Barcelona’s  Lionel Messi is fully expected to reclaim award he has won four times. Photograph: Alex Caparros/Getty Images

When Michael Owen won the Ballon d’Or in 2001, becoming the first and still the only Englishman to win European football’s player of the year award s(...)

Valencia’s new coach Gary Neville poses with his jersey during his presentation at the Mestalla Stadium last week: the former Manchester United defender is the eighth member of United’s 1996-97 squad to be appointed as a head coach. Photograph: Heino Kalis/Reuters

Last week, Alex Ferguson issued a communiqué to Sky Sports News, wishing his former player Gary Neville well in his new role as head coach at Valencia(...)

Former  Everton player and manager Howard Kendall with his Bell’s Manager of the Year Award in 1985 at Goodison Park after his team’s title triumph. Photograph:  PA Wire.

The radio was almost shaking. It sounded like thunder was pulsing through it. Last Saturday afternoon Goodison Park and Everton were saying farewel(...)

Johan Cruyff has lung cancer according to local media sources in Catalonia and Spain. Photograph: Getty Images

Dutch legend Johan Cruyff has lung cancer, according to reports in Spain. The 68-year-old - who won three successive European Cups with Ajax before go(...)

Michel Platini’s two million Swiss Franc payment from Fifa is the subject of criminal proceedings involving Sepp Blatter (left), with Platini’s status described by the Swiss attorney general as “in between a witness and accused person”. Photograph: Michael Buholzer/AFP photo

When, two summers ago, the magazine So Foot wished to mark its 10th anniversary, it devoted an issue to the great No 10s. Zico, Scifo, Zidane, Zola, R(...)

Luis Enrique’s Barcelona are on the brink of the treble. Photograph: Getty

Luis Enrique declared hunting season open in the first week of November and it lasted well into the new year. Barcelona had just been beaten at home b(...)

FC Barcelona’s Argentinian striker Leo Messi jubilates his first goal against Bayern Munich during the Uefa Champions League semifinal first leg match. Photo: Alejandro Garcia/EPA

Perhaps the most striking thing about Lionel Messi’s second goal against Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou on Wednesday night was its gentleness. There(...)

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique first met Guardiola when they both played on Spain’s gold-medal winning football team at the Barcelona ’92 Olympics. Photograph: Alejandro Garcia/EPA

Barça beat Córdoba 8-0 at the weekend. The team is humming, and its coach knows it. When Luis Enrique spoke about the draw for tonight’s Champions Lea(...)

Wesley Sneijder does a “baby celebration” with Jetro Willems after Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s late equaliser for the Netherlands against Turkey in the Euro 2016 qualifier in Amsterdam last week. Photograph: Epa.

Johan Cruyff refused to wear their blazer. He just wouldn’t put it on. And some said it came down to that. It was the final straw. Cruyff and t(...)

Gareth Bale celebrates ending his goal drought against Levante. Rarely has a celebration caused such a fallout. Photograph: Juan Carlos Hidalgo/EPA

Rarely has a goal celebration been scrutinised so closely. Last Sunday, Real Madrid laboured to a 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Levante in La Lig(...)