12-12-2018 Zack Steffen is unlikely to ever play for Man City. So why did he join them?

The goalkeeper is one of the US’s most promising players. But he’s more than likely swapping a starring role in MLS for a loan move from CityPep Guardiola knows what he likes in a goalkeeper. The Manchester City manager has changed the way football looks at the art of keeping. It’s now about more than just making saves, punching clear corners and screaming instructions at dim-witted centre backs. Just ask Claudio Bravo, who lost his starting place just one season after a high-profile move from Barcelona, Ederson, who is almost as good with his feet as he is with his hands, now holds the position, and he is often higher up the pitch than most defenders. Is this what led Guardiola – or should we say City Football Group (CFG) - to Zack Steffen? The Columbus Crew goalkeeper will leave MLS for City in July 2019. CFG expect a certain standard for their teams and so it makes sense that they want to sign Steffen, who was named the 2018 Goalkeeper of the Year in MLS. He might be raw and prone to the odd blunder, but the 23-year-old possesses a level of technical ability that conforms to Guardiola’s philosophy. He’s not a bad shot-stopper either. Steffen is expected to follow the likes of Kasey Keller, Tim Howard and Brad Guzan as America’s next great goalkeeper. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Tony Adams to become new president of Rugby Football League

• Former Arsenal player made contacts through Sporting Chance• Charity has helped more than 400 rugby league playersTony Adams, the former Arsenal and England footballer, will become the new president of the Rugby Football League next summer. Adams, who has worked with the RFL in developing rugby league’s player welfare programmes via his Sporting Chance charity, will succeed Andy Burnham and become the 29th person to occupy the role.“It will be an honour to become the next president of the RFL,” Adams said. “I am passionate about working with everyone in the sport to raise the profile of mental health, wellness and resilience, for players and for everyone in rugby league. I’d like to play my part in championing this brilliant sport on the national stage.” Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Joel Matip: Liverpool defender out for up to six weeks with fractured collarbone

Liverpool defender Joel Matip could be out for up to six weeks as he needs surgery on a fractured collarbone.

12-12-2018 Cameron Radigan opens up on his passion for archery

Cameron Radigan on his campaign to have his leg amputated and his archery dream.

12-12-2018 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.

12-12-2018 Cheltenham Festival to reduce field sizes in bid to improve safety

• Changes proposed for meeting after seven deaths this year• Pre-race veterinary checks to be increased at the fixtureThe British Horseracing Authority published a series of recommendations on Wednesday designed to improve the safety and welfare of horses and riders in National Hunt racing as a whole and at the Cheltenham Festival in March in particular. The proposals are the result of a review of the Festival which was launched after seven horses died as a result of injuries sustained at this year’s meeting, including three in the final race, the two-mile Grand Annual Chase.In all, the review makes 17 recommendations, which include increased pre-race veterinary checks on runners, a reduction in the safety limit for two-mile chases from 24 to 20 and detailed analysis of faller rates for both trainers and jockeys both at Cheltenham and in all jump racing. Trainers and jockeys with faller rates “higher than the historical average” will be required to “engage constructively” with the BHA to find ways in which their number of fallers can be reduced. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Klopp says £67m Alisson ‘worth double’ after save puts Liverpool through

• Alisson keeps out Napoli in stoppage time• Carlo Ancelotti says Van Dijk deserved red cardJürgen Klopp said he would have paid double for Alisson after the £65m “lifesaver” secured Liverpool’s place in the Champions League knockout with a crucial stoppage-time save against Napoli. Related: Salah and Alisson heroics ensure Liverpool qualify at Napoli’s expense Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Sunderland 'Til I Die: Netflix series charts pain, prayers and passion for the club – trailer

Netflix has released a trailer for Sunderland 'Til I Die, a new docu-series following the club's first season back in the Championship after the team crashed out of the Premier League in 2017.The fly-on-the-wall style series, following the 2017-18 season as the club suffered a second consecutive relegation, features interviews with the club’s manager, players and dedicated fans.All eight episodes of the Netflix series will be released globally on 14 December.Sunderland’s Jack Ross: ‘I’ll never regret accepting this job, whatever happens’ Continue reading...

12-12-2018 The Breakdown | Neath’s sad decline laid bare as they face judgment day in court | Paul Rees

In dire financial trouble off the pitch, short of players and bottom of the Welsh Premiership, the famous club faces a winding-up order in court on ThursdayBack in the day spectators used to clamber up the floodlight pylons at the Gnoll to get a better view because the terraces were so packed. Now, as Neath faces a winding-up order on Thursday for failing to repay a £30,000 loan taken out to cover wages, the lights may go out for good on Wales’s oldest club.Neath are due to entertain Llanelli on Friday night, a fixture that not long ago would have been a highlight of any club weekend. It will be preceded by a bash for supporters in the clubhouse, but if the court hearing goes against a club whose nickname has long been the Mourners, it would turn into a wake. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Can Sumo survive? 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...

12-12-2018 Klopp hails 'exceptional' Salah as Liverpool brush Bournemouth aside – video

Jürgen Klopp heaped praise on Mohamed Salah after the Egyptian's second hat-trick for Liverpool powered his team to victory over Bournemouth. The 4-0 win extended Liverpool's unbeaten streak to 17 league games, equalling the club's all-time record. Klopp insisted that all credit for Liverpool's 'massive' Premier League form should go to his players. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 Raiders owner calls Oakland's lawsuit over team's move to Vegas 'malicious'

City is seeking damages for money invested in RaidersLawsuit does not aim to stop team moving to Las VegasThe city of Oakland has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit trying to recover damages for the Raiders’ upcoming move to Las Vegas.The suit, which was filed on Tuesday against the Raiders, the NFL and the other 31 teams, seeks lost revenue, money Oakland taxpayers invested in the Raiders and other costs. The suit does not ask the court to prevent the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas but asks for damages that will help pay off the approximately $80m in debt remaining from renovations on the Coliseum. Continue reading...

12-12-2018 '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...

12-12-2018 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...

12-12-2018 'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?