Sport shorts: F1 icon Schumacher ‘continues to fight’, Ronaldo confident Juventus can win Champions League, WBC ‘suspends’ Whyte

Ten things from the world of sport on Wednesday 31 July

Michael Schumacher won five of his seven Formula 1 world titles with Ferrari
Michael Schumacher won five of his seven Formula 1 world titles with Ferrari
(Image credit: Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images )

1. Todt gives Schumacher update

Former Ferrari boss Jean Todt has revealed he spent last weekend watching the Formula 1 German Grand Prix with Michael Schumacher.

Seven-time world champion Schumacher suffered serious head injuries while skiing in 2013 and the condition of his health is kept private by his family.

However, in an interview with Radio Monte-Carlo Todt said the German F1 icon continues to “keep fighting”.

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FIA president Todt said: “I’m always careful with such statements, but it’s true. I saw the race together with Michael Schumacher at his home in Switzerland.

“Michael is in the best hands and is well looked after in his house. He does not give up and keeps fighting. He continues to fight. And his family is fighting the same way.”

2. Horner on Verstappen future

Red Bull Racing principal Christian Horner believes there is no reason why Max Verstappen would leave the team. The 21-year-old reportedly has a performance-related exit clause in his contract, but in the past three races he has secured wins in Austria and Germany. Horner said: “I’m totally relaxed about it. I think Max is enjoying driving within the team, he sees the progress that we’re making.”

Red Bull relaxed over Verstappen’s future but what about Gasly?

3. Ronaldo talks up Juve UCL hopes

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo is confident that the Italian giants can win the Uefa Champions League within the next two seasons. The Portugal captain, who has five Champions League winners’ medals in his career, said: “As I always say, we can’t be obsessed by the Champions League. Juve will win it - if not this year, then hopefully yes, it will be the next one. Within the next two years, for the way we’re working and how we’re planning it, we deserve it. We have everything it takes to win it.”

Messi vs. Ronaldo: all-time records, goals and awards

4. City tipped to win the Prem again

In 2019-20 Manchester City will win the Premier League title for a third successive year - that’s according to “The Script” published by BT Sport. The broadcaster commissioned experts from Google, Opta and Squawka to number-crunch big data and predict what will happen in the Premier League, Champions League and Europa League during the upcoming season.

The Script predictions: Man City win Premier League and Spurs beat Man Utd in Europa League final

5. Pepe’s photo shoot at Arsenal

Arsenal are expected to officially unveil Nicolas Pepe today after pictures of him wearing a Gunners shirt were leaked online. The former Lille winger was proudly posing in a red and white shirt, and according to reports the £72m move is a done deal. The Ivorian spent yesterday at the Gunners’ multi-million pound Colney training complex, and the 24-year-old is tipped to face the press this week.

Premier League transfer news: Pepe, Umtiti, Dybala, Lukaku, Lovren, Rose

See more

6. Poch not in charge of transfers

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he has no say over Tottenham’s transfer plans and feels that the club should change his job title from manager to head coach. When asked about the futures of some of his squad the Spurs boss said: “I am not in charge, I know nothing about the situation of my players. I am only coaching them, trying to get the best from them. Maybe the club need to change my title description, because my job now is to coach the team.”

7. VAR to be used in jousting

The medieval sport of jousting is taking a step into the future by using video assistant referees (VAR). Sky News reports that the charity English Heritage is collaborating with VAR specialist Hawk-Eye to trial the technology with jousters in Cornwall.

8. Whyte stripped of WBC interim title

British boxer Dillian Whyte has been provisionally suspended by the World Boxing Council (WBC) following reports he tested positive for a banned substance ahead of his fight against Oscar Rivas. With his win against Rivas on 20 July Whyte became the WBC’s interim title holder and mandatory challenger for Deontay Wilder’s WBC heavyweight belt. Boxing News reports that the recognition has now been suspended pending an investigation.

9. Holbrook to join Titans

St Helens boss Justin Holbrook will take over as head coach at Australian National Rugby League side Gold Coast Titans from 2020. The BBC reports that the 43-year-old will leave Super League leaders St Helens at the end of the season.

10. Get ready for The Ashes

The Ashes starts at Edgbaston tomorrow with Australia looking to defend the legendary little urn that they took from England in a 4-0 series thrashing in 2017-2018. That victory was Down Under, however, and the Aussies haven’t won an Ashes series in England since 2001. This year’s contest is being tipped as a close one, with both teams boasting strong bowling attacks but having weaknesses in their batting line-up.

Ashes 1st Test preview: can Jimmy Anderson make the difference at Edgbaston?

Today’s back pages: Ben Stokes and England will rough up Australia’s ‘sandpaper three’

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