Back at the start of the month, South Africa’s head coach, Allister Coetzee, was asked about the “aura” of his side.
Lewis Hamilton insisted he could still become world champion for a fourth time after fulfilling a lifetime ambition by winning the Brazilian Grand Prix to cut Nico Rosberg’s lead to 12 points going into the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
Imagine if this had been the opening game of a World Cup, rather than the first weekend of the 2016 autumn series. A year ago England were hopeful but slightly uncertain of their best way forward.
At a time when much of the chatter around England has centred on the existential, Gauloise-puffing idea of identity, essence and (God help us) “footballing DNA”, it seems fitting Spain should be Tuesday night’s friendly opponents at Wembley.
Ashley Williams accepts Wales may have to win all of their remaining World Cup qualifying matches to finish top of their group after they squandered a lead for the third game in succession to leave their hopes of reaching Russia hanging in the balance.
Gareth Southgate has urged the Football Association to make a swift decision on his future as the England manager so the senior and under-21 teams can start the process of planning for their respective campaigns.
Dusan Tadic believes he suffered a broken nose against Wales when Neil Taylor accidentally kicked him in the face but the Southampton winger has not ruled out playing against Liverpool on Saturday and will consider wearing a protective mask to give him every chance of being available.
Romelu Lukaku helped give his former Everton manager Roberto Martínez a night to remember hit Belgium for eight against Estonia in their World Cup qualifier in Brussels.
It is funny how things change.
The Liverpool midfielder has been in fine form this season.
Danny Willett’s 2016 will forever be defined by the donning of the Green Jacket.
The former Olympic Stadium, now home to West Ham United, is facing operational losses running into millions of pounds for years to come due to problems finding a naming rights partner and hugely increased costs for retractable seating, the Guardian can reveal.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been named in Manchester United’s 21-man squad for Thursday’s Europa League group game at Fenerbahce along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney, plus Phil Jones, who has just recovered from injury.