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When are the races in F1 2019?

March 17 Melbourne Australia

March 31 Sakhir Bahrain

April 14 Shanghai China

April 28 Baku Azerbaijan

May 12 Barcelona Spain

May 26 Monaco Monaco

June 9 Montreal Canada

June 23 Le Castellet France

June 30 Spielberg Austria

July 14 Silverstone Great Britain

July 28 Hockenheim Germany

August 4 Budapest Hungary

September 1 Spa-Francorchamps Belgium

September 8 Monza Italy

September 22 Singapore Singapore

September 29 Sochi Russia

October 13 Suzuka Japan

October 27 Mexico City Mexico

November 3 Austin USA

November 17 Sao Paolo Brazil

December 1 Yas Marina Abu Dhabi

Who's racing with who in F1 2019?

MERCEDES   Lewis Hamilton  Valtteri Bottas

FERRARI       Sebastian Vettel   Charles Leclerc

RED BULL      Max Verstappen          Pierre Gasly

RENAULT   Daniel Ricciardo        Nico Hulkenberg

HAAS          Romain Grosjean             Kevin Magnussen

MCLAREN  Carlos Sainz            Lando Norris

FORCE INDIA Sergio Perez      TBC

SAUBER    Kimi Raikkonen     Antonio Giovinazzi

TORO ROSSO Daniil Kvyat        Alex Albon

WILLIAMS     George Russell             Robert Kubica

When is Testing in F1 2019?

Starts Finishes Venue

Test One February 18 February 21 Barcelona

Test Two February 26 March 1 Barcelona

Who's powering who in F1 2019?

Mercedes engines   Mercedes, Force India, Williams

Ferrari engines  Ferrari, Haas, Sauber

Renault engines Renault, McLaren

Honda engines         Red Bull, Toro Rosso


skysports

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Ivory Coast and Chelsea's great striker, Didier Drogba has formally announced his retirement from football after a 20-year career.

Frank Lampard has described Didier Drogba as "the most incredible player".

- Alongside Lampard, Drogba won the Premier League four times, FA Cup four times, League Cup three times and the Champions League once.


Lampard, who is now manager at Derby County, said: "He's one of the greatest that I’ve played with.

"He's a monster in the dressing room."


The 40-year-old scored 164 goals in 381 appearances for Chelsea, winning four Premier League titles, four FA Cups and the 2012 Champions League, while he is also Ivory Coast’s all-time record goalscorer with 65.


- Drogba most recently played for Phoenix Rising in the United Soccer League, which he also partly owns.


“I wanna thank all the players, managers, teams and fans that I have met and made this journey one of a kind,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter.

“If anyone tells you your dreams are too big, just say thank you and work harder and smarter to turn them into a reality.”


- Drogba played club football in six different countries in total, with the majority of his success coming in France and England.


- He won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2006-07 and 2009-10, netting 104 times in the English top flight in total, and also scored a dramatic late equaliser when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich on penalties in the Champions League final six years ago.


- Drogba’s last game was Phoenix’s 1-0 loss to Louisville City in the USL Cup final on November 8. Reports then said it was his last football game.


Drogba's announcement comes soon after fellow former Chelsea player Joe Cole also called time on his playing career, with John Terry hanging up his boots in the summer.

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Arsenal’s Head of Football Raul Sanllehi has admitted that forward Danny Welbeck’s long-term injury could force the Premier League club to recruit in the January transfer window. Welbeck, often used as a backup striker by Manager Unai Emery, underwent two operations after suffering a broken ankle against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League earlier this month. 


While he admitted that Welbeck’s latest setback could give youngster Eddie Nketiah a chance to establish himself in the squad, Sanllehi did not rule out the idea of venturing into the transfer market. “This is absolutely something unplanned,” Sanllehí told The Independent. “I am not saying that is a green light to go to the market because we have some very good players who may now get further opportunities, such as Eddie Nketiah. “So we need to see. We are in November so it is a good time to start analyzing what options we have in the market.” No time frame has been set for Welbeck’s return to action, although the England international could be out until the end of the campaign, when his contract expires at the Emirates. 

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The BBC has announced the five nominees for the 2018 BBC African Footballer of the Year award. The shortlist was unveiled to football fans around the world during a launch program in Lagos over the weekend.


