Ivan Rakitic

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Barcelona goalkeeper  Marc-Andre ter Stegen fumbles the ball as Giovani Lo Celso scores Real Betis’ third goal in the La Liga game ay the Nou Camp. Photograph:  Albert Gea/Reuters

Barcelona 3 Real Betis 4 Lionel Messi scored twice on his eagerly-awaited return but La Liga leaders Barcelona were still left shell-shocked by a sc(...)

Barcelona celebrate their 5-1 win over Real Madrid at the Camp nou. Photograph: Toni Albir/EPA

Real Madrid have now won just once in six games – and if this is to be the end for Julen Lopetegui, it was a painful one, leaving his team in ninth pl(...)

Half a million people turned up in Zagreb for the Croatia team’s homecoming following the World Cup in Russia. Photograph: Andrej Isakovic/AFP/Getty Images

Charlie was the first to go. Vedran Corluka, who goes by that nickname, announced his international retirement on August 10th via his Instagram accoun(...)

Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic volleys home their second goal in the  Champions League  Group B match against  Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur 2 Barcelona 4 For Tottenham, it was a harsh lesson in the realities of the Champions League at the highest level. Incredibly, they (...)

 Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona argues with the referee Jaime Latre at the end of the   match. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

La Liga champions Barcelona’s domestic struggles continued as they dropped points for the third game in a row, drawing 1-1 at home to Athletic Bilbao (...)

Leganes’ Oscar Rodriguez celebrates his team’s second goal in their La Liga win over Barcelona. Photo: Oscar Del Pozo/Getty Images

Leganes 1 Barcelona 2 La Liga leaders Barcelona slumped to a shock first loss of the season as they suffered a 2-1 defeat at struggling Leganes on We(...)

Barcelona’s  Lionel Messi scores their first goal from a free-kick  against PSV Eindhoven’s goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet  during the  Champions League Group B  match  at the Nou Camp. Photograph: Enric Fontcuberta/EPA

Barcelona 4 PSV Eindhoven 0 Lionel Messi scored a sensational hat-trick as Barcelona kick-started their Champions League campaign with a 4-0 win at h(...)

Lionel Messi celebrates scoring Barcelona’s  sixth goal against SD Huesca at   Camp Nou on Sunday. Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez scored twice each as La Liga champions. Barcelona turned on the style to hammer Huesca 8-2 on Sunday and join Real Madri(...)

Lionel Messi scores his second and Barcelona’s third against Alaves. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty

Barcelona 3 Alaves 0 Lionel Messi scored twice as LaLiga champions Barcelona beat Alaves 3-0 at the Nou Camp in their opening match of the new season(...)

Croatia players salute their fans as they celebrate after their World Cup semi-final win over England in Moscow. Photo: Damir Sagolj/Reuters

An hour after Croatia had knocked out England, I spoke to an English journalist friend who ventured the thought that if England had gone on to win the(...)

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