Mane wins PFA Player of the Month for August

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has won the first PFA Fans’ Player of the Month award of the 2018-19 Premier League season.

The Reds No.10 scored three goals in three games during August to help his team on their way to a 100 per cent start to the campaign so far.

And Mane was the overwhelming winner in a poll of fans across the country for the PFA accolade for last month, taking 58 per cent of the votes.

He finished ahead of Cardiff City’s Neil Etheridge and Watford’s Roberto Pereyra, as well as Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur) and Benjamin Mendy (City).

Andy Robertson is new Scotland captain

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson has today been appointed the new Scotland national team captain.

The 24-year-old officially takes the armband ahead of the friendly with Belgium in Glasgow on Friday night and UEFA Nations League tie against Albania three days later.

Robertson has accrued 22 caps and scored two goals for his country to date, since a debut against Poland in March 2014.

The left-back has made 34 appearances for the Reds since signing from Hull City last summer and was a key figure in the run to last season’s Champions League final.

The human catapult

I’m not a fan of rollercoasters, let alone bungee jumps, but for those of you who want something more extreme, try this human catapult.

The Nevis Catapult hurls willing participants 150 metres (164 yards) across the Nevis Valley near Queenstown, New Zealand.  If you’re up for it, you can experience up to 3g of force, and fly at speeds of almost 100 kilometres per hour (62 miles per hour) in 1.5 seconds. While these are impressive numbers, the video of the whole thing speaks for itself.

Henry van Asch, co-founder of AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand, revealed the Nevis Catapult after “years of playing around with the idea.”  He added “it’s a pretty unique feeling, surprising even. There’s nothing else quite like it”.

The Nevis Catapult was a specially built design, then tested out-of-sight in Christchurch over the last nine months. Testing began with weighted barrels, before moving on to a test dummy phase, and then finally, brave humans.

Like many of these things it’s not cheap, costing NZ$255 (US$176), and you’ll need to be at least 13 years old to participate, plus weigh between 45 to 127 kilograms (99 to 279 lbs).

Liverpool to face PSG, Napoli and Red Star in Champions League

Liverpool will face Paris Saint-Germain, Napoli and Red Star Belgrade in Group C of the Champions League this season.

Thursday’s draw took place in Monaco and placed the Reds – runners-up in the competition last term – in the same section as the clubs from France, Italy and Serbia respectively.

The opening matches of the group stage will be held on September 18/19, with further fixtures on October 2/3, October 23/24, November 6/7, November 27/28 and December 11/12.

Liverpool have played each of the three teams twice before: PSG in the Cup Winners’ Cup (1997), Napoli in the Europa League (2010) and Red Star in the European Cup (1973).

Jürgen Klopp is confident Liverpool will be a ‘big challenge’ for any team in Europe, after sharing his reaction with the clubs official website.

Full Champions League group stage draw

Group A: Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Monaco, Bruges.

Group B: Barcelona, Tottenham, PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan.

Group C: Paris St-Germain, Napoli, Liverpool, Red Star Belgrade.

Group D: Lokomotiv Moscow, FC Porto, Schalke, Galatasaray.

Group E: Bayern Munich, Benfica, Ajax, AEK Athens.

Group F: Manchester City, Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Hoffenheim.

Group G: Real Madrid, Roma, CSKA Moscow, Viktoria Plzen.

Group H: Juventus, Manchester United, Valencia, Young Boys.

Bowling Tricks and Pool Shots

Poolbowl must be some kind of combination of pool and 10 pin bowling.  This video shows us that Jason Belmonte and Florian “Venom” Kohler have a lot of time on their hands, and have used it to perfect some glorious tricks. So what if they have terabytes of outtakes, this compilation video is awesome!

The #DeleAlliChallenge

The next internet craze is upon us: People are trying, and mostly failing, to copy a pose Tottenham Hotspur player Dele Alli did after he scored a goal against Newcastle this week. Whether it was planned or not, this was the first sighting of this now iconic hand gesture.

