Lionel Messi is always the scapegoat if Argentina lose. He’s a bottler, he never does it in finals, he doesn’t really care? Photo: EPA

The vast majority of lives, in football and elsewhere, end in failure. The poignant farewell, the reminder of the transitory nature of the gloria mund(...)

Lionel Messi reacts after missing his penalty during the Copa America final between Argentina and Chile. Photo: Jason Szenes/EPA

The vast majority of lives, in football and elsewhere, end in failure. The poignant farewell, the reminder of the transitory nature of the gloria mund(...)

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill celebrates as the final whistle blowsin Lille on Wednesday. Photograph: INPHO/James Crombie

It was around 5.30am and bright when Martin O’Neill finally put his head on a pillow in Versailles yesterday morning. His mind must still have been(...)

Ireland’s coach Martin O’Neill holds a press conference at the Montbauron stadium in Versailles after Ireland’s 1-0 win over Italy in Lille. Photo: Getty Images

Martin O’Neill has lifted the lid on what was said between himself and Roy Keane as they embraced upon the final whistle as Ireland made it through to(...)

Ireland train ahead of their Group E clash with Belgium in Bordeaux. Photo: EPA

Italy’s 1-0 defeat of Sweden on Friday afternoon looks to be good news for Ireland ahead of their clash with Belgium in Bordeaux on Saturday. So, wit(...)

Italy’s Emanuele Giaccherini slides the ball past belgium goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to open the scoring in the Euro 2016 Group E game in Lyon. Photograph: Max Rossi/Reuters/Livepic

Belgium 0 Italy 2 Belgium go to Bordeaux on Saturday to meet the Republic of Ireland having stumbled into Euro 2016 and been beaten by an Italy team (...)

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(...)

Antonin Panenka’s penalty gave Czechoslovakia victory over West Germany in Euro 1976. Photograph: Getty

Euro 1976: Czechoslovakia 2 West Germany 2 AET (Czechoslovakia win 5-3 on penalties) Taking a penalty at any level of football takes a certain amount(...)

Juventus midfielder Stefano Sturaro  celebrates with team-mates after scoring his side’s second goal  in the Champions League game against Bayern Munich  at the Juventus Stadium in Turin. Photograph: Olivier Morin/AFP/Getty Images

Juventus 2 Bayern Munich 2 Juventus staged a superb comeback from two goals down to rescue their Champions League hopes and secure a draw against Bay(...)

Joe Hart is hoping Manchester City can tie up their Champions League group when they play Juventus in Turin on Wednesday night. Photograph: Reuters

Manchester City could win their Champions League group with a game to spare with victory in Turin on Wednesday, which would not only represent progres(...)

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