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 Lionel Messi during Argentina’s training session at Club Atletico Mineiro in Belo Horizonte yesterday.

The phenomenal footballing talents of Lionel Messi when placed alongside his awkwardness in dealing with the media once led to the story doing the (...)

Lionel Messi shoots to score against Bosnia in their World Cup Group F match at the Maracana stadium in Rio. Photograph Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

“This is how we prime Lio” said Argentina’s sports paper Olé, praising a half-time rejig forced on their national team after a poor first half in Sund(...)

Argentina’s Lionel Messi acknowledges the fans after last night’s game. Photograph: Pilar Olivares/Reuters

“This is how we prime Lio” said Argentina’s sports paper Olé, praising a half-time rejig forced on its national team after a poor first half in Sunday(...)

Argentina’s Lionel Messi celebrates his winner against Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Marcelo Sayao / EPA

After all the build-up, all the hype, Lionel Messi’s World Cup started with what Argentina’s fans will hope was a slow burner of a performance. Consi(...)

Argentina’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring against   Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Photograph: Michael Dalder / Reuters

Argentina 2 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1It was a winning start for Argentina but their victory was not convincing even before a late Bosnia reply from Vedad I(...)

Ireland’s Paul O’Connell is made  stretch to the limit as he wins this lineout in Saturday’s second Test at the Estadio JosŽ Fierro in Tucumán. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Any season that contains a Six Nations title has to be considered a good one, and the first campaign under Joe Schmidt was duly rounded off with a fir(...)

A Ronaldinho lookalike is escorted off the field while talking to Lionel Messi of Argentina after an open training session   in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Photograph:  Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Argentina’s fanatical support is one of the glories of any World Cup. The explosion of ticker tape that greeted the team as it emerged to face the (...)

Fergus McFadden, who will don the Ireland number 13 jersey against Argentina tomorrow, taking part in the captain’s run at the Estadio Centenario, Tucumán. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

Ireland have plumped for a more experienced and proven side for the second Test against Argentina in the Estadio José Fierro in Tucumán tomorrow (kick(...)

Rory Best leaves the pitch with Paul O’Connell following Saturday’s first Test win over Argentina. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho.

The Ulster players only heard the seismic news of David Humphreys ending his 22-year association with the province as a legendary out half and (...)

Some of the military police officers responsible for security at the World Cup pose for photographs in Rio de Janeiro last month. Photograph: Pilar Olivares/Reuters)

Anti-World Cup protests are not the only problem Brazilian security authorities will face during the tournament. They are also bracing for an invasion(...)

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