Denmark’s Kasper Schmeichel looks on as Peru’s Christian Cueva misses a penalty during their Group C match at Mordovia Arena, Saransk, Russia. Photograph: Reuters

After Spain v Portugal on Friday night this World Cup, frankly, owed us nothing, if that tussle had been retrospectively declared the final and the tr(...)

Penalties. For better or worse, it’s one of the great set-pieces, in the theatrical or cinematic sense, in all of sport. From Stuart Pearce to Chris W(...)

Italy legend Andrea Pirlo called time on an illustrious career during which he won the 2006 World Cup, two Champions League titles and six Serie A trophies.Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/Getty Images

Andrea Pirlo loved to pull pranks on Gennaro Gattuso. The two midfielders played together for more than a decade with Milan and Italy, winning everyth(...)

 Gianluigi Buffon: “I blew €20m, it went up in smoke but I safeguarded the livelihoods of 1,200 families.”  Photograph:  Claudio Villa/Getty Images

A small but significant piece of football history should unfold at the Stadio Renzo Barbera on Friday night. Italy’s World Cup qualifier against Al(...)

Campaigner Joshua Wong (right) greets Nathan Law as supporters share their joy at Law’s recent legislative council election victory. Photograph: Bobby Yip/Reuters

Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong is running late for our interview at the Open University. The 19-year-old, whose youthful, open features and (...)

Spanish  players celebrate victory over Italy in the 2012 UEFA European Championship final in Kiev, Ukraine, as Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon  walks by. Photograph:  Martin Rose/Getty Images

The blood poured from Luis Enrique’s nose, a red stain reaching across the white towel pressed against his face. In Foxborough, Massachusetts, Spain h(...)

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown was impressed with Ireland’s warm-up routine at Celtic Park. Photo: Michael Steele /Allsport

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown believes international football eligibility rules should be tightened. Brown says a team should be represented (...)

Former soccer star Diego Maradona (L) presents Pope Francis with an Argentina national soccer jersey during a special audience held in the Vatican before a special interreligious “Match for Peace” tonight. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters.

For the first time since he slipped out like a thief in the night back in April 1991, former Argentine superstar Diego Armando Maradona takes to the p(...)

 Uche Nwofor of Nigeria (second right) celebrates with team-mates after equalising in the last minute against Scotland last month.  Photograph:   Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Manager: Stephen Keshi Best finish: Second round (1994, 1998) World Cup record: Played 17, Won 5, Drawn 3, Lost 9 History They firs(...)