Thomas Vermaelen, Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets  share a joke during the official presentation of the FC Barcelona prior to the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and Club Leon at Camp Nou. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

“And now, please give a huge ovation for . . .” A month after Luis Suarez signed for FC Barcelona and two months before he can play a competitive game(...)

Chelsea’s Diego Costa celebrates scoring his side’s first goal  during a pre-season friendly at Stamford Bridge The club are pinning their Premier League title hopes hopes on  the former Atletico Madrid man hitting  the back of the net regularl in the season ahead. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA

Given a ball has not been kicked and around 500 players are yet to appear in any of the 380 Premier League matches that will unfold across the next 10(...)

Southampton’s €15m offer for Shane Long was too good for  Hull City to refuse.  Photograph:  Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long has completed his move to Southampton from Hull City and signed a four-year deal with the Saints. The Tipperary(...)

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and FIFA President Sepp Blatter take part in the official hand over ceremony for the 2018 World Cup scheduled to take place in Russia. Photograph: Alexey Nikolsky/Reuters

Brazil got 9.25 out of 10 from Fifa president Sepp Blatter for organising a World Cup that was “very special” because of high quality football.Giving (...)

Argentina captain  Lionel Messi  takes his medal off during the prize giving ceremony for the World Cup Final in Rio. Photograph:  Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Diego Maradona has declared that Lionel Messi did not deserve to be chosen as the best player of the 2014 World Cup, suggesting the Argentina forward (...)

German players Christophe Kramer (C), Kevin Grosskreutz (L), Manuel Neuer (rear) and Shkodran Mustafi (R) take a selfie after winning the FIFA World Cup 2014 final. Photograph: Antonio Lacerda/EPA 6:03

Chatter, celebrations and commiserations after Germany’s World Cup win over Argentina in last night’s final broke records on Twitter and Facebook, acc(...)

Philipp Lahm lifts the World Cup trophy with team-mates after final win over Argentina at the  Maracana. Photograph:  Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Manuel Neuer hailed an “unbelievable” moment as Germany won the World Cup thanks to Mario Götze’s extra-time winner over Argentina in the final at the(...)

Germany’s Mario Götze scores the winner past Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero as  Ezequiel Garay looks on at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: David Gray / Reuters

Germany 1 Argentina 0 (after extra-time) It came later, much later, than the one that decided the final they fought out in Rome’s Olympic stadi(...)

Alejandro Sabella of Argentina talks to the media during a press conference at Rio’s Maracana Stadium. Photograph:   Clive Rose/Getty Images

Argentina are hoping the echoes of their last World Cup success have a triumphant note when they face Germany in the final in the Maracana on Sunday. (...)

Fans of Brazil react after their loss to Germany in their 2014 World Cup semi-finals at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte. Photograph: Reuters

Where were you when Germany hammered Brazil, granddad? The stadium media centre (“SMC” to young people) at the Arena Corinthians in São Paulo has i(...)