Ivan Rakitic

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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(...)

 Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic celebrates scoring the winning goal in their World Cup semi-final against England having earlier been dragged off in agony. Photograph: Carl Recine/Reuters

Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. England’s plan was working perfectly until the 65th minute here in Moscow, when that fateful(...)

England’s Raheem Sterling during training ahead of their 2018 World Cup semi-final clash with Croatia in Moscow. Photo: Lee Smith/Reuters

World Cup semi-final: Croatia v England (Luzhniki Stadium, Wednesday 7pm – live on RTÉ 2 and ITV) Few political leaders can ever have needed the sort(...)

Dejan Lovren celebrates after Croatia beat Russia in their penalty shootout in Sochi. Photograph: Reuters/Carl Recine

Dejan Lovren replied in the only way that he could in the circumstances. Asked whether he was looking forward to playing against Harry Kane in Wednesd(...)

Ashley Young  during an England press conference in Saint Petersburg. “It’ll be a tough game, so we’ve got to be mentally and physically prepared for what they will throw at us.” Photograph:   Hassenstein/Getty Images

England are confident they will beat any lingering effects of fatigue from an increasingly hectic campaign by the time they start their first World Cu(...)

Croatia’s midfielder Luka Modric celebrates after the victory on penalties over Russia in the World Cup quarter-final at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty

When Luka Modric moved to Tottenham Hotspur in 2008 England had endured a summer without tournament football, having missed out on the European Champi(...)

Jesse Lingard trains ahead of England’s World Cup quarter-final clash with Sweden. Photograph: Anatoly Maltsev/EPA

THE MATCHES QUARTER-FINALS Sweden v England, (3.0, Samara, RTÉ2/BBC) Betting: Sweden 19-5, England 19-20, Draw 8-5 Russia v Croatia (7.0, Sochi, RTÉ2(...)

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