Manchester City’s Ilkay Gündogan says being racially abused ‘hurts’

• Gündogan talks about teammate Raheem Sterling’s experience• Germany midfielder abused after he met Turkey presidentIlkay Gündogan said he knows how it hurts to be racially abused, as he reflected on the experiences of his Manchester City teammate Raheem Sterling.Gündogan has been booed more than once by Germany fans since he and Mesut Özil posed for a picture with the Turkey president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in May. Gündogan has also been insulted by a German politician on Facebook and attacked on social media. Continue reading...

14-12-2018

The 100 best footballers in the world 2017

Our panel of 169 experts from 63 nations compile a list of the greatest male players in 2017. Click on an individual to read more about their year.• Messi edges Ronaldo to No1 | The data behind our 100 | Watch: our top 10• Meet our panel of judges for 2017 | 2016 edition | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 Continue reading...

14-12-2018

Liverpool 'have to be angry' against Manchester United, says Klopp – video

The Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp has said that his side will be angry ahead of their game with Manchester United on Sunday, adding that ‘we fight for our points’. When asked about his counterpart José Mourinho Klopp praised what he called ‘one of the most successful managers in the world’ Continue reading...

14-12-2018

The 100 best female footballers in the world 2018

Seventy-two judges from 30 countries have had their say and here is our top 100 of the best players in the world. In association with The Offside Rule Suzanne Wrack meets our No 1, Pernille HarderInterview: Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg Continue reading...

14-12-2018

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

A crunch clash at Anfield, depleted Palace and Huddersfield teams, and the start of a crucial run for FulhamIt is a marker of how far Manchester United have fallen to see that when Gary Neville set about choosing his combined XI for Liverpool and Manchester United on Monday Night Football, he included just three outfield United players. The only player he picked with conviction was Anthony Martial at left wing, admitting Eric Bailly would not be in if Joe Gomez was fit and laughing that his selection of Paul Pogba alongside Naby Keïta and Gini Wijnaldum was “just an opportunity to get a United player in”. Nobody would argue that Liverpool are the better side, and have been for a number of years, yet the past eight league meetings read W0, D3, L5 for the Merseyside club. Liverpool’s lack of ruthlessness against Napoli so nearly came back to bite them in the Champions League; they can ill afford the same profligacy against a José Mourinho side that is unlikely to be anything other than defensively minded. MB Continue reading...

14-12-2018

Ashley Giles replaces Andrew Strauss as managing director of England men's cricket

Former England spinner Ashley Giles replaces Andrew Strauss as managing director of England men's cricket.

14-12-2018

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...

14-12-2018

Anastasia Dobromyslova: ‘Being a girl, I’ve had to fight for my spot in darts’

Ellesmere Port-based Russian is one of two women who have qualified for the PDC event at Alexandra Palace from ThursdayAnastasia Dobromyslova smiles as she remembers the first time she played darts, as a 12-year‑old in her home city of Tver, just over 100 miles from Moscow, and realised she had an unerring knack for hitting trebles and doubles – and beating the older boys at her youth club. “I wasn’t very well liked,” she laughs. “I think that’s what toughened me up, because I’ve always had to be amongst the boys. Being a girl I have had to fight for my spot.”Not a great deal has changed in the intervening two decades. But having qualified for one of two new women’s spots at this year’s expanded PDC World Championship, which begins at Alexandra Palace on Thursday, the 34-year-old Dobromyslova intends to make the most of her opportunity. “You don’t realise how many emotions I have,” she says. “I’m excited, I’m nervous and I know playing in front of thousands of people will be challenging. But with a bit of luck, who knows what could happen?” Continue reading...

14-12-2018

Talking Horses: Adrian Heskin misses Cheltenham and ruled out for weeks

The retained rider for Tom George’s stable is a notable absentee from Friday’s card after breaking his legAdrian Heskin, the retained rider for Tom George’s west country stable, is a notable absentee from Friday’s card at Cheltenham and is likely to be missing for several weeks following confirmation that he suffered a broken leg in a fall at Taunton on Thursday.Heskin took over as George’s No 1 in October 2016 and registered his first Grade One win for the yard when The Worlds End took the Sefton Novice Hurdle at Aintree’s Grand National Festival in April 2017. He was due to partner the same horse in the Neville Lumb Novice Chase at Cheltenham this afternoon but the ride on the likely favourite will now be taken by Noel Fehily. Continue reading...

14-12-2018

Manchester joins London in bid to host ATP Finals tennis from 2021

Singapore, Tokyo and Turin also in running for eventLondon has staged tournament at O2 since 2009Manchester has joined London as a leading candidate to host the ATP Finals from 2021 to 2025. The end-of-season tournament is to be held at the O2 Arena in London through to 2020. That deal could be extended, while the ATP announced on Friday that Manchester, Singapore, Tokyo and Turin are the other shortlisted cities. Continue reading...

14-12-2018

World Cup squads face wait for Premiership players due to insurance dispute

• Premiership Rugby may hold back players until mid-August• Wales and Scotland among those who would be hardest hitAn insurance wrangle between World Rugby and the Premiership is threatening to severely hamper World Cup preparations for nations such as Wales and Scotland who could be deprived of their players in the buildup to the tournament.If the dispute is not resolved, the Guardian understands Premiership Rugby Limited (PRL) intends to prevent players from nations other than England joining their teams until mid-August, when the official Test window opens, only 35 days before the first match in Japan. Continue reading...

14-12-2018

Philip Rivers leads LA Chargers to last-gasp comeback win over Kansas City Chiefs

Chargers rally back from 14-point deficit with four minutes leftRivers throws TD and completes two-point conversion at deathPhilip Rivers and the Chargers finally beat the Kansas City Chiefs.All it took was feverish fourth-quarter comeback, a questionable pass-interference call, a tense video review of the final touchdown and the gutsy decision to try a two-point conversion. Continue reading...

14-12-2018