Want to mark your 1,000th senior game in style? How about a record-equalling 11th consecutive Serie A goal? That’s what Cristiano Ronaldo did – the Juventus forward responding in style to news of Lionel Messi’s four-goal haul for Barcelona earlier in the day. Ronaldo, 35, met Juan Cuadrado’s cross to equal the Italian top-flight record, shared with Gabriel Batistuta and Fabio Quagliarella.
Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas claimed a new world indoor triple jump record at the final World Indoor Tour event of the season in Madrid. The 24-year-old double world champion recorded 15.43m with her sixth and final attempt. It eclipsed Russian Tatyana Lebedeva’s previous landmark from 2004 by seven centimetres.
Ethiopia’s Ababel Yeshaneh smashed the women’s half-marathon world record by 20 seconds to win the Ras Al Khaimah event in the United Arab Emirates. Yeshaneh crossed the line in one hour, four minutes and 31 seconds on Friday to eclipse the previous record set by Kenyan Joyciline Jepkosgei 2017. Second-placed Brigid Kosgei also broke Jepkosgei’s record by two seconds.
Ibrahim Kamara has left his position as head coach of Ivory Coast, the Ivory Coast Football Federation (FIF) has confirmed. Kamara had been at the helm since 2018 having previously been in charge of the Elephants’ various youth and home-based national teams. In 2019, he led Ivory Coast to the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt and saw his side knocked out in the quarter-finals against Algeria.
South Africa will not send its Olympic football team to Japan to play a friendly in March because of concerns over the coronavirus outbreak. The two teams were due to play in Sanga on 27 March, four months before the start of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. There have been 85 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Japan and one death, according to the World Health Organization as of 20 February. South African Football Association’s (SAFA) acting chief executive Gay Mokoena said the Japan Football Association had been trying to change his mind over the decision.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will miss about three weeks with a hamstring injury, says manager Jurgen Klopp. Henderson, 29, was forced off late on in Liverpool’s 1-0 Champions League defeat by Atletico Madrid on Tuesday. The midfielder has made 34 appearances for the runaway Premier League leaders this season, scoring three goals. “We have heard of different hamstring injuries in the Premier League – Harry Kane for example – but it’s not that bad,” said Klopp on Friday.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt his side were “a bit sloppy” as they drew 1-1 with Club Bruges in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie in Belgium. The visitors started poorly and fell behind when Emmanuel Dennis lobbed Sergio Romero early in the first half. United equalised when Anthony Martial raced through to beat ex-Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet one-on-one.
Rangers pulled off an astonishing late comeback from 2-0 down to rescue their Europa League hopes with a dramatic victory over Braga at Ibrox. The slick Portuguese were dominant and cruising in the last-32 first leg after goals from Fransergio and Abel Ruiz. But Rangers hit back with an Ianis Hagi double either side of Nigeria’s Joe Aribo’s superb solo goal in a 15-minute flurry.
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo accepts the club’s fans may start to dream of Europa League glory after his team took a huge step towards reaching the last 16 by thrashing Espanyol. Diogo Jota scored a hat-trick for the second consecutive game in the competition and Ruben Neves hit a stunning long-range volley as they dominated the first leg of their last-32 tie at Molineux. It was another impressive result in the competition for Wolves, who have not looked out of place in Europe despite an absence of 40 years.
Last season’s Champions League semi-finalists Ajax are on the brink of a Europa League exit after losing 2-0 at Spanish high-flyers Getafe. On-loan forward Deyverson gave the Spanish team the lead, before being hit by a lighter during his celebration. Former Chelsea winger Kenedy came off the bench to score Getafe’s second during added time. The second leg takes place at the Johan Cruyff Arena next Thursday (27 January).
Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury will not face off at Friday’s weigh-in as organisers of their rematch move to prevent any possible on-stage clash. Fury, 31, and WBC world heavyweight champion Wilder pushed one another at a news conference before their 2018 bout. They did so again at a news conference on Wednesday, when organisers were left frustrated by the time it took for security to intervene. The Nevada State Athletic Commission has now chosen to scrap the face off.
Lionel Messi is still longing for Neymar to return to Barcelona and appears keen for the club to sign him. The Catalans attempted to re-sign Neymar last year but could not agree a deal with Paris Saint-Germain, and Messi believes Neymar is still thinking about a return. Messi said: “Neymar is one of the best in the world and I’d love him to come back. He is a very happy person who is always smiling and enjoys himself on and off the pitch. He gave all the players a lift.
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has been charged by the Swiss Attorney General in connection with a three-year corruption investigation allegedly involving ex-FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke and a third businessman. The alleged offences against Al-Khelaifi, who is chairman of BeIN media group, are not to do with his ownership of French champions PSG or his involvement as a member of the UEFA executive committee. Swiss federal prosecutors say they have filed an indictment charging Al-Khelaifi with inciting Valcke to commit aggravated criminal mismanagement. Al-Khelaifi released a statement claiming the charge “will be proven completely groundless and without any substance whatsoever”.
Players in Spain’s top women’s division have signed a collective agreement on pay and conditions that guarantees them a minimum salary of 16,000 euros. It comes after a strike by players in November that saw Primera Division fixtures postponed.
UEFA has apologised for a technical error over Euro 2020 tickets that has left fans reasonable amounts out of pocket. A new batch of tickets for this summer’s tournament was made available on Wednesday for fans unsuccessful in the initial ballots. Fans who thought they had secured tickets then also bought flights and accommodation – but received an email hours later from European football’s governing body to say the transactions had been cancelled.
Christian Eriksen scored his first Inter Milan goal as the Italians won at Ludogorets Razgrad in the Europa League last 32. The former Spurs midfielder slotted home from the edge of the area after Romelu Lukaku’s lay-off with about 20 minutes remaining. The Dane also hit the bar with a drive from 25 yards before Lukaku sealed the win with a penalty in added time.
Barcelona have completed the controversial emergency signing of Danish striker Martin Braithwaite from Leganes for 18m euros. La Liga gave Barcelona permission to make a signing outside the transfer window after Ousmane Dembele was ruled out for six months with an injury. La Liga rules allow clubs to apply to make new signings if a player is ruled out for more than five months. Braithwaite’s contract will run until the end of June 2024.
Roger Federer will miss his fourth French Open in the last five years after having knee surgery on Wednesday. The 20-time Grand Slam champion had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee – which had been “bothering him for a little while” – in Switzerland. Federer, who won his only Roland Garros title in 2009, said doctors were “very confident of a full recovery”.
Unified heavyweight boxing champion, Anthony Joshua, was given a hero’s welcome in his home town Sagamu on Wednesday after paying homage to the town’s traditional rulers. Joshua is making his first appearance in the country since reclaiming his WBA, IBF, WBO, and IBO titles from Mexico’s Andy Ruiz at the Diriyah Arena in Saudi Arabia with a convincing 12th round win. Hundreds of fans surrounded the boxer during his visit to the Alafin Elepe palace and the seat of the Alafin Akarigbo of Remo Land.
Veteran Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor says the main reasons he decided to join Paraguayan side Olimpia Asuncion were the influence of ex-Manchester City team-mate Roque Santa Cruz and the club president’s six-year-old son. The 35-year-old former Arsenal striker, who quit Turkish club Kayserispor in December, signed a deal until the end of the year as giants Olimpia hunt for domestic and South America’s Copa Libertadores silverware.