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

Ryder Cup: Rory McIlroy pranks could see him play JUST singles, jokes Thomas Bjorn

McIlroy was seemingly at the heart of a prank orchestrated last week during the rain-affected BMW Championship in suburban Philadelphia.

McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Ian Poulter and Tommy Fleetwood were all staying at the Marriott West hotel in the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ and unveiled their prank in gathering in the foyer of the hotel but it was en route back to the hotel from the Aronimink course McIlroy set ‘The Sting’ in place by phoning Bjorn.

McIlroy was behind the wheel of the BMW courtesy car with Stenson in the passenger seat, Poulter in back when the car set off but they had only travelled a few yards in stopping to pick-up Fleetwood who was walking in the direction of the main vehicle entrance to the club.

All had seat belts on with the exception of Fleetwood.

McIlroy looked very much as ease driving the spanking new BMW sedan with one hand on the wheel but when Stenson commented he’d just gone through a four-way intersection with ‘STOP’ signs without stopping, we next saw Fleetwood wearing his seatbelt.

McIlroy rang Bjorn asking him if he might consider purchasing a “cryotherapy chambes”, costing around £20,000 each, as McIlroy indicated he had just undergone the ‘cold temperature therapy’ in a unit on hand at the Aronimink club, and boasting it was a great way to unwind after a game of golf and made him felt more alive.

In fact, McIlroy suggested Bjorn purchase one each for the 12-members of his Versailles team and with Poulter prompting McIlroy to inform Bjorn that the chambers were also good for promoting weight loss and an obvious dig at Bjorn’s waistline.

McIlroy later let the cat out of the bag, and Bjorn warned the Northern Irishman to be on his guard over the next fortnight.

And now Bjorn has responded: “It was an interesting phone call, that’s for sure!

“I was like, ‘I don’t know what he’s talking about!’. I was making up all sorts in my head, and you hear about all sorts of therapies and ice baths and you think ‘athletes and modern-thinking players… maybe this is something’.

“But then all of a sudden I got a video through saying, ‘here’s a video, sorry’.

“He’s in big trouble! He might not play until Sunday now! That’s okay, they looked like they had fun.

“It’s never fun when you get done on the prank but have to take it in the spirit it is, it was a good moment.

“If you know me well enough you have to think that at some stage during the next weeks they’ll find themselves in a situation that’s a little uncomfortable!”

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