Xabi Alonso

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Robin van Persie scores the Netherlands’ opening goal during the World Cup Group B match against Spain  at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador. Photograph: Michael Dalder/Reuters

Netherlands 5 Spain 1: Redemption for Arjen Robben and the Netherlands arrived in the form of an emphatic reversal of fortunes from the 2010 final and(...)

 Vicente del Bosque  celebrates as he lifts the World Cup with his team during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Final match between Netherlands and Spain at Soccer City Stadium on July 11th, 2010. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images

Vicente del Bosque is inscrutable. It’s difficult to know what goes on behind that flowerbox moustache he sports. He never betrays emotion during a ga(...)

Manchester City’s Alvaro Negredo (left) and team mate Jesus Navas have been left out of the Spains squad to trabvel to Brazil for the World Cup.  Photograph: Darren Staples / Reuters

Diego Costa and Fernando Torres have been included in Spain’s final squad for the World Cup, but the Manchester City pair Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Nav(...)

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale celebrates with Cristiano Ronaldo after setting him up for the third goal against Bayern Munich during their Champion’s League semi-final in Munich. Photograph: Michaela Rehle/Reuters

Gareth Bale helped Real Madrid to dismantle Bayern Munich in their own stadium, taking his club to a first Champions League final since 2002, a(...)

Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid scores his second goal   with a header past goalkeeper Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer  during the Uefa Champions League semi-final second leg match at Allianz Arena. Photograph: Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Bayern Munich 0 Real Madrid 4 (Real Madrid win 5-0 on agg): Real Madrid moved a s(...)

Real’s Sergio Ramos, second left, scores his side’s second  goal past Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during the Champions League semi-final second leg  at the Allianz Arena ,  Munich. Photograph: AP.

DAVID HYTNER At long last, Real Madrid can almost touch La Decima. This was an (...)

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale celebrates after winning the Copa del Rey, thanks to a 2-1 victory over Barcelona in which he scored a sublime winner. Photograph: Sergio Perez / Reuters

Carlo Ancelotti hailed Gareth Bale after the Welshman’s late goal sunk Barcelona and gave Real Madrid the Copa del Rey for the 19th time in their h(...)

Gareth Bale of Real Madrid (left) scores past    goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller of Borussia Dortmund  at Santiago Bernabeu. Photograph: Juan Medina/Reuters

Real Madrid 3 Borussia Dortmund 0 Real Madrid are virtually through.(...)

 Karim Benzema (far left) passes the ball during Real Madrid’s  training session at  Valdebebas   ahead of Sunday’s El Clasico against Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu . Photograph:  Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema has recovered from a bruised thigh and is available for Sunday’s La Liga Clasico at home to Barcelona, coac(...)

Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva is looking to become the Brazilian with the most Premier League games to his name. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Lucas Leiva was driving when his mobile suddenly started buzzing with an alarming frequency. With his wife expecting the couple’s second child imminen(...)

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