In Brief

Sport shorts: Ferrari admit ‘social’ talks with F1 champion Lewis Hamilton and Andy Ruiz Jr is branded a ‘disgrace’ to boxing

Ten things from the world of sport on Thursday 12 December

1. Ferrari admit ‘social’ talks with Hamilton

Sky Sports reports that Ferrari president John Elkann has had “social” talks with Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton but the Italian team have played down the meeting. 

Hamilton’s Mercedes contract expires at the end of the 2020 season and recent reports speculated that he could join Ferrari in 2021 to partner Charles Leclerc. 

However, when asked about Elkann’s meeting with the Briton, Ferrari chief executive Louis Camilleri said: “Obviously, it was a social event, which has sort of been blown somewhat out of proportion, but it was a social event. They have some common friends.”

Meanwhile, F1 star Hamilton has described his machine swap with MotoGP ace Valentino Rossi as “epic” and the “best day ever”. 

In Valencia on Monday Hamilton rode a 2019 Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 bike while Rossi drove a 2017 Mercedes W08 F1 car.

Hamilton and Rossi swap machines - video, pictures and social media posts

2. Ferrari set 2020 car launch date

Formula1.com senior writer Lawrence Barretto has tweeted that Ferrari will reveal their 2020 F1 car on 11 February next year. Ferrari are the first team to confirm their plans. 

3. Arteta ‘desperate’ to be next Arsenal manager

Manchester City assistant coach Mikel Arteta is “desperate” to be the next manager of Arsenal but before he puts pen to paper the Spaniard wants “guarantees off the board”.

According to The Sun, Arteta would “love a return to the former club he captained” but only if he can thrash out the fine print of his contract on his terms, and in the process not upset Man City.

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4. England women win ODI series against Pakistan

England women’s cricket team have taken a 2-0 lead in the three-match one-day international (ODI) series against Pakistan. Natalie Sciver hit an unbeaten century as England won by 127 runs. The final match of the series is on Saturday. 

5. Team International take 4-1 lead

Team International will take a 4-1 advantage in today’s second day of the Presidents Cup golf event against Team United States. Captain Tiger Woods and Justin Thomas scored Team USA’s only point in Melbourne, Australia. 

International captain Ernie Els said: “We haven’t had a start like this for many years. It’s really nice to have some points on the board. There were a lot of tight matches and a lot of crucial putts, and great golf shots.”

6. WBO formally orders Joshua to fight Usyk

ESPN reports that the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) has formally ordered two-time heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua to fight No.1 mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk. The fight is supposed to happen within 180 days.

7. Warren: Ruiz is a ‘disgrace to boxing’

Former champion Andy Ruiz Jr, who was beaten by Anthony Joshua last weekend in Saudi Arabia, has been branded a “disgrace” by boxing promoter Frank Warren. Mexican-American Ruiz Jr admitted that he failed to prepare properly for the rematch against Joshua and stepped into the ring 15lbs heavier than in the first fight. 

Writing in his column, Warren said: “Andy Ruiz Jr brought disgrace to himself and the sport by simply failing to prepare to any sort of required level. Just because you are a heavyweight it shouldn’t mean you don’t have an obligation to display a certain degree of athletic intention. 

“Yes, he was heavy last time around and usually wobbles a bit around the middle, but this was ridiculous.”

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8. BT Sport launch new monthly pass

Champions League and Europa League broadcaster BT Sport has launched a new contract-free monthly pass. Costing £25 per month, the Daily Mail says the pass will give users access to all BT Sport’s channels and can be accessed via BT Sport’s mobile app, website as well as on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Apple TV, Samsung smart TVs and Google Chromecast. See more at bt.com  

9. Ronaldo extends UCL goals record 

Cristiano Ronaldo has extended his lead as the all-time highest Champions League goalscorer after netting Juventus’s opener in last night’s 2-0 victory against Bayer 04 Leverkusen. 

Ronaldo has now scored 128 career goals in the Champions League - 105 for Real Madrid, 15 for Manchester United and eight for Juventus. His great rival, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, is second on the all-time list with 114.

Messi vs. Ronaldo: all-time records and career goals

10. Atalanta and Atletico reach the UCL last 16 

Champions League debutants Atalanta and Spanish giants Atletico Madrid have secured the final two places in Monday’s round of 16 draw

Despite losing their first three matches in group C, Italian outfit Atalanta found their form late on and a brilliant 3-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk last night earned them a runners-up spot behind Manchester City.

Today’s back pages

Man City boss Guardiola hails Jesus for his ‘goaly trinity’

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