Sochi

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Cristiano Ronaldo  during a training session at the team’s base in Kratovo before the last 16 clash with Uruguay in which he will be up against some familiar foes. Photograph: Francisco Leong/AFP/Getty

Go on, admit it: one of the first things you thought of when the draw put Portugal and Uruguay together was the kind of thing nobody wants to see but(...)

Roberto Martinez: “We have a lot of players who are at important times in their careers and they want to make their mark.”  Photograph: Nelson Almeida/AFP/Getty

Roberto Martinez believes Belgium need to “start the World Cup by showing we know how to win,” as a first step to delivering on the potential everyone(...)

 Hannes Halldorsson of Iceland saves  Lionel Messi’s penalty during the 1-1 draw in Moscow.  Photograph: EPA

Argentina 1 Iceland 1 Sometimes you hit a wall, and Iceland make a bigger wall than most. The trials of Lionel Messi in the national shirt of Argenti(...)

Saudi Arabia crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, Fifa president Gianni Infantino and Russian president Vladimir Putin  in Moscow on Thursday. Photograph:  Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/EPA

Sport and politics shouldn’t mix, goes the earnest cliché. Except they do – all the time. And that’s partly what makes some sports so interesting. The(...)

 Spain’s new boss Fernando Hierro with captain Sergio Ramos. Ronald Wittek/EPA

The way these things usually work, the player does his bit then is allowed to leave for training, but Sergio Ramos would never feel comfortable willin(...)

Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov   is being held in an isolation cell in a remote prison in Arctic Siberia. Photograph: Reuters/Sergey Pivovarov

The remote prison in Arctic Siberia where Oleg Sentsov is on hunger strike is thousands of kilometres away from the stadiums in European Russia hostin(...)

The terrible and unnecessary new World Cup ball allows some people to complain about the game’s enslavement to capitalism; others take the chance to reminisce about their own favourite balls of times gone by

It’s the same every four years. A couple of months before the World Cup finals, the new tournament ball is used in international friendlies, and the w(...)

 Austria’s Marcel Hirscher at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games: what does it take to consume 8,000 calories – the equivalent of about 20 plates of lasagna – every day? Photograph: Dimitar DILKOFF/AFP/Getty

For cross-country skier Martin Moller, the biggest challenge of his sport is not the freezing cold, the hundreds of hours of training or the gruelling(...)

A team of 168 Russians competed as part of a neutral “Olympic Athlete from Russia” team in Pyeongchang but two of them failed drug tests. Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Russia was reinstated by the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday after the remaining tests of the country’s athletes at the Pyeongchang Winte(...)

Andrew Flemming, Will Hamilton and Geoff Fowler, the co-inventors of the SmartBroom. Photograph: Ian Willms/New York Times

Andrew Flemming and Geoff Fowler tinkered for months in their spare time. They used soldering irons. They printed three-dimensional models in their ba(...)

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