Paul Pogba deletes cryptic tweet posted after Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United sacking

Following Jose Mourinho’s sacking as Manchester United manager on Tuesday morning, Paul Pogba posted a cryptic tweet — but then quickly deleted it. In a photo, the France international playfully stared sideways into the camera, while in the accompanying text he invited his followers to “caption this!” and included the hashtag #heretocreate — the slogan … Continue reading “Paul Pogba deletes cryptic tweet posted after Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United sacking”

Following Jose Mourinho’s sacking as Manchester United manager on Tuesday morning, Paul Pogba posted a cryptic tweet — but then quickly deleted it.

In a photo, the France international playfully stared sideways into the camera, while in the accompanying text he invited his followers to “caption this!” and included the hashtag #heretocreate — the slogan to a marketing campaign by his sponsors, adidas.

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The social post, which also went up on Instagram, may have been scheduled in advance by Pogba’s PR team.

Paul Pogba’s contentious social media posting.Source:Twitter

Sky Sports football pundit Gary Neville was not impressed by the tweet and responded later on Tuesday morning.

The former Manchester United defender tweeted: “” Caption This”…. You do one as well!”

“ Caption This “

You do one as well !

— Gary Neville (@GNev2) December 18, 2018

Fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher was in agreement with Neville.

He tweeted: “Spot on! Plenty of clubs in Europe doing fine without him!!”

Spot on! Plenty of clubs in Europe doing fine without him!!

— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) December 18, 2018

Former United defender Patrice Evra was unhappy that Pogba’s fractured relationship with Mourinho continued to grab headlines, even after the latter was sacked.

The thing that is annoying me the most right now is why are people so focused on @paulpogba and Jose Mourinho. Let’s focus on rebuilding something solid instead of being in a playground. Doing this is only disrespecting the badge, from now we only need positivity. #ManUtd #MUFC

— Patrice Evra (@Evra) December 18, 2018

United announced the decision to move on from Mourinho after the club’s worst start to a season in 28 years was confirmed with defeat at Liverpool on Sunday.

Pogba was an unused substitute at Anfield as United were convincingly outplayed.

Mourinho has clashed with Pogba this season, announcing in September the 25-year-old had been stripped of the vice-captaincy.

The pair were filmed by Sky Sports News having an animated disagreement on the training ground later that month.

This article originally appeared on Sky Sports

Originally published as Pogba deletes cryptic tweet posted after Mourinho sacking

Manchester United ran out of patience with negative Jose Mourinho

After decades of being the biggest fish in the English soccer pond, United had just about come to terms with the fact that bottomless new funding had enabled Chelsea and then Manchester City to displace them in terms of spending power and trophy accumulation.

But when Liverpool, in whose shadow United laboured for so long before Alex Ferguson finally “knocked them off their perch”, brushed them aside on Sunday like the mediocre mid-table team they have become, it was the end of the line for the Portuguese coach.

“Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect,” the 20-times English title winners said in a brief statement on Tuesday.

That followed Sunday’s defeat that left them 19 points behind Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool side in sixth place and 11 points off the Champions League places. The 29 goals they have conceded is their worst at this stage of a season for 56 years.

For the current crop of United fans and officials who gorged on success during Alex Ferguson’s 26-year reign that is just not acceptable.

Manchester United’s season under Jose Mourinho was full of turmoil. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Mourinho will point to the fact that after replacing Dutchman Louis van Gaal in May 2016 he won the Europa League and the League Cup in his first season, before guiding United to second place and a place in the FA Cup final, where they were beaten by Chelsea, in his second.

His 58.33 per cent win record is considerably better than that of David Moyes (52.94 per cent) and Van Gaal (52.43 per cent) and only marginally behind Ferguson’s 59.67.

But those figures mask the fact that he has been poor against the other top-six teams, while his tactical approach has alienated just about everyone at the club.

With every passing defeat he found new ways to blame the players while reminding his critics of his previous successes at Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

Could Zidane be the next Manchester United manager?0:00

Football: Former Manchester United player Mark Bosnich discusses the possibility of legendary footballer and former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane joining the Premier League giants after the club sacked Jose Mourinho.

  • December 18th 2018
  • 5 hours ago
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    If he had failed while trying to win with United’s customary panache he may have survived a little longer.

    But while City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have been thrilling fans with their swashbuckling approach, Mourinho has become the arch-proponent of “parking the bus” — a phrase he introduced to English football’s lexicon when complaining about teams packing their defence to foil his exciting Chelsea team. His fallout with STG90 million pounds ($158.5 million) French midfielder Paul Pogba summed up his failure.

    Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho did not get on. Picture: APSource:AP

    Good enough to inspire France to win the World Cup this summer, Pogba has spent the past two weeks sitting on the bench, effectively punished for daring to suggest the team should be more attacking and play like the Wolverhampton Wanderers team who drew 1-1 at Old Trafford.

    Instead Mourinho has opted for the sturdier qualities of the likes of Nemanja Matic and Marouane Fellaini. Mourinho, bucking the trend of “ultimate responsibility” has been ever-more critical of his players, accusing them of lacking technical expertise, mental fortitude and physical resilience.

    Jose Mourinho has cut an unhappy figure for much of this season. Picture: AFPSource:AFP

    The smiling, charming Mourinho who arrived at Chelsea declaring himself “a special one” 14 years ago, has long been replaced by a surly, haggered-looking operator, dismissive of any and all questioning of his personal responsibility. Mourinho has repeatedly said he cannot compete with the spending power of City and Liverpool, ignoring the fact that he has signed STG400 million of talent over the past two years.

    United, who were drawn against Paris St Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League on Monday, have said they will appoint a caretaker manager within the next 48 hours while they presumably try to earn time to prize a big-name manager away from his current role.

