Johan Cruyff

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Ireland captain Willie Anderson faces up to New Zealand captain Wayne Shelford as the All Blacks perform  the Haka in 1989. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

The Best Crossing The Line by Willie Anderson and Brendan Fanning (Reach Sport, €19.99) The best books this year are rugby books. This, it’s fair to (...)

George Best in action for Manchester United in 1969. Photograph: Camera Press/SK Fraser

Some 16 years on from his death on November 25th 2005, a simple black headstone still marks his grave. The last piece of commentary on how George Best(...)

For so long Messi was Barcelona, even with the talent alongside him. File photograph: Reuters

“There have been hard moments, many defeats but the next day you go to training and then there’s another game, another chance,” said Lionel Messi. “No(...)

 France’s coach Didier Deschamps greets the fans after his team’s win against Germany at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Tuesday. Photograph: Matthias Schrader/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

If Didier Deschamps were to sit down and design the perfect cannon-fodder opponent for his French team, the result would look a lot like Joachim Löw’s(...)

George Best in action at Old Trafford during a Division One game against Everton in 1968. Photograph:  Allsport

He could have been 75 on Saturday; he should have been 75 on Saturday. It would have been a big deal, the red and green memories; his ears would have (...)

Estadi Johan Cruyff is home to the Barcelona B team. File photograph: Alex Caparros/Getty Images

The Republic of Ireland friendly against Andorra on June 3rd has been switched to Estadi Johan Cruyff in Barcelona to avoid mandatory hotel quarantine(...)

Kerry’s David Clifford celebrates scoring his second goal with his brother Paudie Clifford during the league victory over Galway at Austin Stack Park in Tralee. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kerry 4-21 Galway 0-11 A David Clifford hat-trick banished the ghosts of last year’s championship defeat to Cork as an empathic 22-point drubbing of(...)

It was bad enough for Andy that he had been dropped from the school football team, but that he’d been replaced in the side by, of all things . . . a g(...)

Hristo Stoitchkov: regarded as Bulgaria’s greatest ever player, the striker’s six goles won him the  Golden Boot at the 1994 World Cup and he also became the only Bulgarian to be named  European Footballer of the Year.

At first glance the Nations League clash between Ireland and Bulgaria seems like the footballing equivalent of two bald men fighting over a comb. Tw(...)

Tom Kiernan pictured in 1982 when he was coach of Ireland. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

First a brief rolling back of the years. At the time of his retirement in 1973 Tom Kiernan was Ireland’s most-capped player, most experienced captain (...)

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