Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.

13-12-2018



José Mourinho says he learned ‘nothing’ in Champions League loss to Valencia

• Manchester United would have topped group with victory • Manager insists campaign so far has still been a ‘success’José Mourinho aimed another shot at his players, revealing his growing frustration as he insisted he had learned “nothing” and was not surprised by his team’s 2-1 defeat at Valencia.Manchester United were unexpectedly handed the opportunity to finish top of their Champions League group but, while they wasted that chance and Mourinho admitted they could blame only themselves, he said he had no regrets about fielding a changed line-up and insisted that finishing second still represented “a success, never a failure”. Continue reading...

13-12-2018



Mollie and Rosie Kmita: the twins 'breaking the mould' for women in football – video

Twitter UK has launched a new #WomenInFootball campaign with sisters Rosie and Mollie Kmita telling the story of how they ‘broke the mould’ to earn respect in their sport. Rosie, a professional footballer at West Ham, and Mollie who plays for Gillingham, believe ‘women’s football is going in the right direction’ and hope to inspire the next generation of female players. You can watch all four films in the series here.The 100 best female footballers in the world 2018 Continue reading...

13-12-2018



Rob Cross: ‘After the world darts final it was like I’d hit rock-bottom’

The world No 2 darts player went from winning £7 in pubs to winning the PDC world championship within 18 months, but, he says, quick success ‘drained me’“Do you ever get these feelings that something’s going to happen?” Rob Cross asks with surprise in his voice. “You don’t know where they come from but you can feel that something’s going to happen. I had that feeling when I won the worlds. I had that feeling when I won the Challenge Tour. They’re like premonitions.”Cross shakes his head and smiles at the mysterious force of the past two years. His life has been transformed from being an electrician who won £7 after victory in a pub tournament, to becoming the world champion of darts 18 months later. Cross won £400,000 on 1 January 2018 when, in the PDC world championship final, he crushed his hero, Phil Taylor, at the end of his first year as a professional. Since then, Cross put on five stone in weight and was disconcerted when the lives of his wife and three children were threatened by a crank who was offended by his stunning rise. Continue reading...

13-12-2018



What is the smallest football ground a European champion has lost at? | The Knowledge

Plus: the longest delay for any new stadium in history and the worst goal difference you can get away with and still qualify in the Champions League. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Real Madrid recently lost 3-0 to Eibar in a stadium that holds just 7,000 people,” begins Robin Tucker. “That got me thinking: have any former European champions lost a competitive match in a smaller stadium? This would be only counting results after their first European success, so games such as Liverpool’s 1959 defeat to Worcester City would not count.”A fine question, but it’s not even the smallest stadium a former European champion has lost in this season. The 1986 winners Steaua Bucharest, now snappily known as FCSB, have suffered plenty of turmoil recently, including a defeat earlier this month to Sepsi OSK. That was in front of an estimated 2,500 at the 5,200-capacity Stadionul Municipal. Continue reading...

13-12-2018



What now for Team Sky? Vultures will already be circling their top riders

Sir Dave Brailsford has six months to find a backer but cycling’s top team need big bucks and China may be the answerAs Team Sky’s sponsorship enters its final season after nine years at the peak of professional cycling one thing is certain: unless Sir Dave Brailsford announces a replacement backer this side of June, the vultures will circle ever closer to the ground. They will already be on the wing after the announcement on Wednesday that Sky will end its backing at the close of 2019.There is speculation that because some of their most valuable riders have contracts that last beyond the end of next year, backing may already be in place. It is equally likely that the contracts are long term, as the management had no option but to think that way and possibly little inkling the team may shut up shop, and that possible penalties for early termination of those contracts may be tied to the current sponsorship. Continue reading...

13-12-2018



The Spin | Big Bash’s flipping bats recall stories of cunning ploys with tossed coins

When you look closely at the ritual, it begins to seem odd that cricket lets blind luck and ‘dynamical bias’ play such a large partWhen he was 14, Persi Diaconis packed a fresh deck of cards and a spare pair of socks into a knapsack and ran away from home to become a magician’s assistant. He spent the next few years as an apprentice with Dai Vernon, whose sleight of hand was so smart, so sharp, he even beat Harry Houdini, who famously claimed he could pick any magic trick on the third go, until Vernon fooled him seven times in a row.They used to call Vernon “the Professor”, and now they do Diaconis, too. Because that is what he is. The Mary V Sunseri professor of statistics and mathematics, to be exact, at Stanford, where he has been continuing his lifelong study of chance and probability. Continue reading...

