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...

16-11-2018

Jadon Sancho lights up Wayne Rooney’s farewell match for England against USA

There were glimpses of a familiar fearlessness, flashbacks to the searing pace generated from a standing start, all stocky power and precocious skill to traumatise markers. Wayne Rooney must have seen his youthful self in Jadon Sancho and, having delighted in a fond farewell, departed this stage convinced the baton has been passed on to worthy successors. This had been billed as his night but, in the end, it was the new generation who dazzled.The former captain’s cameo ultimately amounted to 32 minutes, a period illuminated by one sharp shift on to his left foot to whip away a shot that was claimed, one wonderfully lofted pass for Ruben Loftus-Cheek to gather, and a placed attempt in injury time which so nearly squirmed beyond Brad Guzan only for the goalkeeper to grasp it at full stretch. Rooney’s script did not quite extend to a 54th international goal. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

NBA: Detroit Pistons beat Toronto Raptors in thrilling final six-second finish

Watch the thrilling finish to the Detroit Pistons' 106-104 victory over the Toronto Raptors in the NBA on Wednesday, with a Kawhi Leonard mistake costing the Raptors dear.

16-11-2018

Talking Horses: Cheltenham's autumn meeting puts jumping at centre stage

Grand National and three-time Festival winner Tiger Roll will be present at a meeting that often unearths top-class talentIt is 196 days since the first race of the 2018-19 National Hunt season, but there will still be a sense of a new beginning as racegoers assemble below Cleeve Hill for the first day of Cheltenham’s November meeting on Friday afternoon. For the next four-and-a-half months, jumping is centre-stage and there is a good chance that at least one of next spring’s Grade One championship winners will be lurking somewhere on Friday’s card.One certainty is that there will be a Grand National winner on the cast-list, as Tiger Roll, who held on by a fast-diminishing head at Aintree back in April, returns to the scene of his third Cheltenham Festival success in the Cross-Country eight months ago. When it comes to the current season, though, it is two of Friday’s novice events which are likely to prove most significant. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Hamilton would be world champion in a Mercedes or a Ferrari - Palmer column

In his latest column, former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer looks at the brilliance of five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

16-11-2018

Women's World Twenty20 highlights: India beat Ireland, New Zealand end losing streak

Watch the best moments from day seven of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 as India beat Ireland to reach the semi-finals and New Zealand end their losing streak.

16-11-2018

Which football teams have worn most kit combinations in a season? | The Knowledge

Plus: huge gaps between victories in the same competition, winning the same title with multiple teams, and loose dentures. Mail [email protected] or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“It appears that Fulham’s kit designer is having as bad a season as their defensive coach,” muses Richard Hilton. “Fulham have worn five different kit combinations in their first five away matches of the season (red/red; black/black; blue/blue; white/black; white/white). Is this a record?”It turns out Fulham’s kit designer still has a little more meddling to do, Richard. Here’s Chris Oakley. “I can confirm that they have some way to go yet! I’ve been creating some illustrations for Rochdale AFC’s official matchday programme, The Voice of Spotland, which show they had seven kits during the 1997-98 season. Two of them used elements of a kit worn two seasons before.” 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

Premier League to introduce VAR but clubs reject overseas quota cut

• VAR to be implemented from next season• Widespread opposition to plans to cut overseas playersThe Premier League has finally agreed in principle to introduce video assistant referees next season but discussions over increasing homegrown quotas looks set to continue after clubs indicated they were unwilling to reduce the number of foreign players in the event of any Brexit deal.Having opted to extend VAR trials in April, clubs were provided with an update at the shareholders’ meeting on Thursday and have decided to proceed. They will formally make a request to the International Football Association Board and Fifa to use VAR next season. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Sports quiz of the week: Wayne Rooney, City v United and Formula 1