    Zinedine Zidane, Mauricio Pochettino and Antonio Conte are among the early bookmakers’ favourites to take over.

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    Originally published as Mourinho exit a long time coming

Weekend in Sport: LeBron James, Aaron Rodgers suffer, Lionel Messi shines

It was a weekend to forget for LeBron James and Aaron Rodgers — but Lionel Messi continued his fine form for Barcelona, while free beer for fans proved just the tonic for English Premier League side Southampton. Here’s your Monday sporting recap.

1. Worst-ever game for James against Wizards

    Last season he beat the Washington Wizards with a 57-point game, but LeBron James endured a stinker Sunday. The LA Lakers star had his worst game against the Wizards, restricted to just 13 points in a 128-110 defeat. James averages 26.9 points against the Wizards, but missed 11 of his 16 shots. His previous lowest points total against the Wizards was 14, way back in February 2004 when he was a rookie. Read MoreREAD: Shquiri double sinks Man UtdREAD: Swiss skier in high-speed crash

    2. Rodgers’ record ends

    Aaron Rodgers looks to pass the football in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears.Aaron Rodgers was another great to suffer Sunday. The quarterback’s NFL record of pass attempts without throwing an interception ended during Green Bay Packers’ 24-17 loss to the Chicago Bears, which means his record will stand at 402 pass attempts.The Bears, however, secured a first NFC North division title since 2010. Elsewhere, Cleveland Browns ended a 11-game losing streak with a 17-16 win over Denver Broncos — which is an improvement on last season when the Browns won a grand total of zero games. Visit for more news, features and videos

    3. Messi takes center stage

    Levante midfielder Ruben Rochina (left) vies with Messi at the Ciutat de Valencia stadium. Lionel Messi stole the show with a hatrick and assisted in two more goals as Barcelona beat Levante 5-0 to regain a three-point lead at the top of La Liga. According to Opta, Messi is now the first player to reach double figures for both goals (14) and assists (10) in the top five European leagues this season. Things are improving for Real Madrid. Sort of. The La Liga side beat Rayo Vallecano 1-0 Saturday — the first time the Spaniards have kept three consecutive clean sheets in La Liga since September 2015. But the team’s tally of 14 goals in 16 La Liga games is Real’s worst mark at this stage since 1993/94.

    50 – Between Barcelona and Argentina, Lionel Messi has scored 50+ goals in eight of the last nine years (50 in 2018). 10.

    — OptaJose (@OptaJose) December 16, 2018

    4. Free beers for fans

    Ralph Hasenhuettl took over as Saints boss last week.The new manager of English Premier League side Southampton may have stumbled on a winning formula — free beers for fans before a match. Season-ticket holders were given a free beer before the relegation-threatened club’s 3-2 win over Arsenal Sunday to help create a festive atmosphere at St Mary’s, and afterwards Ralph Hasenhuttl called on the club to carry on getting the rounds in. “I don’t drink beer that often but this was a first perfect step to help up,” the German told reporters. “I heard when it works like this, you have to do it every game at home — we’ll see.”

    5. Double delight for Club America

    The weekend could not have gone any better for Club America.The Mexican side had not one but two league triumphs to celebrate as the men’s team won a record 13th first division title less than 24 hours after the women’s team won its first.

    Goooooool de @LilianaMercadoF @TigresFemenil 1(2)-(2) 1 @AmericaFemenil #LigaMXfemenil #GranFinal #YaBILaGarra #VamosAmérica

    — Eleven Legends (@11lgnds) December 16, 2018

    More than 41,000 fans packed into a sell-out Estadio Universitario for the second leg of Club America Femenil’s play-off final against Tigres Femenil, winning 3-1 on penalties after a tense tie had finished 3-3.

      Club America goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago was the hero of the night, keeping her team in the match with a string of fine stops before saving Belén Cruz’s decisive penalty in the shootout.A disappointed silence fell over the Estadio Universitario, as Club America sent the more than 40,000 Tigres fans home with their tails between their legs.

Marcel Hirscher chases Lindsey Vonn World Cup win mark

He’s already one of the greatest sportsmen of his generation, but Marcel Hirscher shows no sign of letting up as he chases the record of all-time World Cup wins.

The Austrian raced to his 62nd World Cup victory in a parallel giant slalom in Alta Badia, Italy, Monday, a day after scoring a giant slalom win at the same venue. The 29-year-old has now won four times this season as he looks to extend his record to eight consecutive World Cup overall crowns.

    Hirscher has climbed into a tie for third in the list of most successful skiers on the World Cup circuit, alongside countrywoman Annemarie Moser-Proell and 20 wins behind Lindsey Vonn, who is retiring after the Lake Louise event in 2019.The record holder is Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark with 86 victories. Read MoreREAD: Horror crash for Gisin in Val GardenaREAD: Shiffrin sparkles in St. Moritz clean sweep


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      The ski star who grew up in a mountain hut 03:16Hirscher beat France’s Thibaut Favrot in the final under lights Monday night for his first ever parallel giant slalom victory.The discipline pits skiers head-to-head against each other on parallel courses in a knockout format.Visit for more news, features and videosIn Sunday’s giant slalom, Hirscher led comfortably after the first run and extended his advantage in the second to beat Frenchmen Thomas Fanara and Alexis Pinturault by more than two-and-a-half seconds to add to a slalom win in Levi, Finland and GS in Val d’Isere.

        “My run was definitely on the limit,” Hirscher told reporters. “There were some parts that were really close to not finishing. But that’s the funny thing that’s coming back over the years, this 100 per cent will to win. Wow, that was on the edge.” Hirscher, a double Olympic champion from PyeongChang 2018, is also bidding to defend his world titles in slalom and giant slalom at February’s World Championships in Are, Sweden.

