Xabi Alonso

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will be keen to pick up another trophy on Sunday. Photograph: Inpho

The Community Shield is an octagon 58cm across, spun from 4.2kg of sterling silver. It is also whatever you want it to be. It is, as the cliche has it(...)

Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui watches his side lose to Levante at the Bernabeu on Saturday. Photo: Rodrigo Jimenez/EPA

They’d been there for a while when the call came through to tell them they were standing in the wrong place. Raphaël Varane’s handball had actually be(...)

 Cristiano Ronaldo:   he scored 450 goals in 438 appearances for Real Madrid.  Photograph: Getty Images

On the day back in 2009 when Real Madrid unveiled their new world record signing Cristiano Ronaldo, an estimated 80,000 turned up at the Bernabeu Stad(...)

Spain’s Diego Costa  celebrating with team mate Isco after scoring  against  Iran  at Kazan Arena. Photograph:    Francois Nel/Getty Images

Fernando Hierro might reckon that Diego Costa can do even better at this World Cup than the three goals in two starts that he has managed so far, but (...)

Jürgen Klopp thanks the Liverpool fans after reaching the Champions League final at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome.Photograph: Steven Paston/PA Wire

According to Benjamin Disraeli Rome symbolises the ideal of conquest. Not quite yet, it doesn’t. Liverpool may have earned their moments of unbound jo(...)

Arsène Wenger: Match-going Arsenal fans,  paying  the top prices of any club in the world, have increasingly felt ripped off in recent years. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

“To thine own self be true” is a cliché that has become a kind of universally-accepted truth, even though the character in Hamlet who actually says it(...)

Barcelona present new signing   Philippe Coutinho. “If Liverpool were prepared to pay their best players more than €20 million a year, as Barcelona and Real Madrid do, then they would find their stars suddenly become resistant to the lure.” Photograph: Albert Gea/Reuters

Everyone knew Philippe Coutinho was going to Barcelona sooner or later. Typically, Steven Gerrard was already getting depressed about it nearly three (...)

Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso celebrates with his teammates after scoring from inside his own half against Newcastle in 2006. Photograph: Getty Images

David Beckham, Paul Robinson, Tim Howard, Charlie Adam, Maynor Figueroa and Wayne Rooney (x2) – the list of players to have scored goals from the half(...)

Mikel Merino of Newcastle United celebrates scoring against Crystal Palace. Photograph: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

Mikel Merino had his headphones on and was listening to Spanish Reggaeton music as the bus swung on to a familiar main road. With the volume pushed to(...)

Nemanja Matic signs for Manchester United at Aon Training Complex in Manchester. Photograph: Man Utd via Getty Images

Six months into his first season back at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho had identified three key areas in which his team were deficient. Hindsight suggests(...)

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