Who scored? Who stripped? Who is out of action?Wayne Rooney is likely to win his final England cap later this month. His first game for England ended in a 3-1 defeat to Australia. Which other young striker made his international debut that night, scored England’s only goal of the game and never played for his country again?Rickie Lambert Francis JeffersDavid Nugent James Beattie Where are England playing New Zealand at rugby this weekend?Bradford and BathLondon and LeedsManchester and CardiffWigan and SheffieldWhen it comes to the Manchester derby, what makes Ernest Mangnall unique?He scored for both sides in the derby in 1935 (a fine header for United and a scrappy own goal for City)He is the only man to have managed both clubsHe is the only player to have been sold from one club to the otherHe is the only United player who has gone on to manage CityIf it was Singapore in 2008, United Arab Emirates in 2009, South Korea in 2010 and India in 2011, where will it be in 2020?South AfricaVietnamWalesTurkeyWhy will Aldershot Town have to do without midfielder James Rowe for the next few months?After winning Britain’s Got Talent with his ukulele playing, he "wants to concentrate on music for a while"He has stepped away from football for a few months to star in a pantomimeHe has gone to Buenos Aires “to watch the Copa Libertadores final and check out Argentina”He was injured by a bottle of RibenaThe Women’s World Twenty20 begins this weekend. Who are the hosts and reigning champions?EnglandAustraliaIndiaWest Indies Bradley Stoke Town FC signed a new player this week. What is he called?Donald TrumpObama BarracksMichel BarnierBradley StokesHuddersfield's victory on Monday night means that every team in the Premier League has won a game this season. Who scored Huddersfield's winner?A Huddersfield playerA Newcastle player (on loan from Chelsea)A Cardiff City player (on loan from Liverpool )A Fulham player (on loan from Manchester United) Fernando Ovelar scored a goal for Cerro Porteño against Club Olimpia in the Paraguayan Superclásico this week. What is unusual about Ovelar’s goal?He was the refereeHe is also the club’s ownerHe is just 14 years old He played the first half for Olimpia but was signed for Cerro Porteño at half-time Who is the only player to have scored at Anfield and the Etihad this season?David Silva Danny Ings Callum Wilson Wesley Hoedt Zeki Celik was shown a yellow card for stripping Neymar of which item of clothing in Lille’s defeat to PSG?A hatA snoodA necklaceA gloveWho said: "I wanted to do something different. I want to give the people what they want – blood, sweat and tears. I can do it all"?José MourinhoTony BellewFloyd MayweatherWayne Rooney12 and above.You are a true credit to yourself. Have a cracking weekend. You've earned it1 and above.That's not very good. 2 and above.That's not a great score but it's something to build on next week 3 and above.That's not a great score but it's something to build on next week 4 and above.You've done OK there. Not great but not embarrassing either5 and above.You've done well there. Give yourself a thumbs up6 and above.You've done well there. Give yourself a thumbs up7 and above.You've done well there. Give yourself a thumbs up. Enjoy the weekend8 and above.You've done very well there. Enjoy the weekend9 and above.You've done very, very well there. Enjoy the weekend10 and above.You've done very, very, very well there. Have a cracking weekend0 and above.That's not very good. 11 and above.You are a credit to yourself. Have a cracking weekend. You've earned it Continue reading...

16-11-2018

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

The Fiver | The potential commercial benefits of honouring former heroes

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Almost two years to the day since he made his final appearance for England at Wembley, Wayne Rooney will make his final appearance for England at Wembley on Thursday, in what amounts to a testimonial for the 33-year-old striker. Rooney called time on his international career in 2017, but like a well-intentioned ex-con in a cliched heist movie has been talked into one last job. The grizzled old veteran will take his place among the substitutes in Gareth Southgate’s squad for a friendly against the USA! USA!! USA!!! so England fans can thank a loyal servant who played quite well in one major tournament England didn’t come close to winning, before playing quite badly in several others they also didn’t come close to winning. As an homage to an international career in which he earned 119 caps and scored 53 goals, Rooney will receive a guard of honour from both sets of players, come on as a substitute and take the captain’s armband from Fabian Delph. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Wayne Rooney on England, leaving the Premier League, and life in the US

Wayne Rooney talks to Football Focus about England, leaving the Premier League, and life in the US playing for DC United.

16-11-2018

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.

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

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

The Fiver | Lovren v Ramos, bad looks and the sense of box office

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!During the Ethics World Cup, Dejan Lovren was the darling among those grubbing for a sentence, a word, a mere arching of the eyebrow from footballers as they traipsed past hacks taking urgent phone calls or struggling with a particularly troublesome earbud. Lovren would stand in front of the massed quote-seekers, shooting from the hip and giving the impression that he’d happily come along for a post-match loosener if there wasn’t a bus to catch. Continue reading...

16-11-2018

Kieran Tierney: Celtic defender drops out of Scotland squad through injury

Celtic's Kieran Tierney withdraws from the Scotland squad through injury shortly after Sheffield United's John Fleck is called up for the first time.

16-11-2018