13-12-2018



Manchester City 2-1 1899 Hoffenheim: Qualification 'incredible success', says Pep Guardiola

Manchester City's qualification for the Champions League last 16 was an "incredible success", says manager Pep Guardiola.

13-12-2018



Can women save Sumo? The crossroads facing Japan's national sport – video

The ancient Japanese ritual of Sumo is in crisis. Only last week, a Mongolian wrestler was forced to retire after assaulting a teammate – but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Years of controversy and scandal, coupled with the country's declining population, have greatly impacted the sport's ability to attract new talent. The Guardian visits Tokyo's Ryōgoku district, the birthplace of Sumo, to see how this iconic institution is adapting to life in the 21st century, and why - despite women being banned from the ring itself - young female fans are flocking to watch it like never beforeYokozuna, controversies and a 'Dump Truck': a sumo history – in pictures Continue reading...

13-12-2018



Paul Sherwen obituary

Cyclist, television commentator and broadcaster who became one of the defining voices of his sportPaul Sherwen, who has died of a heart attack aged 62, was a pioneering member of the group of English-speaking cyclists nicknamed the Foreign Legion, a doughty five-times Tour de France finisher and, together with Phil Liggett, half of the Channel 4 commentary pairing that brought the race into British sitting rooms daily for the first time during the late 1980s.“Phil and Paul” became the voices of the Tour de France across the English-speaking world: the voluble Liggett described the action and the more measured Sherwen detailed moves and personalities. For a generation of fans – initially in the UK, later across most of the English-speaking world – they were the defining voices of the sport. By this year, Sherwen had attended 40 tours. Continue reading...

13-12-2018



Pete Shelley's Tour de force, Miami's Miracle and Premier Passions | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features Paul Sherwen, NHL deflections and Dean Jones’s very bad idea1) It wasn’t always widely known, but Buzzcocks’ brilliant Pete Shelley, who died this past week, wrote the music for the iconic Channel 4 Tour de France theme, itself taken from within 1984 track Give It To Me. Another sad passing this week was Paul Sherwen. It’s well worth a listen to the Cycling Podcast’s tribute, while Sherwen recalls how he met his broadcasting partner Phil Liggett.2) The Miami Miracle! Obviously there’s already a Tecmo Super Bowl version out there. Gronk’s still stumbling. More laterals: here’s the Music City Miracle, which always features highly among some of the NFL’s most famous. There are more in college football, including … Miami (!) v Duke, Trinity v Millsaps and the classic: Cal v Stanford. Watch out for that band! More on The Play. Continue reading...

13-12-2018



Players restrain themselves over abuse, says Darren Fletcher

Former Scotland captain Darren Fletcher says he has received verbal abuse from supporters about his ulcerative colitis.

13-12-2018



'We're not here to be Invincibles': Guardiola hails players despite loss to Chelsea – video

Pep Guardiola struck a philosophical tone after Manchester City's 0-2 loss to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, insisting: 'We're not here to be Invincibles; we're here to be champions.' Despite dominating possession for most of the game, Manchester City conceded a goal in each half to slump to their first league defeat in eight months and drop to second place in the Premier League. Guardiola praised his team's performance despite the result, claiming they had played with 'great personality' throughout.David Luiz seals win as Chelsea end Manchester City’s unbeaten start Continue reading...

13-12-2018



Leicester hope Manu Tuilagi will put passion for club before cash

• Leicester fear centre could be lured away next summer • ‘I think his heart is in a Tigers’ shirt,’ says Geordan MurphyGeordan Murphy is hoping Manu Tuilagi’s passion for Leicester will keep the England centre at Welford Road next season.The 27-year-old, who made his Leicester debut in 2010, is out of contract in the summer and the club’s interim director of rugby admitted that, if it came down solely to money, the Tigers would lose out. Toulon are among those wanting to sign the 2013 Lion. Continue reading...

13-12-2018