17-11-2018 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...

17-11-2018 Ballad of Ousmane Dembélé: £100m victim of football’s fat greasy hands | Barney Ronay

From Rennes to Barcelona via Dortmund the Dembélé story has been a sad saga of interests and agents and endless friction among the Dembélé sporting-industrial complexSympathy for Ousmane Dembélé: looking from a distance at the struggles of the world’s most destructively overpriced 21-year-old footballer, it is hard to detect a great deal of this out there right now.This week Dembélé’s troubled time at Barcelona reached another minor point of crisis. The player and his agents were called into a meeting with the club hierarchy, where Dembélé was urged to pull his socks up and the club hierarchy was urged to stop leaking stories to the press, a story that was immediately leaked to the press. Continue reading...

17-11-2018 Statues, All Blacks and 6am training: lifting the lid on rugby in Japan

As the hosts of the 2019 World Cup come to Twickenham for the first time, it is worth understanding the impact Eddie Jones had on rugby in JapanWhen Eddie Jones was the coach of Japan he once cancelled a training session and gave everyone the day off. In response, he had never seen his players so upset. Related: Japan plot fast route to ‘emotionally smash’ Eddie Jones’s England Continue reading...

17-11-2018 Should young British players follow Jadon Sancho abroad?

Football Focus pundits Alex Scott and Paul Ince discuss the opportunities for young British players away from the Premier League.

17-11-2018 Sports quiz of the week: Wayne Rooney, All Blacks and a generous fan

Who has 125 caps? Who coughed up? Who is being ripped off?Callum Wilson scored on his England debut on Thursday night, meaning he has one cap and one goal. Which of these players has the same international record?Carlton Palmer Rickie Lambert Francis JeffersMark Hateley Wayne Rooney finished his England career with 120 caps. Who is the only player with more?David Beckham Steven Gerrard Peter ShiltonBobby Moore Who will provide the voice of the Green Goblin in the French language version of the new Spider-Man film?Olivier GiroudThierry HenryMathieu BastareaudTyson FuryThe two best rugby teams in the world – New Zealand and Ireland – meet in Dublin on Saturday night. Ireland have only ever beaten the All Blacks once. Where? FranceAustraliaEnglandUSA Why did the FA suspend referee David McNamara for 21 days?He called a ball boy a “little dweeb” when he wouldn’t give back the ballHe laughed in the face of a player who missed a sitterHe lost his whistle so was forced to shout “STOP” to get the attention of the playersHe forgot to bring a coin for the toss so asked the two captains to play rock, paper, scissors insteadNew Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri has managed some of Europe's biggest clubs in his career – including Napoli, Fiorentina, Valencia, Atlético Madrid, Juventus, Roma, Inter, Valencia, Monaco and Chelsea – but he has only ever managed one national team. Which one? ItalyAustraliaGreeceSwitzerlandHow did Coalville Town supporter Damien Trown help the club this week?He ran on to the pitch wearing a full kit without the referee noticing and scored from a cornerHe went to their ground with his lawnmower after the manager had complained about the pitchHe ran on to the field and rugby tackled a streaker – his mumHe gave his replica shirt back to the club as they didn't have one big enough for their new signingThe Golden State Warriors have offered fans a new ticket that costs $100 a month. What is the only drawback for fans?They won’t have a seat or view of the basketball court They are in the singing section and have to pass an audition They have to pick up litter for 15 minutes after matchesThey have to live within a mile of the stadium to qualify for the ticket Which of these football teams has not lost a game in 2018? Borussia Dortmund Paris Saint-Germain The US women's teamEngland women's team Complete this sequence: Moscow, Samara, Kazan, New Jersey, Maryland, Riyadh, Jeddah, London …New YorkMilton KeynesColchesterBerlin1 and above.Oh dear, oh dear2 and above.Oh dear, oh dear3 and above.You'd done OK there. Something to build on for next week4 and above.You'd done OK there. Something to build on for next week5 and above.You'd done well there. A decent score and something to build on for next week6 and above.You'd done well there. A decent score and something to build on for next week7 and above.You're among the elite with that score8 and above.You are excelling in life9 and above.You're among the elite with that score0 and above.Oh dear10 and above.What a score. One to print out and keep. Or at least screengrab Continue reading...

