Footballers attempt to take set piece in six inches of water
Kazakhstanis hit out at Sacha Baron Cohen for taking the rise out of their great nation in his Borat film – but sometimes they just don’t do themselves any favours.
Take a look at this video clip, for instance - said to be taken from a Kazakhstan league game yesterday - which brings a whole new meaning to the term floating over a cross.
It shows two players attempting to take a corner with the pitch submerged in water as mocking laughter rings out from the stands and a pumping vehicle does its job (badly).
Player one places the bobbing ball as near to the corner flag as possible before giving up and throwing it onto a dry area of the pitch – only for the ridiculously officious referee to order a re-take.
Fair play to the enterprising pair, who eventually devise a way to lob the ball into the area – only for it be returned with interest by one of their team-mates, who is clearly on a wind-up.
It’s a much overused phrase, but in this particular case the video’s title ‘Worst Conditions for a Corner Kick Ever!!!’ does exactly what it says on the tin.
Anyone got any suggestions for suitable player/team-names that would suit these crazy conditions? Rain Rooney? Splash-ley Cole? Tom Puddlestone? We’re sure you can do better.
With interim boss Rafa Benitez confirming he will leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, MSN Sport readers believe Jose Mourinho will be the next Chelsea manager.
In a poll run in the aftermath of Chelsea’s FA Cup win at Middlesbrough, 32% of the 8,576 respondents said the Special One, who is certain to leave Real Madrid at the conclusion of the Spanish season, was their top choice to re-take the reins at the Bridge.
Harry Redknapp was the second choice earning 13% of the votes with Capital One Cup-winning manager Michael Laudrup third with 11%.
Mourinho has already stated he intends to return to England at some point in his managerial career. Would Roman Abramovich really be willing to re-hire the man he unceremoniously dumped in September 2007?
- Rafa: My relationship with Roman is strong
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- Watch: Rafa rants at Chelsea fans
Joey Barton was involved in a war of words with Zlatan Ibrahimović last night – and the Englishman won it by a nose.
David Beckham was making his debut for Paris St Germain as they beat Marseille in the French Cup, but even he was upstaged by the antics of his countryman.
After Barton had accused Ibrahimović of giving him a crafty dig with his elbow, Barton responded by taking the mickey out of the Swede’s prominent hooter by using sign language, followed by bad language.
It was like the ‘battle of the big noses’ scene from Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, only on this occasion, Ibrahimović kept his fists by his side and instead gave his opponent a wry smile.
The striker had the last laugh too as he scored both goals in the 2-0 win, but Barton should pick his fights a little more carefully and perhaps study the video of Zlatan kicking one of his team-mates in the head for a giggle before he considers his next move.
He's always had a nose for trouble, that lad.
The official match ball for this year's Champions League final, the adidas Finale Wembley, has been unveiled.
The 2013 Champions League final takes place at Wembley Stadium on 25 May. The new ball has been designed to celebrate the European finals that have taken place at the ‘home of football’ over the last 50 years.
From the AC Milan team in 1963 and Ajax in 1971 to Liverpool’s 1978 side and Barcelona’s all-conquering teams in 1992 and 2011, Wembley has born witness to some fantastic sides lifting the Champions League trophy.
The aesthetic of the ball reflects these events, incorporating the years in which the finals took place into the well-known star panel design - an iconic feature of adidas’ official match balls for the competition.
The technical graphics and the expressive colour scheme come together to reflect the grandeur of the occasion where this year’s winners will be crowned in front of the near 90,000-strong crowd.
Claus Peter-Mayer, vice president of global sports marketing football for adidas, talked about the development of the ball: "adidas has created a ball to celebrate the finals staged at Wembley which, in turn, is a fitting tribute to this season’s eventual finalists and a wonderful compliment to what is surely going to be a great occasion.”
The adidas Finale Wembley will be used on field during UEFA Champions League matches from 12 February and is available for purchase in adidas retail stores and associated stockists as of 1 February.
Pete Waterfield's hopes of making his fifth Olympics have been salvaged, with a sponsor agreeing to plug the gap left after UK Sport withdrew his funding.
Al Bann Media have agreed to step in to ensure he can make the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in two years time, when he is slated to dive alongside Tom Daley in the 10m.
"I'm going to the Commonwealths and we’ll see what happens - if I get there it’s only another two years to the Olympics," Pete told MSN.
Recruitment company the The Sugarman Group have also agreed to support him over the next year.
British Diving will continue to pay transport, coaching and physio costs.
British Diving has defended its treatment of Olympian Peter Waterfield - who today found out he will have no source of income from April - by saying they never like to tell athletes the bad news themselves.
Pete was furious when MSN spoke to him this morning that he had not been notified by the decision-makers who run the sport but instead had found out unexpectedly from his coach.