What Alli does with his hands looks simple enough — but it turns out making an “ok” sign with your thumb and forefinger, turning it upside-down, and then letting it rest around your eye is actually harder than it seems.  Good luck trying to replicate it.

Liverpool confirm 2018/19 squad numbers

Today, Liverpool have released an official announcement that Alisson Becker and Fabinho have made their decisions as to their squad numbers.

Fabinho, who signed from Monaco at the beginning of the window, will sport the no.3 he has been wearing throughout pre-season.

Compatriot Alisson Becker will continue to don the no.13 shirt, meaning Loris Karius technically remains the no.1 after rumours of a swap.

Elsewhere, young forward Rhian Brewster, who will be promoted to the first-team set-up on his return from injury, will be no.24.

Liverpool squad numbers – in full:

1 – Loris Karius

2 – Nathaniel Clyne

3 – Fabinho

4 – Virgil van Dijk

5 – Georginio Wijnaldum

6 – Dejan Lovren

7 – James Milner

8 – Naby Keita

9 – Roberto Firmino

10 – Sadio Mane

11 – Mohamed Salah

12 – Joe Gomez

13 – Alisson Becker

14 – Jordan Henderson

15 – Daniel Sturridge

16 – Marko Grujic

17 – Ragnar Klavan

18 – Alberto Moreno

20 – Adam Lallana

21 – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

22 – Simon Mignolet

23 – Xherdan Shaqiri

24 – Rhian Brewster

26 – Andrew Robertson

27 – Divock Origi

29 – Dominic Solanke

32 – Joel Matip

47 – Nathaniel Phillips

48 – Curtis Jones

50 – Lazar Markovic

54 – Sheyi Ojo

56 – Connor Randall

62 – Caoimhin Kelleher

64 – Rafa Camacho

66 – Trent Alexander-Arnold

68 – Pedro Chirivella

73 – Kamil Grabara

The Two-Minute Surf Wave

Pro surfer Koa Smith caught a wave off Namibia’s Skeleton Bay that took him for a nearly a mile! He surfed a single wave for a distance of 1.5 kilometers for two minutes that took him through eight barrels. It was captured on video, both from a drone and from Smith’s own GoPro POV. Both videos are mesmerizing.

My whole day surfing I try to InVision that one dream wave that I want to experience. I picture it clearly. What it will look like. How it will feel. The emotions pouring out of me when the wave is complete. Then this happen 🙂

Juventus Sold $60 Million Of Ronaldo Jerseys In 24 Hours

Juventus reportedly sold $60 million worth of Ronaldo jerseys in 24 hours — almost half his transfer fee.

Juventus, the biggest football club in Italy, sold 520,000 Ronaldo jerseys in just 24 hours, according to Yahoo Italy, The Guardian, and beIN Sports. As official Ronaldo jerseys cost about $120, that would be $62.4 million in total revenue — almost half his transfer fee.

Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus last week in a $129.3 million (£99.2 million) deal, but the Italian club will not recuperate the bulk of the transfer fee from shirt sales alone, as typically clubs receive only 10-15% of the revenue generated by the kit manufacturer (in this case, Adidas). It is therefore likely that Juventus will see about $6 million to $9 million of this money.  Regardless, Juventus is still feeling the effects of acquiring one of the planet’s most famous athletes.

When news of Ronaldo’s intended move broke, Juventus shares popped almost 40%. The club also witnessed a massive social-media boost as its channels gained more than 1.5 million new followers in a single day.

Speaking of his transfer, Ronaldo said he hoped to “take Juventus to an even higher level,” according to the BBC. Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that he also said, “I want to leave my mark on the history of Juventus.”

It looks as if he may have already done those things without even kicking a ball.

The World Cup Ethical Dilemma

Calum Samuelson begins a fascinating article on The World Cup Dilemma, “in spite of the numerous benefits connected with this quadrennial global spectacle, its crookedness simply cannot be ignored or left unchallenged.”

