The balloon went up over Eastern Europe on the eve of the final in Kiev. Thankfully, it was a giant hot air model in the shape of the ultimate prize, the Henri Delaunay Cup, and signalled the imminent battle between Italy and Spain for European dominance.Monday, 2 July, 2012, 12:00am
And so to final day. Tonight we shall all shuffle over the precipice and - depending on your team colours (sorry, I don't believe anyone is going into this humdinger as a neutral) - we shall tumble cheering or commiserating into the history books.1 Jul 2012 - 12:00am
It is known worldwide as 'the beautiful game' although you might not know it from recent ugly behaviour on and off the field, and indeed in the courts of China. But a spate of surveys and statistics has shown that football is the world's most popular and most lucrative sport.20 Jun 2012 - 12:00am
Talking to Ajax manager Frank de Boer, you'd swear Jan Vertonghen's move to Arsenal next season was already a done deal. What isn't so certain is if the former Netherlands captain will ever join the Belgian in the English Premier League.7 Apr 2012 - 12:00am
Liverpool have a golden opportunity for a first piece of silverware in six years when they play Championship side Cardiff City in tomorrow's Carling Cup final.
But if Kenny Dalglish senses any complacency from his players he need only point to Arsenal's upset defeat by Birmingham a year ago.25 Feb 2012 - 12:00am
The 405 freeway is a soulless strip of concrete that stretches 118 kilometres from start to finish. It grips the greater Los Angeles area in perpetual gridlock like a claw and, according to the US Department of Transportation, is the most travelled urban highway in the country, carrying 374,000 cars a day.8 Jan 2012 - 12:00am
Newcastle are certain to stay in the English Premier League top three tonight, whatever happens on their trip to leaders Manchester City, because the two teams that can overtake them - Chelsea and Tottenham - are not in action until later on the weekend programme.19 Nov 2011 - 12:00am
They are the men who fans pay to watch and that the TV cameras and journalists love to focus on. Yet how far should administrators go in protecting the beautiful players of the beautiful game?29 Oct 2011 - 12:00am
With most of the first round of soccer's autumn internationals completed last night, attention is already turning to Tuesday's Euro 2012 qualifiers where England's return match with Wales in group G is the main attraction.3 Sep 2011 - 12:00am
Arise Sir David Beckham Gwen Russell Published by John Blake Publishing ISBN 978 1844544165
David Beckham looks cool in front of the media. This book shows you, however, that there is more to him than meets the eye. He is kind-hearted and a family man.9 Aug 2011 - 12:00am
He lifted the European Cup twice as a player, so perhaps Roman Abramovich should listen when former Chelsea great Marcel Desailly says the club's next manager must be given time.7 Jun 2011 - 12:00am
It's a disaster for football... I don't know what's going on in the next days, but in general it's my opinion it's very, very bad
Franz Beckenbauer, a member of Fifa's executive committee, on the corruption crisis within football's ruling body
I'm an old soldier... I was thinking about just fading away, but now I feel I have a bit more work to do30 May 2011 - 12:00am
Japanese legend Hidetoshi Nakata will provide the star factor for newly crowned league champions Kitchee in their match against Spanish side Villarreal next Thursday.
The match at Hong Kong Stadium will be a fund-raiser for victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March.18 May 2011 - 12:00am
Italian legend Franco Baresi says the rest of Asia should follow Japan's example and open up their game more to foreign players and coaches to help them tap the region's riches.
'Asia has many opportunities to become a big power,' said Baresi, who was in Hong Kong yesterday to launch AC Milan Soccer Schools.17 May 2011 - 12:00am
Trainer Tony Millard is just two wins short of his best season - numerically at any rate - after Lucky Nistelrooy provided jockey Jeff Lloyd with the first leg of his double.16 May 2011 - 12:00am