Johan Cruyff

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Samoa’s Kane Le’Aupepe  and Chris Vui  tackle Ireland’s Keith Earls  during the  Rugby World Cup Pool A match at  the Hakatanomori Stadium in Fukuoka. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA Wire

How should rugby be played? The answer depends in what part of the world or what part of the country you are reading this. But should it? Should we I(...)

George Best: produced an outstanding display to help Northern Ireland to a famous 2-2 draw in Rotterdam against a gifted Netherlands side. Photograph: Getty Images

You’ve got to love Danny Blanchflower. You have really got to love Danny Blanchflower. When it was all over, when the four goals had been scored and (...)

Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus appeals to the match referee Michael Oliver after his goal is ruled out by VAR. Photograph: PA

Football remains a magnificently capricious sport. You can crush its competitiveness with a self-perpetuating structure that leads to a radically uneq(...)

Donny van de Beek scores Ajax’s early opener against Spurs. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty

With 15 minutes gone at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium there was a moment where the air seemed to disappear out of the ground, sucked up past the roofl(...)

Ajax Amsterdam CEO Edwin van der Sar: ‘We reflected a bit on the old success from 95. We wanted to combine the abundance of young talent with experience.’ Photograph: Massimo Pinca/Reuters

Last season, as Ajax’s future balanced on a gossamer thread, the club’s hierarchy called in seven of their most talented youngsters for a special talk(...)

Pat Jennings: He [Pochettino] has a great team around him and with the chairman they’ve done an unbelievable job. Hopefully we can push on – win the Champions League, get top four.”  Photograph:  Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Pat Jennings is in his Tottenham Hotspur tracksuit. He is walking in from training. It is a Friday morning and he has just had his weekly session with(...)

The Barcelona team before their last home defeat, against Real Betis last November. Photograph: Getty Images

Manchester United have already written a piece of European Cup history this season, becoming the first team to overturn a 2-0 home defeat in the secon(...)

Ajax’s Dutch defender Daley Blind celebrates after the unexpected victory.  Photograph: Getty

There’s nothing like a knockout win to lift shares in a football club. After Ajax’s triumph over Real Madrid in the Uefa Champions League on Tuesday (...)

Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars  and chief executive Edwin van der Sar celebrate the club’s victory  over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday night. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Last summer, seven of Ajax’s brightest stars were summoned to a room at the Dutch club’s training facility. Edwin van der Sar, the goalkeeper-turned-c(...)

FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi  reserves the “first minutes” of each match for interpretation, says coach Ernesto Valverde, ignoring the ball and taking a reconnaissance walk around the opposition defence, fixing each man’s position in his head before trying to capitalise later in the game on perceived weaknesses.  Photograph: Rodrigo Jimenez?EPA

A little man in a baseball cap, sitting high in his luxury crossover SUV, drives into the players’ parking lot at FC Barcelona’s closed training groun(...)

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