Diego Maradona

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 Argentina’s  Lionel Messi waits to kick off after Croatia scored their opening goal during the  World Cup Group D clash at  at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.  in Nizhny Novgorod on June 21, 2018. Photograph: Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty

It was close to midnight in Russia when Jorge Sampaoli, Argentina’s anguished coach, made his way from the wreckage of the team dressing room to face (...)

Argentina legend Diego Maradona watched his team lose to Croatia. Photograph: Getty Images

It never looked certain for Argentina. There were always questions left to answer but obscured by the euphoria, anxiety and demands of their country, (...)

Croatia’s defender Domagoj Vida challenges Argentina’s Lionel Messi in Nizhny Novgorod. Photograph: Getty Images

Day Eight and Martin O’Neill was on ITV berating Australia for allowing Christian Eriksen the freedom to roam and arrive in the box unmarked before in(...)

Sergio Ramos has not held back in his comments on Maradona and Carlos Queiroz. Photograph: Getty Images

Carlos Queiroz stopped on the way out of the Kazan Arena and embraced Sergio Ramos before continuing towards the bus, which was still parked at one en(...)

 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(...)

Nigeria Alex Iwobi poses with fans. Photograph: Pius Utomi Ekei/AFP/Getty

What is it? The World Cup is the greatest sporting tournament on the planet - trumping even the Olympics. In its current guise it brings together 32 (...)

The 2018 World Cup could prove to be Lionel Messi’s defining tournament. Photograph:  Agustin Marcarian/Getty

Argentina - 9-1 Croatia - 44-1 Nigeria - 200-1 Iceland - 200-1 The Contenders Argentina might be the clear favourites, but Group D is a potentially (...)

Argentina’s World Cup hopes will hinge on Lionel Messi. Photograph: Juan Mabromata/AFP/Getty

Argentina (9-1) Who are they? Lionel Messi turns 31 during this summer’s tournament. If he is going to emulate the great Diego Maradona by leading A(...)

  Diego Maradona   handles the ball past Peter Shilton of England to score

High noon, one blistering Sunday in Mexico City, and a quarter-final shootout between two arch rivals who hadn’t met in a World Cup for 20 years and h(...)

Packie Bonner directs his Celtic  team-mates during a game against Aberdeen in 1991. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Allsport

“Then the door opens and in walks Jock Stein.” For a moment Packie Bonner is back in the Ballyraine hotel in Letterkenny. It is May in 1978 and Bonne(...)

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