The Contenders

Juventus centre-back Benatia, 31, won his fourth consecutive league title this year - two with Bayern Munich and two with Juve - and captained Morocco at this summer's World Cup.

Napoli defender Koulibaly, 27, played his part in his club's battle with Juve for the Serie A title, including the winner against the eventual champions in the run-in. He played all 270 minutes for Senegal in the World Cup.

Liverpool forward Mane, 26, also played in all of Senegal's World Cup games, captaining his country in two and scoring against Japan. He was the joint-second top scorer in last season's Champions League - with 10 goals for Liverpool, including one in the 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid in the final.

Atletico Madrid midfielder Partey, 25, established himself as a first-team regular for Diego Simeone's side, including a late appearance as a substitute in the Europa League final win over Marseille. He scored in international friendlies for Ghana against Japan and Iceland.

Liverpool forward Salah, 26, won the Premier League Golden Boot with 32 goals in May and, like Mane, scored 10 Champions League strikes in their run to the final. He scored both of Egypt's World Cup goals - 40% of their all-time total at the tournament.

·        

Voting kicked off at 1900 GMT on Saturday, 17th November and will run until 2000 GMT on Sunday, 2nd December when the vote closes.

The public can vote online for their favorite player by visiting: www.bbc.com/africanfootball.

The winner of BBC African Footballer of the Year 2018 will be revealed live during Focus on Africa on BBC World News and BBC World Service on Friday, 14th December at 1730 GMT.

Previous winners of the award include: Mohamed Salah (2017); Riyad Mahrez(2016), Yaya Touré (2015 and 2013); and Yacine Brahimi (2014).

BBC News Africa and BBC Sport will also be the online home of social and digital extras, including video profiles.

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The former PSG boss has been tipped to deliver success to the Gunners by one of his most famous former players

Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil star Neymar lauded Unai Emery and believes the coach will bring success to Arsenal.


Emery took charge of the Premier League club earlier this year and Arsenal have made a decent start to the season, sitting fifth in the table.


Neymar, who played a season under Emery at PSG, backed the Spaniard for success in England.

"Now it's easy to say because Arsenal are playing really great football. They are coming from a great run in recent matches and everybody knows he's a really great coach," he told a news conference on Thursday, ahead of Brazil's friendly against Uruguay in London.


"We know about their quality and I was really happy to work with him because he's a really hard working guy. He really wanted to coach us and really wanted to study about football.


"I think he will bring good things for Arsenal, which is a really huge and important club here in England. I wish him luck."


The Gunners had recovered from early-season losses to Manchester City and Chelsea and have not lost since, but three straight draws have seen the club slide back a bit in the table. 


They sit eight points back of league leaders City and three back of fourth-placed Tottenham and are top of their Europa League group having picked up 10 of 12 possible points so far. 


The London side return from the international break with a clash against Bournemouth in the Premier League and a Europa League tie against Vorskla to close out November. 


They'll open their December schedule with two crucial matches in the league. They'll host Tottenham on December 2 before heading to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United three days later. 

And while Neymar has praised his former manager, he and PSG have rolled through the opening part of their season in Ligue 1, running of 13 straight wins to jump out to a 13-point lead on nearest challengers Lille. 


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Lionel Messi is arguably the greatest footballer to have graced the football pitch. The little magician has had one of the most celebrated and trophy-laden careers of all-time, despite having a bittersweet run with his home country Argentina.


Every great story has a start, which may or may not be great – but in the end it plays a pivotal part in how the story shapes. 


Here are 6 interesting things that you never knew about Lionel Messi:


1. The growth hormone deficiency and a love for Coke!

We all know Messi was born in Rosario – a birthplace he shares with the legendary revolutionary Che Guevara. 

Not only that, during his tender years he had a growth hormone deficiency which required expensive medication and many believe that it was Barcelona who paid for this treatment when he was signed by the Catalan giants in 2001.


However, contrary to popular belief his treatment was taken care of by the Argentinian social security.

Despite the growth hormone deficiency and all the brouhaha surrounding it, Messi was just 13 when he joined Barcelona and like any other teenager had a sweet spot for Cola drinks. His love for the aerated drinks was such that all the soda machines in La Masia had to be removed as the little genius was its most frequent customer.