Rugby World Cup: In a world of organized sport, Fiji bucks the trend

Under the lights of a quickly-emptying Stade de France, Fiji’s rugby players came together for a huddle, a hymn, and a thanks to God.

As the song drifted into the Parisian night, there was a sense that the words “eda sa qaqa” — “we have overcome” — carried more resonance than usual that November evening.

    This was the Fiji’s first ever victory over France. A northern hemisphere tour which had started two weeks previously with a thumping 54-17 defeat by Scotland had ended on a high note. When it comes to rugby, Fiji and France are poles apart, yet also share a curious bond.

    The Fijian squad singing after beating France

    We have overcome – Eda Sa Qaqa

    — Linebreak Rugby (@LinebreakRugby) November 24, 2018

    While Fiji has no professional team or high-profile domestic league, French clubs boast the highest salaries in the world. Read MoreVisit for more news and videosThe prospect of playing overseas is a sizable lure for Fijian players; of the starting 15 that won 21-14 on November 24, eight are based in France. But when it comes to assembling the national team, things become difficult. “I know what talents players have. I know what they can offer,” head coach John McKee told CNN World Rugby earlier this year. “But we’ve got a lot of work to do to pull that together because the competitive disadvantage is our players are spread all around the world. “The challenge is getting them together in short assemblies and getting the absolute maximum performance in terms of a team from them.”Fiji wing Josua Tuisova heads for the tryline against France.There’s no doubt that when Fiji’s players get together for a consistent block of training and matches, things start to click. But it takes time. Fijian rugby is built on chaos — the ability to create space through audacious offloads and spontaneous passes.This ethos, says McKee, is down to the country’s culture. Rugby is in every Fijian’s blood. Pitches are squeezed onto all corners of the island; children play in the streets, and adults will end a day spent working in the fields by throwing around a ball.”Everywhere there’s a little flat bit of ground with a rickety old pair of goalposts put up,” says the New Zealander, who was appointed Fiji’s head coach in 2014. “There’s always people playing … you see that right across the country. You see the passion that people have for rugby and I think it’s quite unique.”You see a lot of unstructured games and the games they play in villages. You know, probably in Western society I think we’ve lost that … sport has become so organized. “So that, coupled with genetic, tall, lean athletes. Big, big athletes who can run really fast. Those things combine with that unique ability to play an unstructured game.”READ: Amid strikes and chaos, Canada qualifies for Rugby World Cup


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      Rugby Academy Fiji: Seremaia Bai’s aim to inspire 02:18

      Cultivating talent

      How Fiji harnesses the raw talent at its disposal is a hot topic. Establishing a Super Rugby franchise on the island has often been touted as an option, giving players the chance to earn a professional contract at home while competing against the best sides in Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and South Africa.

      Ruthless on the rugby pitch, choirboys off it.@FijiRugby​ treats #cnnworldrugby to a hymn as the sevens season draws to a close #London7s

      — CNN Sport (@cnnsport) May 22, 2017

      But on December 5, a bid made by Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa to set up a Pacific Island team based in Fiji was rejected by governing body SANZAAR. McKee says he can’t stop players heading to Europe to support their families and earn the “market value for them as rugby players.” Yet a professional outfit based on or near the island, he admits, would hugely benefit the national team. “I would hope that in two to three to four years there’s some serious talk about getting a professional team based out of the Pacific,” he says. “But for that, those things are out of our control.”READ: From Rio’s favelas to the World Rugby SevensBen Ryan, who coached Fiji’s seven-a-side team to Olympic gold in 2016, says he was regularly in dialogue with McKee about how to grow and develop players. Photos: An Englishman's island odysseyBen Ryan spent a golden three years with Fiji’s sevens team. Hide Caption 1 of 10 Photos: An Englishman's island odysseyRyan moved to the Pacific Islands with his interest in the game at its lowest ebb after being disillusioned by his job with the English RFU.Hide Caption 2 of 10 Photos: An Englishman's island odysseyFiji won two successive men’s Sevens World Series titles, and backed that up to take Olympic gold at Rio 2016.Hide Caption 3 of 10 Photos: An Englishman's island odysseyRyan built up an amazing rapport with his team, but opted to walk away from the role after the Olympics when his contract expired.Hide Caption 4 of 10 Photos: An Englishman's island odysseyHowever, Ryan — pictured with Ro Dakuwaqa in Rio — remains closely linked with the Fiji players and is working to ensure they get a fair pay deal for playing on the global stage.Hide Caption 5 of 10 Photos: An Englishman's island odysseyThe Englishman (pictured celebrating after the Olympic final) closely follows the team’s fortunes after parting ways.Hide Caption 6 of 10 Photos: An Englishman's island odysseyFiji enjoyed strong support in Brazil during the Olympics.Hide Caption 7 of 10 Photos: An Englishman's island odysseyBut that was dwarfed by the celebrations that greeted both Ryan and his players on their return to Fiji after August’s Games.Hide Caption 8 of 10 Photos: An Englishman's island odysseyIn the ensuing months, Ryan attended a number ceremonies for him and his players.Hide Caption 9 of 10 Photos: An Englishman's island odysseyMembers of the public would line up at his home in Fiji to give him gifts and thank him for what he had achieved.Hide Caption 10 of 10″I had a great relationship with John,” Ryan, who stepped down from his role with the sevens team after Olympic success, tells CNN. “We were constantly talking, constantly seeing the pathway that we could work on. “You know, kid in the village, starts playing Fijian national sevens. We’d then consult with him, try and get him an overseas contract to continue his development and then John picks him for test matches. That was the pathway.”It was one that worked for the likes of Leone Nakarawa, the towering, multifaceted second row who plays in Paris for Racing 92. It also worked for Semi Radradra, the powerful Toulon center who is one of the few players in the world that alternates between international 15 and seven-a-side rugby.

