Champions League: Messi scores hat trick as Barcelona blanks PSV Eindhoven

If the World Cup had given the impression that Lionel Messi was slipping down soccer’s pecking order, the Argentine star made it clear he remains at the top of his game. Messi scored a record eighth Champions League hat trick on Tuesday in Barcelona’s 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven as Europe’s top club competition got underway. Meanwhile, Kylian Mbappe, the teenage star widely viewed as the man capable of dethroning Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a near future as the best player in the world, endured a frustrating night in a 3-2 loss with Paris Saint-Germain at Liverpool. The World

Umpire banned for Kyrgios pep-talk at US Open

Umpire Mohamed Lahyani will return to work at the Stockholm Open in October Umpire Mohamed Lahyani has been suspended from his next two scheduled tournaments for encouraging Nick Kyrgios on court during the US Open. Lahyani was heard telling Kyrgios “I want to help you” during a changeover as the Australian trailed Pierre-Hugues Herbert by a set and a break. Kyrgios, 23, fought back to win the second-round tie in four sets. The ATP has banned Lahyani, 52, from October’s China Open and Shanghai Masters after an internal review. “Lahyani’s actions in the match were deemed to have compromised the

Brad Keselowski: ‘We stole the last three races’ in NASCAR Cup

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Russian GP tyres: Vettel more aggressive than Hamilton for Sochi

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Tango in Paris

From my parents’ old house, high above the White Cliffs of Dover, you could look out across the English Channel on sunny days and see the outline of the French coast. I used to imagine that somewhere beyond the horizon there was a French version of me, a bon viveur enjoying better weather, better clothes, better friends: chic, debonair, nonchalant, hanging out in cafés and brasseries, quaffing aperitifs, maybe Champagne, living with elan and panache; living une vie en rose. This alternate life could be glimpsed on family motoring holidays in the Loire Valley or the Dordogne, or cycling through

Alouettes QB Johnny Manziel to replace struggling starter Pipkin

The quarterback carousel in Montreal has spun again, and Johnny Manziel is once again the next man up. The former Cleveland Brown took the majority of Montreal’s first-team snaps at practice on Monday and will take over from quarterback Antonio Pipkin when the Alouettes (3-9-0) visit the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday. Pipkin, 23, started the last four games for Montreal but threw four interceptions in a 32-14 loss to the visiting B.C. Lions last Friday. “I think Johnny deserves the opportunity to play this week based on last week,” Alouettes head coach Mike Sherman said after practice. Sherman also

Lapped Formula 1 drivers need ‘global perspective’ – Toto Wolff

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FIA will inspect Ferrari’s latest Formula 1 car camera device

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POV podcast: Stephanie Labbe plays the long game

Stephanie Labbe approaches soccer like Bobby Fischer approached  chess. She’s thinking many, many moves ahead. So — when the  goal is unprecedented, like getting Canada atop the World Cup podium, Labbe takes an unprecedented approach. She joined a men’s team in the Premiere Development league so she could face an exceptional proving ground between the pipes. No one questioned her skill: she stoned the best they could throw at her. But the league played the gender card: men only. Labbe was ready for that. Plan B? Learn. Adjust. Move on. In the latest podcast, Steph and her old bud Anastasia Bucsis talk about Labbe’s next step,

Pan Pacific Open: Johanna Konta beats Gabriela Dabrowski to reach round of 16

Johanna Konta is currently ranked 43rd in the world in singles Britain’s Johanna Konta registered a straight-set win over Gabriela Dabrowski to reach the round of 16 at the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. Konta, ranked 43rd in the world, beat the Canadian qualifier 6-2 6-0. The British number one did not face a break point in the match and won 10 games in a row as she closed out the victory in 65 minutes. She will play Donna Vekic next, after the Croat beat 2017 US Open champion Sloane Stephens. Vekic, who beat Stephens in the first round at

Ray Allen praises ’08 Celtics at HOF induction

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — With the same poise he displayed throughout his NBA career, Ray Allen closed Friday night’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony with an eloquent speech in which he reveled in the accomplishments of his two championship teams and only praised key members of Boston Celtics‘ 2008 title squad.

In a week during which Allen’s fractured relationship with some from that 2008 Celtics team, including Rajon Rondo, hovered over his induction, Allen stayed above the fray. He suggested that former teammates Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will soon join him in Springfield, and also praised Danny Ainge for assembling that Big Three.

Ainge and Mike Longabardi, an assistant coach on that 2008 title team, were among those in attendance for Friday’s ceremony at Springfield’s Symphony Hall in which 13 new inductees were enshrined.

Allen’s first reference to the Celtics drew loud cheers from fans seated in the balcony.

“In my 12th year, I paired up with a couple of Hall of Famers in Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett,” Allen said after the cheers quieted. “Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I’d end up on that [title] stage.”

Allen noted how difficult it was to win titles but kept the focus of his speech on thanking everyone on his basketball odyssey and suggested that hard work was what ultimately delivered him to the stage.

“I don’t believe in talent. I’m here because I worked hard all my life,” Allen said. “Without that work, no one in this room would know who I am besides my family. So to all the kids around the world watching, paying attention, and aspiring to be like one of us, or even on this stage one day, put the work in and watch the magical ride you’ll go on.”

Allen made 2,973 career 3-pointers, the most in NBA history. He won two titles (the other with the Heat in 2013) and was named an All-Star three times for three different teams: the Celtics, Seattle SuperSonics and the Bucks.

Allen opened his speech by noting he wanted to “be like Mike growing up,” in reference to his idol, Michael Jordan, then praised presenter Reggie Miller by calling him the “best shooter I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Allen might have been alluding to his messy Boston exit to join the rival Heat when he listed off all the cities he played in — Storrs, Connecticut (for the University of Connecticut, from which he was the No. 5 overall pick in the 1996 draft), Seattle, Boston and Miami — and then suggested that the only thing hard was leaving those cities.

Allen drew headlines earlier this week when he suggested that he didn’t expect to be congratulated by his former teammates from the 2008 squad.

During an appearance on ESPN’s The Jump on Friday, Pierce admitted the book that Allen released earlier this year had “rubbed others [on the 2008 team] the wrong way,” but congratulated Allen on his Hall induction.

“[The differences with the 2008 team are] for him and the other guys to figure out. I have no problem with Ray,” said Pierce, who brokered peace with Allen last summer. “Congratulations. Everything he’s gotten, he’s deserved. His name’s gonna be up there forever and I congratulate you, Ray.”

During a visit to Boston on Tuesday, former Celtics coach Doc Rivers expressed dismay at not being able to repair the fractured relationship of his 2008 team. Rivers gushed about that squad, saying if he had one game for his life, he’d pick that group to win it.

On Friday, Garnett posted a picture of that 2008 title team — including himself clutching the Larry O’Brien Trophy next to Allen — and Rivers’ quote about the team on his Area 21 Twitter page. It was captioned, “Ubuntu,” the rallying cry of togetherness that the 2008 Celtics embraced.

But Allen’s speech encapsulated a night in which fellow inductees such as Grant Hill, Jason Kidd, and Steve Nash kept the focus on thanking those who aided their journey.

Coaching legend Lefty Driesell stole the stage with a laugh-filled speech in which he played off his flubs by joking about how he’s 86 years old. Later he told the audience, “The older you get, all you do is try to remember names and go to the bathroom.”

Nash encouraged kids to embrace their passions while noting, “You’ll never be more alive than when you give something everything you have.”

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