He goes on to write:

Perhaps one of the reasons we’ve failed in our efforts at reform is because we’ve failed in our assessment of the central dilemma: FIFA has successfully monetized the most popular game on the planet. The litany of criticism aimed at FIFA is important and needed, but it all tends to evaporate in the heat of the tournament’s intense allure. Thus, many accusations fail to ‘stick’ because they are frequently quite anemic: the system is bad. But this misses a vital piece of the puzzle: the game is good. We cannot engage the former successfully if we have not understood the way it capitalizes on the momentum of the latter.

Football is not perfect (as the newly implemented VAR is helping reveal), but it is good. There can be no doubt that the World Cup allows people from all around the globe to experience in some meaningful way the vital human needs of camaraderie, competitiveness, and celebration. The slogan of FIFA appears to work towards such ends—“For  the Game. For the World.”—but time and time again, we’ve seen just how profit-hungry this ‘non-profit’ organization is.

In light of this, we need to change our thinking: The World Cup should not be pitched as an ‘economic windfall’ for low-income countries, but carefully managed as a celebration of humanity’s inerasable playfulness; it should be regarded more as a burden of responsibility for wealthy countries than a ‘prestigious opportunity’ for poor ones. This also necessitates a change in strategy: Rather than trying to impress critics with peripheral perks (such as ‘renewable energy’ and ‘knowledge transfer’), let’s focus on achieving the primary aim (enjoyment of a game) without harming civilians.

Go read the full article article to see his suggestions as to how this could be done.

Kangaroo delays football game

A kangaroo delayed the second half of a match between soccer teams Blue Devils FC and Canberra FC on Sunday, when it hopped onto the field and set itself in front of goal.

After a little while, the kangaroo hopped off the field and toward the carpark. Then it returned, again, to interrupt the second half of play.

Liverpool FC’s fixture list for 2018-19

Liverpool’s Premier League campaign for 2018-19 will get under way with a home fixture against West Ham United.

The Reds are set to kickstart their league season at Anfield for the first time since 2014-15 having been scheduled to face Manuel Pellegrini’s team on August 11.

Liverpool will host the first Merseyside derby of the season on December 1, with the return fixture at Everton’s Goodison Park slated for March 2.

Jürgen Klopp’s side will also take on their other great rivals Manchester United at home first, the Anfield edition of that fixture coming on December 15, with a trip to Old Trafford following on February 23.

Newcastle United are set to visit Anfield on Boxing Day, while the Reds will conclude their Premier League programme with a home clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers on May 12.

August

11 – West Ham United (H)
18 – Crystal Palace (A)
25 – Brighton and Hove Albion (H)

September

1 – Leicester City (A)
15 – Tottenham Hotspur (A)
22 – Southampton (H)
29 – Chelsea (A)

October

6 – Manchester City (H)
20 – Huddersfield Town (A)
27 – Cardiff City (H)

November

3 – Arsenal (A)
10 – Fulham (H)
24 – Watford (A)

December

1 – Everton (H)
4 – Burnley (A)
8 – Bournemouth (A)
15 – Manchester United (H)
22 – Wolverhampton Wanderers (A)
26 – Newcastle United (H)
29 – Arsenal (H)

January

1 – Manchester City (A)
12 – Brighton and Hove Albion (A)
19 – Crystal Palace (H)
30 – Leicester City (H)

February

2 – West Ham United (A)
9 – Bournemouth (H)
23 – Manchester United (A)
27 – Watford (H)

March

2 – Everton (A)
9 – Burnley (H)
16 – Fulham (A)
30 – Tottenham Hotspur (H)

April

6 – Southampton (A)
13 – Chelsea (H)
20 – Cardiff City (A)
27 – Huddersfield Town (H)

May

4 – Newcastle United (A)
12 – Wolverhampton Wanderers (H)