2. The paper napkin that rewrote footballing history.

Messi rewrote most of the footballing record books with his goal scoring exploits but it all started when Barcelona technical secretary Carles Rexach was mesmerized by the brilliance of the then 13-year-old Leo.

Rexach was so spellbound by what he had seen that due to lack of suitable paper, he decided to seal the deal on a piece of paper available instantaneously – in this case a paper napkin. 


That paper napkin has been kept in a frame to preserve it for the ages as the mark of a new era in the history of a footballing dynasty, after all Barcelona are more than just a club!


3.  Lionel Messi or Lionel Mecci?

Messi made a name for himself on the shores of Spain but his success reverberated across the Atlantic in his home nation of Argentina. 


However, despite being the apple of Barcelona’s eye he was a new kid on the block and not everyone was aware of the presence of a diminutive genius, who would go on to be equally loved and hated by the South American nation.


When Messi received his first call up from the Argentine Football Association for the Under-20s national team, they were not sure what his name was - as he was the only player who plied his trade outside Argentina – and they issued the call up to one Leonel Mecci. 


4. The unholy start for the divine one.

Messi made his debut for the senior Argentine national team on 17th August 2005 at the age of 18, when he came on as a 63rd-minute substitute for Lisandro Lopez in a friendly against Hungary.


It should have been the day we all look back and remember as the day Messi began his love story with La Albiceleste but it turned out to be anything but that.


In a debut which lasted 43 seconds, Messi came on and immediately found himself with the ball. He went on one of his trademark runs, which torments defenders in their sleep as they wake from it hoping to catch the great one but only managing to catch a glimpse instead – akin to how they are left in his wake as he bears down on goal. 


However, it was not to be, as Hungarian international Vilmos Vanczak held the 18-year-old by his shirt. While trying to shake off Vanczak, Messi struck him on the face with his arms and the referee deemed it – incorrectly I must add – as a deliberate elbow and the rising star was shown a red card before the world even caught a glimpse of him!


It has been reported that following his unceremonious debut, Messi was found weeping in the dressing room with his head buried in his hands.

Incidentally, that remains as Messi’s only red card for club and country.


5. Inmessionate.

Words become superfluous when you try to describe the genius that is Lionel Messi. And that is not just a case of me having a poor vocabulary, even dictionaries find it hard to catch up with the little maestro.


In February of 2013, Santillana – a dictionary in Spanish – saw a new adjective added to its books. INMESSIONATE.


The word was chosen by the then Argentine coach Alejandro Sabella in association with Pepsi and roughly means:


1.    Perfect way to play football, an unlimited capacity for self-improvement.

2.    Describes the best player of all time.


However, Messi is not the only footballer to have an entry in the dictionary apart from the record books. In 2012, Sweden honoured their greatest ever footballer – Zlatan Ibrahimovic – with an inclusion in the Swedish dictionary.


The word ‘Zlatanera’ is a verb and means – ‘to dominate’. Fitting!


6. The real reason why he stands alone on the side in all team pictures

Even the greats are also mortals and despite his outlandish footballing skills, there is a part of Messi that is still human. 

Messi can always be seen on the left corner of any team picture standing arm in arm with his compatriots but with a slightly different stance. 

The reason behind that is because of a latent inferiority complex, that the diminutive Argentine has had to suffer in his early years, when he was still the most gifted of the lot but had not yet conquered the footballing world. 


By standing alone on one end of the picture, Messi does not need to bend his knees and his stance appears taller than that of his teammates, who bend their knees, to fit in for the perfect photograph.

It is these small things that remind us, that no matter how gifted or outlandish or phenomenal Messi might be, when all is said and done – Messi is all but a mere mortal!

We may know him as ‘La Pulga’ – ‘The Flea’ - but it is not necessarily a nickname that he loves, or likes to be addressed as. For it will always be a reminder for him of his small stature.

source: sportskeeda

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Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says he and his team holds no fear over facing Nigeria’s Super Eagles in Saturday’s 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the FNB Stadium Johannesburg, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.

Baxter who is gunning for his third win in three games when Bafana face the Super Eagles expects the three-time African champions to have vengeance on their mind ahead of the clash.


The British gaffer led South Africa to a 2-1 win over Nigeria in 2004 in a Mandela Challenge before defeating the Super Eagles 2-0 in a 2019 AFCON qualifier in Uyo in June 2017 – his first match in his second stint at the helms.