      Money talks

      Ryan, who also advocates setting up a professional league in Fiji, thinks change needs to be made to improve the distribution of profits accrued from Test matches, particularly when a so-called “tier two” nation like Fiji faces its northern hemisphere rivals. “I know the pots of money for World Rugby aren’t infinite, but a player appearance fee, or making some of these tier one countries give them a bigger slice of the pot would help,” says Ryan. “I know that the crowds are filling … Fiji are a team that people want to watch.”Extra amount of money with mechanisms in place so the money doesn’t just disappear down the Fiji Rugby Union rabbit hole and it goes to the right bank accounts that World Rugby can regulate.”There was controversy in 2017 when it emerged that Samoan players received £650 for playing England at Twickenham, while English players banked £22,000 each.


        Fiji and rugby sevens: A perfect combination

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        Fiji and rugby sevens: A perfect combination 23:14Similarly, it came to light this year that Japanese players were receiving £13 for each day of their European tour, a drop in the ocean compared to the amount the likes of England, New Zealand, and Ireland receive. This November, however, Fiji and Samoa were both officially accepted into the World Rugby Council for the first time. The hope is that Pacific Island nations will have greater influence over the scheduling of Test matches and distribution of funds. READ: English rugby star braced for ‘cut-throat’ NFL switch

        Japan 2019

        With the World Cup around the corner, Ryan thinks further changes can be implemented to support the development of lower-ranked countries, namely by introducing plate and bowl competitions to the tournament as in rugby sevens. “It’s almost a shame with the current World Rugby how they do the World Cup, there’s no secondary competition,” says Ryan.”For a lot of these teams, that’s a chance to improve. If they had a plate competition, if of the last eight, the second eight that got knocked out — Fiji would be able to stay as they get better and better. It would be really nice.” Photos: The Rugby World Cup — a historyEngland, 2015 – New Zealand became the first side to retain the Rugby World Cup after defeating Australia 34-17 in the final at Twickenham Stadium. Hide Caption 1 of 8 Photos: The Rugby World Cup — a historyNew Zealand, 2011 – The All Blacks ended a 24-year drought when they lifted the Web Ellis trophy on home soil in 2011. Here, Ma’a Nonu greets raucous crowds during the victory parade in Wellington. Hide Caption 2 of 8 Photos: The Rugby World Cup — a historyFrance, 2007 – South Africa claimed its second title in France in 2007, defeating England 6-15 at the Stade de France in Paris. Hide Caption 3 of 8 Photos: The Rugby World Cup — a historyAustralia, 2003 – England became the first — and to this day the only — northern hemisphere side to win the World Cup in 2003 by defeating Australia 20-17 in Sydney. Flyhalf Jonny Wilkinson struck the winning drop goal in extra-time.Hide Caption 4 of 8 Photos: The Rugby World Cup — a historyWales, 1999 – Australia’s second World Cup victory in 1999 came eight years after its first. A 35-12 victory over France saw John Eales’ side lift the trophy in Cardiff.Hide Caption 5 of 8 Photos: The Rugby World Cup — a historySouth Africa, 1995 – It’s one of rugby’s most iconic images — South African President Nelson Mandela presenting the World Cup to Springbok captain Francois Pienaar in 1995. The victory helped unite the nation one year after the end of apartheid. Hide Caption 6 of 8 Photos: The Rugby World Cup — a historyEngland, 1991 – Australia first tasted World Cup victory in 1991 after narrowly defeating England 12-6 in the final.Hide Caption 7 of 8 Photos: The Rugby World Cup — a historyNew Zealand, 1987 – The All Blacks won the inaugural Rugby World Cup on home soil in 1987. Captain David Kirk kisses the trophy following victory over France in Auckland. Hide Caption 8 of 8Few would bet on Fiji reaching the knockout rounds in Japan in a group that includes Australia and Wales, yet the Pacific Islanders have a history of springing upsets on rugby’s biggest stage.Follow @cnnsportA shock victory over Wales in 2007 set up a quarterfinal clash with eventual champion South Africa. Fiji drew level with the Springboks with 15 minutes to go before eventually going down 37-20.Under McKee’s guidance, Fiji has beaten Italy, Scotland, and Japan in recent years. The victory over France lifted the Flying Fijians to No. 8 in the world rankings, defying their tag as a tier two nation. McKee is confident his side can go far in Japan.

          “Our objective is to go to the playoff stages. And I believe if we can get to the playoffs in the World Cup, anything can happen,” he says. “If we go to a quarterfinal of course we’d be happy, but if we get to a quarterfinal, we want to get to a semifinal. It’s the old adage of looking one game at a time.”

Lewis Hamilton angers his hometown with ‘slum’ jibe

Lewis Hamilton has upset his hometown of Stevenage in England by referring to it as the “slums.”

The five-time Formula 1 world champion made the comments while on stage at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, where he finished second behind Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas. The 33-year-old driver was describing the motivation behind his success when he appeared to disparage the town.

    “It’s been a really long journey, a dream for us all, as a family, to do something different, to get out of the slums,” he said to a live television audience, before trying to backtrack. “Well, we would say it’s not the slums, but just come out from somewhere and do something. We all set our goals very high but we did it as a team.” Read MoreVisit CNN/com/sport for more news, features and videosMercedes driver Lewis Hamilton offended his hometown by referring to it as the “slums.”

