Lionel Messi

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It has been a long hot summer of bad ideas. The last three months have been a sweltering beach of marketing wheezes so irredeemably flawed that it’s b(...)

Ecstatic Irish hockey fans celebrate the women’s team’s World Cup semi-final victory over Spain in the Glenside Pub in Churchtown, Dublin.

What price a place at the World Cup final? The cheers of relief and ecstasy had barely died down when Noreen O’Riordan, the Loreto Hockey Club fixture(...)

Who dat: Love Island winners Dani Dyer and Jack Fincham slip through Stansted airport unnoticed following the final episode of the reality TV show. Photograph: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire

Congratulations on not having watched Love Island. “Am I the only person who hasn’t watched a second of Love Island?” you ask. No, you’re not. There a(...)

Kylian Mbappé: faster than Ronaldo? Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

The most common comparison that has been made these past few weeks has been with one Brazilian great, Ronaldo, but there have been messages from the g(...)

 A news conference  at  Spartak Stadium in Moscow. World Cup press conferences are a daily piece of amateur theatre where the questions are often repetitive, the players are generally bored, and the managers find 50 ways to say nothing. Photograph: James Hill/The New York Times

No one expects scintillating Socratic dialogue or even normal reportorial discourse at a World Cup press conference. But even by the tournament’s rela(...)

Luis Suarez during a training session on the eve of Uruguay’s quarter-final against France at  the  Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.  Photograph: Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty

World Cup quarter-final: Uruguay v France, 3.0 (Nizhny Novgorod, RTÉ2/ITV) A deliberate handball on the line to stop Ghana going through to the Worl(...)

Japan’s  Gaku Shibasaki  challenges Belgium’s  Eden Hazard during the  World Cup round of 16 football match  at the Rostov Arena. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

THE MATCHES QUARTER-FINALS Uruguay v France, 3.0 (Nizhny Novgorod, RTÉ2/ITV). Betting: Uruguay 18-5, France Evs, Draw 11-5 Brazil v Belgium, 7.0 (Ka(...)

Kylian Mbappe   scores to put France 3-2 ahead during the last 16 victory over Argentina in Kazan. Photograph: Sergey Dolzhenko/EPA

France 4 Argentina 3 This was surely no way for a player with a serious claim to being the best on the planet to exit the international game’s great(...)

 France’s midfielder Paul Pogba heads the ball with Argentina defenders Nicolas Otamendi  and  Nicolas Tagliafico during the  World Cup round of 16 match at the Kazan Arena. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli acknowledged that his side simply couldn’t cope with the pace of the French counter-attacking in this afternoon’s first(...)

 France forward Kylian Mbappe  celebrates with team-mate  Antoine Griezmann after scoring their fourth goal  in the round of 16 World Cup clash against Argentina  at the Kazan Arena. Photograph: Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

France 4 Argentina 3 If Argentina paid much attention to France’s pre-tournament friendlies they might be forgiven if they made the mistake of discou(...)

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