“Everybody knows what I said in the first press conference (a week ago) that despite that (the injuries) I want to speak about the players that we do have because even though we respect Nigeria, we do not fear them.

“I think we have still enough talent‚ enough desire and if we can structure a game plan in the next three or four days‚ I think by the time we run out onto the FNB Stadium, we would be confident‚ we would not be complacent‚ because Nigeria have just come from a (2018) World Cup (in Russia).


“They are undefeated since we beat them the last time (in the first qualifier in June last year) and they will certainly want to wreak their revenge.


“So‚ we will be ready and I still believe that we have a very good chance of getting the result that we need.”


After the match-day-five AFCON qualifiers on Saturday in Johannesburg, the Bafana Bafana will travel to Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium to welcome Paraguay in the Nelson Mandela Challenge next Tuesday.


A former international, Garba Lawal has said the 2019 AFCON qualifier against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa is a must win match for the Super Eagles.

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CM Punk's UFC career might be over after June's lopsided unanimous decision loss to Mike Jackson (who could have realistically finished the former WWE Champion any time he wanted), but 'The Voice Of The Voiceless' looks to have his next mixed martial arts gig lined up.


Per MMA Junkie, Punk will commentate Cage Fury Fighting Championships' CFFC 71 event on 14 December.


As well as marking Punk's debut as an announcer, the event will be CFFC's first to stream on UFC Fight Pass. A lower-level MMA promotion, they have nonetheless helped kick-start the careers of several UFC alumni, including Jimmie Rivera, George Sullivan, and Paul Felder.


Punk had the following to say on the matter:-


“I can’t wait for this opportunity to call the CFFC fights on UFC Fight Pass. CFFC has a long history of putting on exciting fights featuring some of the sport’s up-and-coming athletes. This card is going to be a lot of fun, and I’m really excited to have the chance to be a part of it.”

Though he continues to keep professional wrestling at arm's length, this looks like a logical move for Punk. He didn't make it as a fighter at the sport's highest level, but he's a charismatic talker who seems completely dedicated to MMA, and he'll have an experienced play-by-play guy in Mike Gill to help ease his transition on 14 December.


Let's hope the former WWE star is finally on a career path that makes him happy again.




 (whatculture)

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LEWIS HAMILTON says Formula 1's calendar is already too bloated and has suggested he could quit the sport if Liberty continue to add more grands prix to the schedule. Plans for a Vietnam GP to be introduced in 2020 were confirmed this week, while races in the Netherlands and Miami are also in the pipeline, with Liberty having previously suggested a 25-race calendar is on the cards.


The street race in Hanoi has split opinion among fans, while commercial chief Sean Bratches' suggestion that classic tracks like Silverstone may have to make way for the new venues has again caused consternation.


Hamilton says he would prefer an 18-race schedule – every season since 2010 has featured at least 19.


The freshly crowned five-time world champion says he won't stick around to see if he can hack a 25-race calendar, putting a dent in Liberty's expansion plans.


"It already feels like we are on race 25 this year, so I don't think that's a good thing personally," he said.


"I think 18 was probably the best back in the day.


"I'm someone who really loves racing but the season is long. It's a lot of commitment for all of us and a lot of time away from families and the seasons are getting longer and the off time is getting shorter. All I can speak is for myself.


"The turnaround is so short, you start preparing for your next season often as soon as the season is done.


"Getting your mind turned. That's very difficult. Then you have to find a way of switching off and recovering at the same time. It's most likely I'm not going to be here when it gets to 25 that's for sure."

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FOUR DEVELOPMENT GRANTS WORTH CHF 20,000 EACH WILL BE GIVEN BY THE IOC SPORT AND ACTIVE SOCIETY COMMISSION TO ORGANISATIONS THAT PROMOTE THE HEALTH AND SOCIAL BENEFITS OF SPORT AND PARTICIPATION IN REGULAR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.

According to the World Health Organisation, one in four adults is not active enough, and more than 80 per cent of the world’s adolescent population is insufficiently physically active. In addition, inactivity serves as one of the leading risk factors for noncommunicable diseases.


Sport can consequently play a fundamental role, especially for younger generations. However, it has not only health benefits, as it can also be an essential driver for social change and inclusion.