17-11-2018 Gordon Taylor, football’s fattest cat, must go if PFA is to modernise | Daniel Taylor

Benevolent payments to ex-players are a fraction of Gordon Taylor’s salary and on issues from dementia to the abuse scandal the PFA’s leader has failed to leadWhat would your reaction be if I were to point out that in the past week Gordon Taylor has quietly passed the 40th anniversary since he took his place at football’s top table and set about the process of transforming himself from a barrel-chested winger at Bury, from the puddles and potholes of the old Third Division, into a life of establishment wealth?If you could put aside any cynicism, try not to dwell too long on the deficiencies of his organisation and overlook that it is traditionally he, not Richard Scudamore, who is the real Bagpuss of football’s fat-cat culture, it might even be possible to manage some grudging admiration for such a feat of longevity. Continue reading...

17-11-2018 ATP Finals: Roger Federer beaten by Alexander Zverev in semi-finals

Roger Federer must wait until 2019 for another chance to reach 100 career titles after semi-final defeat by Alexander Zverev at the ATP Finals.

17-11-2018 Wales v Tonga: Aled Davies scores 'try of the autumn'

Aled Davies scores a superb second-half try as Wales thump Tonga 74-24 in their autumn international at the Principality Stadium.

17-11-2018 Claudio Ranieri puts burgers on menu to beef up Fulham survival mission

The Tinkerman got a pizza the action in his Leicester miracle but knows he must up the ante to save Fulham from relegationThere has been little to light up Craven Cottage this season, but on a shale-grey November afternoon Claudio Ranieri was a one-man sunbeam – offering optimism, old-world charm and an iron promise to do everything possible to keep Fulham from the drop. “If I come here it’s because I believe,” he said, smiling after being unveiled as the club’s new manager. “I’m mad but not stupid.”At Leicester Ranieri promised his players pizza every time they kept a clean sheet. This time, he joked, he would have to up the ante for a side that have conceded 31 goals in 12 Premier League games this season. “I have to promise something more,” he said. “Pizza is not enough now. Better everybody to McDonald’s! I hope to pay for a McDonald’s big burger very soon!” Continue reading...

17-11-2018 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.

17-11-2018 Impressive England thrash South Africa to reach World T20 semi-finals

• South Africa 85, England 87-3; England win by seven wickets• Shrubsole claims hat-trick as bowlers turn on the styleAnya Shrubsole started her 2018 learning that she would be the first woman featured on the front cover of Wisden for her heroics in last year’s World Cup final. Now, becoming just the second player of her gender to take a hat-trick at the World T20, she has the chance to finish it with a second major trophy in two years with England progressing to the final four after eliminating an abysmal South Africa by seven wickets with 35 balls to spare after bowling them out for 85.The achievement capped an immaculate all-round performance from Heather Knight’s side with the ball, not least from Shrubsole’s fellow seamer Nat Sciver who took three for four to make six for 15 from 7.3 overs between England’s frugal and effective openers. Continue reading...

17-11-2018 Denmark hold on for promotion after Gareth Bale scores in frantic finale

• Wales 1-2 Denmark (Bale 89; N Jørgensen 42, Braithwaite 88)• Result means Republic of Ireland will drop into Group CFor Wales it was a frustrating case of what might have been as their twin hopes of securing a Euro 2020 play-off berth and promotion to Group A of the Nations League were extinguished by a ruthless and streetwise Denmark side. Nicolai Jørgensen delivered the first blow, expertly finishing off a sweeping move that saw Denmark go from one end of the pitch to the other in the blink of an eye, before Martin Braithwaite volleyed home the second two minutes from time.Unable to break Denmark down for so much of the game, Wales roused in the dying moments and pulled a goal back through Gareth Bale within seconds of Braithwaite’s strike. The sight of the fourth official indicating that there were five additional minutes lifted the home supporters but Denmark are too good a team to make the same mistake twice. Continue reading...

17-11-2018 Thousands of Leicester City fans march to honour Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha – video

Thousands of Leicester City fans marched on Saturday to honour former owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others, who were killed when their helicopter crashed following Leicester's previous home match against West Ham. Fans gathered in Jubilee Square and marched towards the team's King Power Stadium  ahead of their match with Burnley waving Leicester City and Thai flags, with others holding up banners. Continue reading...

17-11-2018 Wayne Rooney's record-breaking England career in numbers – video

Former England captain Wayne Rooney will bring down the curtain on his record-breaking international career with an honorary appearance against the USA on Thursday.The 33-year-old has been invited back into the national team squad to mark his achievements as the country’s all-time leading goalscorer and as the outfield player with the most capsFootball quiz: Wayne Rooney (on and off the field) Continue reading...

17-11-2018 Ireland v New Zealand: How All Blacks have shaped Ireland's rugby rise

Lessons learned from past defeats could help Grand Slam champions Ireland overcome three-time world champions New Zealand on Saturday.