    ‘Not perfect, but home’

    Hamilton was born and raised in the English town, approximately 30 miles north of London, but his words evoked a strong reaction on social media.The town’s council leader Sharon Taylor tweeted her disdain at the comments. “Disappointing that Lewis Hamilton chose to use this event to make negative comments about his hometown. Nowhere is perfect but we’ll go high & say we are #ProudofStevenage,” she wrote. The voices defending the world champion were heavily outweighed by those feeling disappointed at the slight.England’s para-badminton player Gobi Ranganathan, also from Stevenage, claimed his town was “not perfect, but it’s home.”Hamilton is yet to address his controversial remarks. READ: Manchester United fires Jose Mourinho after worst ever Premier League startREAD: Saudi e-Prix: Portugal’s Da Costa wins Formula E season-opener

    I for one am proud to fly the flag for #Stevenage. It’s made me who I am today, and I’d never have achieved all I have, without the support the Town and Council have given me. It’s not perfect, but it’s home. And it has a lot to offer if people just open their eyes.

    — Gobi Ranganathan (@Gobi_r) December 17, 2018

    Photos: 2008 Brazilian Grand PrixLewis Hamilton won the first of his five world titles in 2008 at the age of just 23, becoming the youngest Formula One champion in history.Hide Caption 1 of 6 Photos: 2008 Brazilian Grand PrixHe held a seven-point lead over Felipe Massa going into the final race of the year at Interlagos, Sao Paulo and knew fifth place would be enough to secure victory.Hide Caption 2 of 6 Photos: 2008 Brazilian Grand PrixBut torrential rain fell to delay the start of the race, altering the teams’ race strategies. Another late downpour caused unpredictable drama to unfold on the track, with Hamilton overtaking Timo Glock on the final corner to move into fifth and win the world championship.Hide Caption 3 of 6 Photos: 2008 Brazilian Grand PrixHamilton, who had thrown away the title a year earlier in the final race of the season, celebrated with his father Anthony, who had been supportive of his son all the way throughout his childhood karting career.Hide Caption 4 of 6 Photos: 2008 Brazilian Grand PrixHamilton’s victory meant he became the first Brit to be crowned world champion since Damon Hill in 1996.Hide Caption 5 of 6 Photos: 2008 Brazilian Grand PrixBrazilian Felipe Massa wept in his cockpit after hearing Hamilton had got the overtake he needed on the final corner. His dignity and pride in defeat, made more painful being on home soil, earned him admiration from all over the world.Hide Caption 6 of 6

    India comments

    This isn’t the first time Hamilton has got into trouble for making disparaging remarks about a place.

      Earlier this year, the Mercedes driver had to clarify comments he made about India being a “poor place.” Hamilton said it “felt strange to drive past homeless people then arrive in a huge arena where money was not an issue” after attending the Indian Grand Prix, which ran on the Formula One calendar from 2011 to 2013.

Akira Sone defies inexperience as Japan tops Guangzhou Masters

Akira Sone showed age is no barrier as the 18-year-old proved the star attraction for a Japan team that comfortably topped the medal table with seven gold medals at the year-ending Guangzhou Masters.

Arguably facing one of the greatest heavyweights of all time in Cuba’s Idalys Ortiz — a former Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion — teenager Sone proved undaunted.

    Visit for more news and videosThe 18-year-old continually pressured world silver medalist Ortiz, the Cuban eventually given three shido penalties, which saw Sone crowned the winner as Japan swept the board to win every women’s weight category.Sone was the aggressor from the outset, forcing a rattled Ortiz, who trains against men to prepare herself for competitions, to concede those trio of shido penalties and, with that, the title.Read MoreFollowing her first major title on the World Judo Tour, Sone, who became a national champion as a 17-year-old, said: “Ortiz is a very tactical judoka. So, I knew that I couldn’t fall into her trap, so I just tried to stay one step ahead of her throughout.”Sone’s Guangzhou victory secured her first major title on the IJF World Judo Tour.For the Japanese judoka, it was their superior technical skill, which shone out.Former judo world champion Neil Adams, a technical adviser for the International Judo Federation, told Judo Inside: “Japan obviously always impress because they are always looking for ippon.”The Japanese judoka rely more on technical expertise and technique to win a match, that tells us a lot towards the sheer volume of practice as opposed to just physical training. Technique wins.”Even when they’re down and out, the top judoka are always dangerous, the ones with big techniques, you can’t write them off. When you have technique, you’re always dangerous until the last second.”


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      The judoka who left Japan for judo glory 01:58The Masters is invite only, open to the 16 best judoka in the world in each category, with Japan claiming three gold medals in all on the final day of action, including Mami Uemki defeating countrywoman Ruika Sato with ippon in the final of the -78 kilogram division.Another Japanese youngster in Saki Niizoe starred by defeating three-time world champion Yui Alvear in the -70kg finale.Georgia proved the best of the rest behind the dominant Japanese with duo Varlam Liparteliani and Guram Tushishvili both winning gold.

        Liparteliani did not even have to take to the mat for his -100kg final when Mongolian opponent Otgonbattar Lkhagvasuren pulled out with injury.Meanwhile, Tushishvili, the current +100kg world champion, needed ippon to edge out Brazilian Rafael Silva in the defense of his Guangzhou title.

Madrid in Motion win $3.4 million GCL Super Cup in Prague

With $3.4 million on the line in the finals of the GCL Super Cup at the inaugural GC Playoffs, Eduardo Alvarez Aznar kept a cool head.

