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Residents and tourists play football on Ponta Negra beach in Natal, Brazil
Young Chinese football players attend classes after training at the Evergrande International Football School near Qingyuan in Guangdong Province, China. The sprawling 167-acre campus is the brainchild of property tycoon Xu Jiayin, whose ambition is to train a generation of young athletes to establish China as a football powerhouse. The school is considered the largest football academy in the world with 2,400 students, more than 50 pitches and a squad of Spanish coaches through a partnership with Real Madrid
A boy plays alone as he practices scoring in a small court in the Tavares Bastos shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The high costs of preparing for the 2013 Confederations Cup and upcoming World Cup, blamed in part by the late rush to get projects done, ignited a wave of public criticism from a population already tired of poor public services and widespread corruption, yet in Brazil, soccer is a unifying force
Children watch a soccer match held by activists as part of the “Rebel Cup” in downtown São Paulo. The Rebel Cup is an informal tournament bringing together social movements as a way of protest against government spending for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. One of the boys, left, wears a T-shirt of Real Madrid while another, second from right, wears the shorts of Barcelona.
Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz poses for a selfie with US President Barack Obama during a ceremony at the White House to honour the 2013 World Series Champions
An Aboriginal man performs a traditional “smoking” ceremony as the Asian Cup trophy is carried to the Sydney Opera House for the official draw. Hosts Australia were handed a tough draw for the 2015 Asian Cup on Wednesday when they were paired with twice former champions South Korea in the group stage.
Racegoers at Cheltenham racecourse on the opening day of the 2014 festival
A climber scales the Bolshoi Dome, one of the ice hockey venues for the Sochi Winter Olympics
Amateur footballers at Italian team ASD Mineo are all African migrants who risked their lives to cross the sea. The 25-man squad, the first of its kind in Italy, was created and funded by managers from the Mineo centre for asylum seekers, one of Europe’s largest. The team is registered in the lowest category of Italy’s official football pyramid, which groups 600 divisions and in which, in theory, any team can rise to the top of the league, or Serie A. The team is on track to advance to the next division in its first season.
Women’s supercombined bronze medalist Julia Mancuso of the US, right, and Germany’s gold medalist Maria Hoefl-Riesch carry their national flags at a flower ceremony at the Alpine ski venue at the Sochi Winter Olympics
Shaun White, of the United States, takes a jump during a snowboard slopestyle training session at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. The venue is host to the snowboarding and freestyle skiing events of the 2014 Winter Olympics, which starts on Tuesday.
Skiers reach the top of a mountain near the start of the men’s downhill ski course ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe puts on a jersey of the Boston Red Sox, while Red Sox mascot Wally looks, on at Mr Abe’s office. Japanese Major League Baseball (MLB) players Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara gave the jersey to Mr Abe.
Tennis fans protect themselves from the sun during a first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia.
After falling from his motorbike, Stephane Hamard of France gets help during the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally between the cities of Salta, Argentina and Uyuni, Bolivia.