He now will quit the sport to which he has dedicated his whole life and try to find another way to support his wife and two children. His funding runs out in March.
In October, British Diving announced that Pete Waterfield would dive with teenage star Tom Daley at least until the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Today, in a statement emailed to MSN, performance director Alexei Evangulov said:
“Delivering bad news is never easy from any point of view. We tend to work closely through the home coaches as in this instance to ensure we can put appropriate support mechanisms in place going forward....
Lionel Messi has won the FIFA world player of the year award for a record fourth successive year.
To celebrate the achievement, adidas have teamed up with illustrator Richard Swarbrick to produce an animated tribute to the Barcelona star.
What do you think of Swarbrick's tribute to Messi? And what does 2013 have in store for the world's best footballer? Join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #teammessi
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2012 was a bumper year of sport and many will think that, in comparison, 2013 will be a bit of a let down.
But with a football season which still has some twists in it, coupled with an Ashes series, a Rugby League World Cup and a World Athletics championship, there is still plenty to have a punt on.
Marc Webber has checked out some of the odds for the big bets in 2013.
Who will win the English Premier League?
No bookie can see beyond Manchester United for the title, with none of them offering better than 2/5 for the Reds to win. Man City are 2nd favourite at 7/2. Chelsea are behind them at 15/2.
And United new boy Robin Van Persie leads the list of top scorers for the league, with Paddy Power putting him at 13/8, ahead of Suarez at 5/2 and Demba Ba at 10/1.
The bookies are slightly split about the prices for which team will be relegated - whilst they all agree QPR, Reading and Southampton are for the chop, Corals have Reading and QPR equally priced at 2/7 but many others have Reading at 1/4 and QPR at 1/5.
Manchester City are favourite with most bookies to pick up the jug at Wembley. Prices range from 9/2 with Paddy Power to 11/2 with Stan James and Bet Victor. Celtic are favourite to win the Scottish FA Cup, with Sky Bet the best odds at 5/6.
Chelsea are 8/13 to pick up the Capital One League Cup and Barcelona are top of the pile to win the Champions League ( 9/4 at Betfred). Manchester United are the best priced British team at 12/1 with Ladbrokes.
Paddy Power say it's 5/2 that Roy Hodgson WON'T be England manager by the end of 2013 and it's 15/2 that they won't qualify from their World Cup group.
Our 'friends' from down under will be trying their best to beat us on the rugby and cricket pitches this summer.
England are favourites to retain the Ashes on home soil, with Totesport pricing an England series victory at 8/13. It's 5/2 for the Australians to win the series and a draw is 9/2. England captain Alistair Cook is already 6/1 with William Hill to win 2013 BBC Sports Personality.
Warren Gatland's Lions travel to Australia and the bookies think Australia will lose this one as well.
The Lions are clear favourites to beat the locals, with Blue Square offering 5/6 for a series victory.
But it is the complete reverse for this summer's Rugby League World Cup, where the visiting Australians are set to dominate. They are 4/11 with 888 Sport. whilst England are third favourites at 7/1 with Bet365. Wales, Scotland and Ireland are a lowly 500/1 with most bookies.
Back to the fifteen-man game, and France are tipped to top the Six Nations, at 2/1, England are second favourites at 9/4 and it is Wales next at 4/1.
Saracens and Leicester are 2/1 joint favourites with Paddy Power for the Premiership title.
There will be no rest for Jess Ennis and Mo Farah as they go to Moscow later this year for the World Athletics Championships and Ladbrokes are offering 3/1 that Mo will win gold in both the 5000m and 10000m events and 3/10 that Jess Ennis will be the top heptathlon athlete.
Gold-winning Andy Murray is second-favourite to win Wimbledon at 3/1 with Sportingbet, behind Djokovic at 9/4. Murray is second favourite to be world number one by the end of the season.
Serena Williams is 6/5 favourite to win the women's singles title at Wimbledon and 6/4 to be World number one by the end of the year.
Best of the Rest
In Formula One, Sebastian Vettel is in pole position with the bookies to get another drivers' title, with William Hills pricing him at 7/4.
In Golf, Rory McIlroy & Tiger Woods are 9/1 joint favourites to win the British Open.
In Horse Racing, 14/1 shot Prince De Beauchene is the early leader of the pack in Grand National betting with Paddy Power, whilst Bobs Worth is the 3/1 market leader of the Cheltenham Gold Cup betting with Bet Victor, who are promising money back on any horse you back now during the festival which does not run.
Argentina soccer team Boca Juniors sacks Coach Carlos Bianchi after poor results in his third spell in charge.
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Which English club will go furthest in the Champions League?
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- Manchester City