Riding Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Margot in the second round on Sunday, the Spaniard calmly steered his horse around the course, finishing with just one time fault.Visit for more news and videos

    It was enough to bring home the first GCL Super Cup for Madrid in Motion, who finished with a total of 11 penalties, six clear of Valkenswaard United and 15 ahead of Paris Panthers.”That moment I was not thinking about the money,” Alvarez Aznar said. “I was thinking of the job my team mates did, they make me a little bit of pressure, but OK, I had to go a clear round, and I did it.” Read More


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      Equestrian GC Prague Playoff Report 02:02 Alvarez Aznar’s Dutch team mates, Holland’s Marc Houtzager and Maikel van der Vleuten, celebrated wildly in a packed O2 arena after clinching what had been billed as the ultimate showdown.”When the last rider, Eduardo, had to go, it was pressure,” said Madrid in Motion team manager Eric van der Vleuten. “It was unbelievable top sport.”READ: The “Super Bowl of show jumping”

      Back-to-back eliminations

      After three rounds over three days, the finals of the 16-team GCL Super Cup were contested between six teams: Madrid In Motion, Scandinavian Vikings, Paris Panthers, Valkenswaard United, Montreal Diamonds and London Knights — the winner of the 2018 Global Champions League.Unlike the previous two rounds, no horse or rider substitutions were allowed on Sunday. Instead, three riders jumped two rounds, with all faults counting towards their total.


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        GC Prague Playoffs kick off for the first time 01:43That format produced high drama right from the start, when the first two teams, Montreal Diamonds and London Knights, were eliminated back-to-back. The Diamonds crashed out after Belgium’s Jos Verlooy fell on the last fence, while the London Knights were knocked out of contention when Ben Maher’s Explosion W twice refused to jump a steep wall. Maher, the team manager of the Knights, had put himself in the team for the finals, replacing Belgian Nicola Philippaerts.

        Bad weekend for Big Ben

        There had also been disappointment for Maher and Explosion W, the 2018 overall LGCT individual champions, during Saturday’s Super Grand Prix, with the pair finishing in fifth place behind eventual winners Edwina Tops-Alexander of Australia and California.Maher later said his horse, who is relatively young at nine years of age, had been a bit spooked by some parts of the vast, sandy arena on Saturday night. READ: Edwina Tops-Alexander wins $1.4 million Super Grand Prix in Prague

        Valkenswaard United in pole position

        After a shock start to the GCL Super Cup, order was swiftly restored by Valkenswaard United, the overall GCL winners of 2017, who were in pole position going into round two with a double clear for Germany’s Marcus Ehning and Ireland’s Bertram Allen — as well as eight penalties for Alberto Zorzi.

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          LGCT and GCL Doha Special: The year of Maher 22:46Madrid in Motion, also on eight penalties, were in second place at more than six seconds back, with Paris Panthers third with 16 penalties, followed by Scandinavian Vikings in fourth and last place with 24 penalties.

          Stay calm, and carry on

          Starting in reverse order in the second round, Valkenswaard United’s three riders added nine more faults to finish at 17 penalties. With two fences in hand, and the last team to go, the pressure was now on for Madrid in Motion. The arena went quiet as Houtzager and his horse Sterrehof’s Calimero calmly jumped clear, taking the total to nine penalties after one time fault. Maikel van der Vleuten and Verdi TN had the same strategy, adding one time penalty with a controlled clear round. Follow @cnnsportWith the team now at 10 penalties, it was down to the final rider, Alvarez Aznar, to bring home the trophy. “Very happy,” Alvarez Aznar said. “The first time, this competition. It was beautiful to ride and a fantastic atmosphere here.”

            Houtzager paid tribute to his horse and his team mates.”Calimero jumped super in the second round, from the first fence already, a top feeling,” said Houtzager. “And then Maikel behind me, and a cool last rider, Eduardo…it’s an unbelievable feeling.”

‘Blizzard of Aahhh’s’: ‘Punk’ antiheroes launched skiing’s extreme generation

It was the movie that inspired a generation of skiers and popularized the concept of “extreme” skiing.

It introduced mohawked bad-boy Glen Plake, a self-confessed drink-and-drug-fueled punk rocker, and showcased the cliff-jumping prowess of Scot Schmidt. And it highlighted the thrills and freedom of France’s Chamonix valley, all set to a soaring pop soundtrack for the first time in a ski film.

    Even now, 30 years later, “The Blizzard of Aahhh’s” remains the benchmark, and the film that ignited today’s freeskiing movement. Read More”‘Extreme’ was really an unknown word then, but once ‘Blizzard’ came out you could get an extreme combo at Taco Bell,” director Greg Stump told CNN from his central Oregon home.The film, released in late 1988, builds through sequences in Telluride, Colorado and Squaw Valley, California before Schmidt, Plake and Mike Hattrup come together for the stirring Chamonix finale, skiing steep slopes and tight chutes with Mont Blanc as a backdrop.That now-iconic trio came about by unfortunate chance after original crew member Lynne Wieland broke her back on the first day of filming. Now arguably the most recognizable skier on the planet, Plake wasn’t even on the initial team sheet for France. “Seeing ‘Blizzard’ for the first time was like looking through a portal to the future I wanted for myself,” 1990s freeskiing pioneer Mike Douglas told CNN. “This group of antiheroes were exactly who I wanted to be.”Looking back, I would say ‘Blizzard’ was one of the key catalysts that launched the extreme sports movement.”Visit CNN.som/Sport for more news, stories and features


      Freeride World Tour: life in the extreme

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      Freeride World Tour: life in the extreme 01:31


      “The Blizzard of Aahhh’s” (the apostrophe was deliberate, says Stump) was the director’s fifth ski movie after a string of “goofy” moguls films.

