World Cup: The best photos from June 18
June 19th, 2014
11:59 AM ET

Brazil 2014: The reasons for Spain's World Cup pain

Hours after Spain's new monarch ascended to one throne, the kings of football - the Spanish nation's pride and joy - were being knocked off theirs.

And while I agree with those citing tiredness as a cause, I think any fatigue was more in the mind than the body.

You only had to look at the demeanor of goalkeeper Iker Casillas to see he was suffering from the sporting equivalent of post-traumatic stress; shellshock brought on by the explosive nature of conceding five goals against the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup winners' opening game. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football • World Cup
The beast has been slain thanks to matador Ancelotti
Carlo Ancelotti lifted the European Cup for the third time as a coach having won it twice as a player.
May 26th, 2014
09:55 AM ET

The beast has been slain thanks to matador Ancelotti

After the tumult of the trophy lift, as the Real Madrid players frolicked on the Stadium of Light's pitch, the eye was drawn towards Sergio Ramos.

Using a large silk flag as a matador's cloak, he drew loud blasts of "Ole" from the crowd with every swish of the cloth. There was no bull in sight but a beast had been slain; an imaginary one, given tremendous bulk by the club's fervent desire for "La Decima."

With a record-extending 10th European Cup secured, the removal of that burdensome weight helped propel the buoyant celebrations of everyone associated with the tournament's most successful ever team. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
Has golf made the right decision for the wrong reasons?
Condaleezza Rice was one of two women admitting to Augusta's membership last year. (Getty Images)
March 26th, 2014
04:13 PM ET

Has golf made the right decision for the wrong reasons?

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews should be admired for many reasons but not for finally asking its members to admit women after 260 years.

Seen as golf’s spiritual home, St Andrews is urging its 2,500 members to vote in favor of abolishing its men-only policy and a vote on the issue will be held in September.

Don’t misunderstand me. It’s certainly the right decision. By all means say, “Congratulations and welcome to the 21st century” but the announcement seems to be motivated by self-interest more than a sudden enlightenment of the men who run the club. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Golf
NFL to trump NBA in global expansion race?
The Vince Lombardi Trophy stands between the helmets for the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII.
January 31st, 2014
02:14 PM ET

NFL to trump NBA in global expansion race?

Having looked at both American Football and basketball’s plans to grow their markets beyond the U.S., my hunch is we should see an NFL team based overseas before an NBA franchise.

However, I would not be surprised if neither league actually moves a side to foreign soil, even though global expansion is viewed as essential to growing their respective businesses.

The view of the NFL as a global sport is accentuated during Super Bowl week. The clash between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos is expected to attract more than 2013’s worldwide audience of 111.3 million viewers. FULL POST

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Filed under:  U.S. Sport
January 8th, 2014
10:55 AM ET

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Filed under:  Motorsport
What was the biggest sports story of 2013?
December 17th, 2013
04:26 PM ET

What was the biggest sports story of 2013?

From the heights of achievement to the despair of fallen idols, it has been a game of two halves for sport in 2013.

Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Serena Williams led the way on the tennis court, but sports fans saw heroes such as Lance Armstrong and Oscar Pistorius taint their considerable legacies beyond redemption.

Then there was a farewell to one of the giants of football, Alex Ferguson, who left behind a wealth of memories not just for supporters of his club Manchester United but for the beautiful game as a whole - which has suffered through controversies over corruption and future World Cups.

So what was your top sporting story of 2013? CNN's World Sport anchors share  their leading selections below, and we'd like to hear your opinions too. FULL POST

Who will win the 2014 World Cup?
Lionel Messi will lead Argentina to World Cup glory, according to CNN's Alex Thomas. (Getty Images)
December 5th, 2013
01:40 PM ET

Who will win the 2014 World Cup?

Argentina will lift the World Cup on July 13, 2014 - and the country's third triumph in football’s biggest tournament will be the sweetest of them all because it will come in the back yard of South American rivals and hosts Brazil.

Predicting the winner of a major sporting contest is a precarious business for a journalist at the best of times. We’re trained to report the facts, not interpret tea leaves or stare into a crystal ball.

The guessing game for a World Cup, even an educated one, is even harder when it’s done before the teams are drawn into groups – but that’s the task I’ve been given.

Better, then, to face it than live in fear of it. I’ve pinned my colors to Argentina’s mast because they have the will, the skill and the local knowledge to beat their rivals. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
October 4th, 2013
03:21 PM ET

FIFA and 2022 World Cup: Five things we learnt

1. Politics is bigger than sport

Often this phrase is quoted in reverse given sport has proved more influential than politics on occasion; a ban on South African teams helped build momentum for the anti-Apartheid movement, for example.

However, the exposure of alleged abuse of workers in Qatar completely overshadowed the debate about moving the dates of the 2022 World Cup.

With lives on the line and international trade unions in full voice, the complaints from television rights holders and Europe's wealthy football leagues suddenly seemed petty.

An Olympics or football World Cup can be a catalyst for change but, in this instance, FIFA's Executive Committee (ExCo) needed to be reminded by the media to focus on the most serious issue of the Qatar World Cup. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
September 25th, 2013
10:00 PM ET

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Elite sport bucks global economic woes
The Webb Ellis Cup is the trophy awarded to the winner of the Rugby World Cup. (Getty Images)
September 23rd, 2013
03:43 PM ET

Elite sport bucks global economic woes

If elite sport was a superhero it would have the gleaming letters "RB" emblazoned across its colorful spandex-covered chest. The "Recession Buster" has saved the day again if rugby World Cup organizers are to be believed.

Last week they marked exactly two years to go until the 2015 tournament by announcing an impressive list of financial statistics pointing to it being the most successful in rugby's history.

While the path back to economic prosperity appears to be painstaking for the rest of the planet, the sporting world is unintentionally mocking that struggle by breezing through the downturn. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Rugby
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