities, sources (...)

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique (left) celebrates his goal against Apoel Nicosia with Brazilian Neymar da Silva   at Camp Nou. Photograph: Toni Albir / EPA

Barcelona 1 Apoel Nicosia 0Barcelona won their opening Champions League game but that was no more than could be expected. Indeed, it was less than mos(...)

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque will wait until after the final group game against Australia to decide his future. Photograph:  David Ramos/Getty Images

Vicente del Bosque insists he does not want to be a “hindrance” and has offered to step down as Spain coach due to the team’s early exit from the Worl(...)

Spain’s Sergio Ramos shows his despair after defending champions Spain had lost for the second time in World Cup Group B, against Chile at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, and thus exited the competition.  Photograph: Jorge Silva/Reuters

Would everybody please get off the carousel – this ride is now shut. Okay, so technically it was Barcelona Alex Ferguson was comparing to a fai(...)

 Vicente del Bosque  celebrates as he lifts the World Cup with his team during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Final match between Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City Stadium on July 11th, 2010. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Vicente del Bosque is inscrutable. It’s difficult to know what goes on behind that flowerbox moustache he sports. He never betrays emotion during a ga(...)

Coach Louis Van Gaal is proud of how some of his former charges have become elite players. “It makes me happy and proud,” he said. “But Xavi, Iniesta, [Thiago]Motta [at Barca], Müller or [David]Alaba [of Bayern] fitted the profile of the position.” Koen Vl Weel/EPA

Manchester United’s young players have reasons to be hopeful if, as expected, Louis van Gaal is appointed this week. The manager has a record of promo(...)

Neymar: Barcelona’s marquee signing in the summer is struggling to find his form after controversy over his multi-million euro move from Santos.

On Sunday, Barcelona will play Real Madrid at the Bernabéu stadium. Clásicos tend to define a season in Spanish football, this year’s encounter(...)