      Here is Mike Powell's funny interview with me. Mike does a great job:

      — Greg Stump (@GregStump) November 22, 2016

      A former North American freestyle champion and longtime radio DJ, Stump realized he could get a jump on the dominant Warren Miller ski movie franchise by using hot new sounds rather than stock studio music.The then 27-year-old went to England to tap up record producer Trevor Horn, whose ZTT Records label had released albums by bands such as Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Propaganda and Act.ZTT’s Liam Teeling told him: “Stumpy, my boy, you can have our music for free but on one condition: that the film you’re about to make is fantastic, because if it isn’t it won’t see the light of day.” With his soundtrack sorted, Stump’s next task was to recruit some of America’s best “cool, unknown, hotshot skiers.””I had way hipper music, way hipper skiers, and comedy that wasn’t cheesy,” Stump recalls.READ: Speed climber Kilian Jornet: The decisions are mostly ‘Is this going to kill me?’Scot Schmidt became one of the most famous skiers of his generation.To add some pedigree, he poached Miller stalwart Schmidt, a racer turned ski film star from Montana. Schmidt, then 26, took some persuading — Stump’s back catalog wasn’t quite his fit — but he couldn’t resist the lure of Europe after a spell living in Verbier, Switzerland.”Greg was a young renegade filmmaker and I wasn’t paying him much attention because his films were pretty out there,” Schmidt told CNN from his home in Santa Cruz, California.”Then he said we’re making a ‘rockumentary,’ we’ve got a budget and we’re spending the winter in Chamonix. That was very interesting.”READ: Snowboarders’ ‘scary’ addictionThe charismatic Hattrup, a Stump regular and member of the US moguls squad, was also on the plane. Wieland, a US aerials and moguls champion who had appeared in Hollywood flick “Hot Dog …The Movie,” completed the lead threesome.But tragedy struck when Wieland broke her back after a bad landing while skiing at Chamonix’s Grands Montets area. She was airlifted to hospital in Geneva and narrowly escaped paralysis, eventually making a full recovery.The crew were rocked, but knew they needed a replacement. Glen Plake became one of the most recognizable skiers in the world.

      ‘Partying punk’

      It took some cajoling for Stump to call Plake, despite having included the south Lake Tahoe native in two previous films.Then 23, Plake had a foot-tall mohican haircut and a dangerous reputation. He was a talented moguls skier but had turned down a spot on the US team because of what he perceived as stereotypes. “I was raising hell, you know,” Plake told CNN from his home in Chamonix. “I grew up in a gambling town as a mogul skier, which is about as punk rock as it gets. I was living fast and I wasn’t really afraid to show it.” Stump was wary of any of his outfit being the “ugly American” abroad. “I was just worried, I didn’t want a wildcard — which was what Glen was,” he says.Hattrup led the lobby for Plake, a friend from the moguls circuit.”A lot of people wrote him off as a partying, punk ski bum, which he was,” Hattrup told CNN. “But he also took it to a whole new level from a professional standpoint. Glen certainly surprised a lot of people.”Plake was a late callup to join the shoot in Chamonix.Plake had already been on a Stump shoot that season in Squaw Valley, renting skis to make sure he was aligned with the film’s sponsor, K2.Always territorial, he made “darn sure” he put up the standout performance on his north Lake Tahoe rivals’ turf.Photographer Bruce Benedict later asked Plake if he had a passport. He didn’t, but drove to LA to get one. Shortly after, he got the call that would change his life. In the film, the Squaw sequence is billed as a “shootout” for the final spot in France. Stump admits the narrative was a later fabrication.Stump and Murray Ball filming a sequence on the Grands Montets in Chamonix.

      ‘Mind blowing’

      Stump’s vision for the film was to showcase the freedom of skiing in Europe compared with the strict controls governing out-of-bounds skiing at US ski resorts.”We got into so much trouble and got kicked out of so many places trying to film the steeps in the US,” he says. A 12-day storm hampered filming when they first arrived in Chamonix, but when the weather cleared they jumped on the first tram of the season up the Aiguille du Midi, a 12,600-foot rock spire towering above the town. The Aiguille du Midi accesses the Vallee Blanche and Mont Blanc massif.”It’s mind-blowing that area. It is something special, it’s intimidating,” Hattrup says.One of the first lines they looked at was a steep chute called the Couloir des Poubelles (dustbin, in French), which accesses the famous Vallee Blanche glacier.Schmidt said he would ski it “for sure.” The camera then pans to Hattrup. Stump asks if he wants to go in.”I was thinking, ‘If you shut off the camera I’ll tell you the real answer,'” Hattrup says. “But I let out this meek little timid ‘yeah.’ You can almost see the fear in my eyes through the mirrored lenses I was wearing.”So began an odyssey following in the tracks of guide Murray Ball around some of Chamonix’s classic ski lines, with songs like Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s “Warriors of the Wasteland” as a soundtrack.”The whole Chamonix experience was quite eye-opening for all of us,” Hattrup adds. “It exposed us to terrain and skiing we had never imagined.”The crew took every opportunity to party in Chamonix, says Stump (left).

      ‘I was a fugitive’

      Off the mountain, life was “full-on debauchery,” according to Stump. “We had a budget and a thirst for European beer. We partied a lot,” he says. Hattrup remembers epic, one-sided snowball fights against the French. Schmidt recalls down days exploring the Mont Blanc massif with New Zealander Ball. When filming was over, the crew headed home.Plake lived as a “fugitive” in France after filming of “Blizzard of Aahhh’s” ended. All except Plake, that is. He was wanted in the US on previous drugs charges.”I was in a lot of trouble, for one,” says Plake, who picked up some construction work and integrated himself into the French community. “I mean, what was I going back for? I didn’t have a job, and I sold my car to get to the airport. “I wasn’t ever going to go back. I was literally looking into joining the French Foreign Legion. “I was looking at six or seven years in prison. It was pretty slam dunk. “By all definitions I was a fugitive.”

