Jayce Olivero: from Abingdon United to facing Hazard with Gibraltar

Student and non-league defender on the thrill of turning out for his country and tears that greeted their first competitive winIf Craig David considers his 7 Days hectic, he clearly has never met Jayce Olivero. Take the international break last month when Olivero and his country tasted their first competitive win, against Armenia; Saturday 13 October 2018 will live with Gibraltar forever. By the Tuesday night they were celebrating another, against Liechtenstein, and by Wednesday afternoon, via Gatwick airport, he was back home in Headington. By 9am Thursday, Olivero, a third-year student at Oxford Brookes University, was sitting in a two-hour lecture. Two days later he helped Abingdon United beat ninth-tier Tuffley Rovers in the Hellenic League Challenge Cup.Olivero, who had trials at Leicester and West Ham in his mid-teens, knows what is coming. “I always get that question,” he says, laughing. “I’ve been very fortunate to play against players like Hazard, Lukaku, Dzeko, Nani, all these great players … Kompany, Courtois, just a big list of brilliant players. Kevin De Bruyne. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Ivan Rakitic: ‘We saw Football’s Coming Home and thought: yeah, but you still have to play us’

The Barcelona and Croatia midfielder talks about playing England at the World Cup with a virus, how to stay calm when taking penalties and post-tournament exhaustionIvan Rakitic packed his bag, kissed his family goodbye and said see you on the 15th. It was early June and he was not planning to be back until mid-July, four days after his daughter’s birthday. His wife, Raquel Mauri, told him he had better explain, so he made a promise: “I told her: ‘Don’t worry, when it’s over we’ll have a big party,’” he grins. “And I kept my word.” The day Althea turned five, he was still in Moscow. That night he called, wished her happy birthday and said sorry: daddy wasn’t coming home just yet. He had a World Cup final to play. Related: Croatia stun Spain to set up Nations League decider against England Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Ireland v New Zealand: Irish flanker Leavy out of Dublin game

Ireland flanker Dan Leavy will miss the Dublin match against New Zealand because of injury and is replaced by Josh van der Flier.

16-11-2018

UFC at 25: Things were a lot different back at UFC 1

BBC Sport throws it back to 1993, when the first UFC numbered event featured a boxer with one glove, non-existent weight divisions and a pair of very tight pants.

16-11-2018

$100 to not see games? The Warriors' 'In the Building' pass is Silicon Valley in ticket form

Golden State games will be sold out for the foreseeable future, but they’ve discovered a new way to sell the experience: offering fans passes that don’t include a view of the courtThey say things are expensive in the Bay Area, but this is officially out of hand. The Golden State Warriors are now charging $100 for the privilege to not actually attend games. OK, technically you can watch the court with the team’s new “In the Building Pass”, but only from the television sets in the club areas at Oracle Arena. In the long line of Silicon Valley “innovations” that are just expensive variations on things that already exist, the Warriors have essentially reinvented the concept of “going to a sports bar”.Here’s how the “offer” works: fans get the opportunity to pay $100 for the ability to get into the arena for every home game. That’s basically all they get. They do not get a seat and they don’t even get a chance to see the game in person. Instead they can watch the action unfold on the various televisions at Oracle and, if they want, enjoy some ridiculously priced food and drink at the various bars and restaurants within. Yes, those who have a (non-transferable) pass are eligible for promotional giveaways. No, the offer doesn’t extend to the postseason. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

No shock in Federer scheduling claims but Laver Cup row more problematic | Kevin Mitchell

Everyone knows Roger Federer gets to play when and where he wants in every tournament he enters but Laver Cup issue is a sign of turbulent timesIt is rare to see Roger Federer flustered or short-tempered but both those sides of his personality were on show in London this week, and how revealing they were.Everyone knows (including the man himself) that he gets to play when and where he wants in every tournament he enters. He has earned it. He is not only the biggest draw in tennis, he has been one of the genuinely major stars of international sport for nearly two decades. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Great golf duels, quick pitstops and sticking it up the punter | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features propelling things at targets and narrowly avoiding being trampled1) It’s Tiger Woods v Phil Mickelson nonsense next week, which means an ideal time to look back at some maverick and even random golf matches. Here’s Tiger v Sergio in the Battle at Bighorn (2000), Seve v Jack in the Toyota Challenge of Champions (1986) and Ben Hogan v Sam Snead (1965). Then Skins … at Wentworth in 1988, Walton Heath in 1991, Lee Trevino at PGA West (1987) and Woods, again, at the Memorial Skins in 2009. And how about the $18,000 Putt-Putt Skins Game – 1989 edition and then 1992? And how could we possibly forget a famous 1964 duel at Stoke Park?2) Ferrari didn’t keep Sebastian Vettel waiting in the pits for his second stop at last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix – he was on his way again after an incredible 1.97 secs. Yet it’s still not the fastest ever. The pit lane ballet isn’t always so well choreographed, however. And beware: tyre jack. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Gordon Taylor faces challenge after call for independent review of PFA

