Italy’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon reacts during their 2018 World Cup playoff second leg with Sweden. Photo: Marco Bertorello/Getty Images

Gianluigi Buffon was born in Carrara, the Tuscan city where they quarried the marble for Michelangelo’s David 500 years ago. Maybe even now there is a(...)

 Real Madrid’s Marcelo celebrates scoring the late winner in the club’s  2-1 vital victory over Valencia at the  Bernabeu in  Madrid. Photograph:Javier Lizon/EPA

For the second time in six days, the final whistle brought Marcelo Vieira to his knees, but this time his body didn’t slump forward face first, fists (...)

Two ‘ninots’ representing Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on display in Valencia during the Fallas festival. Photo: Getty Images

Towards the end of his life Mozart wrote a piece of music called Ein musikalischer Spaß, or “a musical joke”, intended as a satire on bad composers. A(...)

 Gianluigi Buffon: “I blew €20m, it went up in smoke but I safeguarded the livelihoods of 1,200 families.”  Photograph:  Claudio Villa/Getty Images

A small but significant piece of football history should unfold at the Stadio Renzo Barbera on Friday night. Italy’s World Cup qualifier against Al(...)

Carlos Tevez  has swapped his boyhood club, Boca Juniors, for Shanghai Shenhua – and a salary of £615,000 a week. Photograph: David Fernandez/EPA

Travel well, Mikel, who has become the very latest Premier League footballer to use the January transfer window to make the metamorphosis from Premier(...)

Italy manager Antonio Conte will move to Chelsea after the tournamet. Photograph: Getty

Prospects A largely uninspiring qualifying campaign combined with the loss through injury of stars like Marco Verratti and Cludio Marchisio have le(...)

Luis Figo has been prevented from playing for the Barcelona legend’s team. Photo: Firo Foto/Getty Images

Luis Figo’s decision to quit the Nou Camp for the Bernabéu fifteen years ago has not been forgotten, and certainly not forgiven by Barcelona. The Cata(...)

Chelsea’s John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic show how much the point gained in draw with Arsenal means to them. Photo: Adrian Dennis/Gety Images

The nil-nil is one of football’s enduring image problems. People who don’t get the sport wonder how you can play any game for 90 minutes with nobody h(...)

Italy’s former World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro has been handed a 10-month jail sentence. Photograph Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Fabio Cannavaro has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for breaching orders to keep out of his property after it was seized by authorities.The 41-y(...)

Midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, a key figure in Germany’s triumph,  with  the World Cup trophy after last Sunday’s victory in Rio. Photograph: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images

As the World Cup begins, Joachim Löw is the longest-serving manager in the tournament, but he’s still pondering a question that probably should hav(...)

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