      Instant hit

      Stump went to work editing back home in Maine. “I looked at all the footage and I just knew,” he says.He was so convinced he had the raw materials to make something special, he briefed a friend on exactly how he wanted the movie to be made in case anything happened to him.When the film was released it was an instant hit. Timing was everything, and in the thriving era of VHS, kids could endlessly re-watch their favorite movies at home. The magic ingredients included focusing on three main characters, a strong storyline, stunning cinematography, thumping music and Stump’s liquid narration, according to Hattrup, though he didn’t foresee it becoming “the quintessential ski movie.”Stump worked through the summer of 1988 editing “Blizzard of Aahhh’s.” “At the premiere when I first saw the film I was really impressed, with the change of style, the editing, the music … it just resonated with the crowd,” Schmidt says.The interview requests came pouring in. Even NBC was on the phone.Stump got in touch with Plake. “Exactly how much trouble are you in?”Arrangements were made for a lawyer. In March 1989, Plake flew back to the US to join Schmidt on NBC’s Today Show.Schmidt and Plake, dressed in a spangly stars and stripes suit with a towering mohawk, clearly inhabited a different planet to host Bryant Gumbel.”He was baffled and didn’t know what it was we were doing,” Schmidt says.

      ‘Celebrity skiers’

      The crossover into mainstream media was the catalyst for the explosion of “extreme skiing.”But the film’s stars were uncomfortable with the tag, pointing to the big-mountain, steep-skiing exploits of French pioneers Patrick Vallencant, Jean-Marc Boivin and Pierre Tardivel.”I knew the difference,” Plake says. “We were California hot-doggers and cliff jumpers.”What we were doing was not quintessential extreme skiing. Somebody asked me in an article a year or so later if I was a ‘Chamonix extreme skier.’ I said, ‘No, but give me 10 years and I will be.’ At that point I was missing an entire skill set.”Hattrup was inspired by the Chamonix shoot and qualified as a mountain guide in the US, alongside a 27-year career working for K2. Schmidt’s trajectory was already on the up, but it propelled him into “hyperdrive” in the ski world.”To me there was no bigger celebrity on earth,” Douglas said of Schmidt on his Salomon Freeski TV series. Now Schmidt splits his time between Santa Cruz and the private Yellowstone Club resort in Montana, where he is an ambassador and resident ski pro. Plake eventually did some jail time and community service for his drug charges. He quit drugs soon after and later turned his back on alcohol too.After his wedding in 1991, he and wife Kimberly took a honeymoon tour around 50 of America’s lesser known ski resorts in 33 states, just turning up in their motorhome and skiing with whomever. It became known as the “Down Home Tour,” and six more followed. Plake, who calls himself the “oddball” of the ski industry despite his longevity, was inducted into US skiing’s Hall of Fame in 2010.Plake is still a keen ski mountaineer, climber and adventurer.


      Plake recently qualified as a ski instructor and is also going through his guide’s training in Chamonix and California’s Mammoth Mountain, where he is an ambassador.His work has taken him to Nepal, teaching skiing to aspiring mountain guides.It’s a legacy of the 2012 tragedy on Nepal’s Manaslu, the world’s eighth highest mountain at 26,758 feet, when Plake and his climbing partners Gregory Costa and Remy Lecluse were swept away in an avalanche.


        Avalanche survivor: It sounded like wind

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        Avalanche survivor: It sounded like wind 01:46Plake was lying shoulder-to-shoulder and chatting to Costa in their tent when the avalanche hit in the early hours of the morning. They plunged hundreds of meters down the mountain. When the slide stopped, Costa had disappeared. “I found every personal item in that tent except him and his sleeping bag,” Plake says. “I found his glasses, his gloves, my jacket he was using for a pillow …” Costa was never found. The body of Lecluse, who had been in a separate tent, was later recovered from a crevasse. In all, 12 people died in the avalanche.

        ‘Pact with God’

        “Blizzard” was Stump’s ticket to Hollywood. He directed commercials, music videos and documentaries with the likes of Seal, Willie Nelson, Neil Young and the Beach Boys, as well as making a host of other ski films, including 2012’s “Legend of Aahhh’s.” However, Stump decided to stop making “extreme” ski movies when Schmidt and snowboarder Craig Kelly had several near misses with avalanches, notably in British Columbia in 1996. “I’m not a religious guy but I made a pact with God: ‘If you get these two guys off this face, I’ll quit. I’ll never put a friend in a dangerous situation again,'” says Stump, who is working on a couple of scripts for a new feature film set in a winter environment.

          Visit for more news and videos”Blizzard” may be 30 years old, but for a generation it remains the spark that lit their skiing fire.

When to watch Brisbane Heat v Adelaide Strikers

Big Bash League begins on Wednesday 19 December. Here’s when to catch the first Brisbane Heat v Adelaide Strikers game.


Brisbane Heat v Adelaide Strikers begins 7:15pm on Wednesday 19 December 2018.


Where: The Gabba, Brisbane

Tickets: Between $21 — $24 at Ticketek


Broadcast QLD time: Live: B4 The Bash! starts at 6.45pm on Fox Cricket; Game starts at 7.15pm on Fox Cricket and Channel 7

SA: 7.45pm

WA: 5.15pm

NT: 6.45pm

NSW, VIC, TAS: 6.15pm

Ladbrokes Odds: Heat $1.80, Strikers $2

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Originally published as When to watch Brisbane Heat v Adelaide Strikers