• New chairman Ben Purkiss is seeking to modernise union• Former UK Athletics head Ed Warner in frame to lead reviewGordon Taylor is potentially facing his most serious challenge in his 37 years as the chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association after the union’s chairman, Ben Purkiss, called for an independent review. Related: Richard Scudamore’s £5m reflects greedy and ruthless Premier League | David Conn Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Ireland's Joe Schmidt expects ‘spiky’ All Blacks encounter to decide world’s best

• Schmidt: side ‘will give as good as we get’ against New Zealand• Coach defends Bundee Aki’s right to represent IrelandTest rugby is no place for the faint-hearted. With this in mind, Joe Schmidt has predicted another “spiky” clash with the All Blacks which will, in the visitors’ minds at least, decide the mantle of the world’s best team.In their past three drama-filled Tests only three points separate the All Blacks and Ireland, the two top-ranked sides, but much of that engrossing recent history has faded to form a near singular focus on the brutality that punctuated their last match in Dublin. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Croatia stun Spain to set up Nations League decider against England

• Tin Jedvaj’s stoppage-time winner gives Croatia 3-2 win• Wembley showdown will decide qualification and relegationTin Jedvaj scored a last-gasp winner to revive Croatia’s hopes of reaching the Nations League finals as Spain fell to a 3-2 defeat in Zagreb.The game was goalless until Andrej Kramaric tucked Ivan Perisic’s headed pass beyond David de Gea in the 54th minute. However, Spain responded immediately when Dani Ceballos recorded his first senior goal with a left-footed drive. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Liverpool and Scotland's Kenny Dalglish receives knighthood

The footballer and manager was honoured for "services to football, charity, and the city of Liverpool".

16-11-2018

Great Britain's women's hockey team: What's it like being a reserve goalkeeper?

Great Britain's Sabbie Heesh and Amy Tennant tell BBC Sport what it is like to be a reserve hockey goalkeeper.

16-11-2018

'I want to play better': is 2018 the start of Tom Brady's NFL decline?

The New England Patriots star is still one of the best quarterbacks in the league but, at 41, there are signs he may be slipping from his pedestalIt’s time for that biennial tradition of looking at a couple of bad Tom Brady performances and wondering if this is the beginning of the end for the man, the Patriots dynasty and possibly civilization itself.Hyperbole typically surrounds bad Brady outings: after all, they’re so infrequent, we have to get our kicks in. There is something noticeably different this time, though. It’s not just his age (41), it’s the manner of the performances. It’s not as visceral as the night in Kansas City back in 2014 when Brady was picked off twice and replaced by Jimmy Garoppolo in a 41-14 loss, but something feels off. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Ben Ryan: ‘If rugby were a company people would be comparing it to an Enron’

Fiji’s gold-medal winning sevens coach is unhappy with the direction he believes the game is moving in – from the treatment of tier-two nations to laws being overlooked by refereesIf you love rugby union what follows will be a tough read. According to one of the world’s leading coaches, however, the time has come for the sport to get real. “If rugby were a company people would be comparing it to an Enron,” says Ben Ryan, Fiji’s Olympic gold-medal winning sevens mastermind. “It’s completely dysfunctional.”Ryan’s charge sheet is long and chilling. With Japan set to visit Twickenham this weekend he says tier-two nations continue to be treated with almost feudal disregard, that the sport’s law-book is being wilfully ignored and that skilful players are becoming disillusioned with where 15-a-side rugby is heading. Central to it all, he believes, is the selfish decision-making of certain stakeholders which is steering the global game into deeply worrying territory. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Bold and brave Root century puts England back in the driving seat

England’s risky sweeping strategy pays off in second TestEngland 290 & 324-9; Sri Lanka 336. England lead by 278 runsA brave and brilliant century by Joe Root has given England the chance of a famous victory in a compelling Test match in Kandy. The England captain’s innings was brave not because he was ever in any physical danger – no pace bowler propelled a ball at him until the 55th over – but because the conception of this knock and the approach of the entire England lineup was so unusually bold and risky.They swept and they scurried and they swept again. Their first seven batsmen were all out sweeping, which can easily prompt old-timers to rail against the modern way. Thus they risked severe censure from the wise men in the boxes if their strategy failed abysmally. It did not. They have scored 324 for nine on what is regarded as a Bunsen burner, seldom seen in England (except at Ciderabad). Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Sri Lanka v England: Joe Root's sublime 124 puts tourists on top

England captain Joe Root hits a sublime century to put his side in a strong position to win the series against Sri Lanka on day three of the second Test.

16-11-2018

Roger Federer marches on at ATP Finals as battle over Davis Cup’s future goes on

• Federer defeats Kevin Anderson 6-4, 6-3 to top his group• Davis Cup could merge with new ATP Cup to resolve rowTennis might be fighting for its soul but Roger Federer remains its beating heart.On a day when it was learned that a merger of the revamped 118-year-old Davis Cup and the new ATP Cup – which will be held within six weeks of each other at the end of next year and the beginning of 2020 – is one solution being considered to break the impasse that has gripped the sport for five years, the Swiss cruised into the semi-finals of the ATP Tour Finals for the 15th time. Continue reading...

16-11-2018