Sport shorts: Leclerc would welcome Hamilton to Ferrari and Amazon is primed for Premier League debut

1. Leclerc: Hamilton welcome at Ferrari

Charles Leclerc says he would welcome six-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton to Ferrari.

British driver Hamilton has this week been linked with a move to the Italian team when his Mercedes contract expires at the end of the 2020 season. 

Leclerc, who is currently partnering Sebastian Vettel at Ferrari, said: “Of course I would welcome Lewis. We are in F1 and we want to fight against the best. 

“I have had a big opportunity to have had Seb next to me who is a four-times world champion and I have learned a lot from him, so you can always learn from these types of champions.”

2. Kiwis win series against England

New Zealand have secured a 1-0 series victory against England after the second Test match was drawn in Hamilton. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor both scored centuries for the Kiwis before rain stopped play on the final day.

3. Police complaint lodged over Archer racial abuse

The BBC reports that New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has lodged a complaint with police following the racial abuse directed by a spectator at England’s Jofra Archer during the first Test at Mount Maunganui. 

NZC chief executive David White said: “Should the person responsible ever reoffend, we believe we have enough information to link him to the Bay Oval incident.”

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4. AJ’s judgement day

Anthony Joshua is in line for a £60m payday from his heavyweight title rematch with world champion Andy Ruiz Jr.

However, despite the huge payday, The Daily Telegraph’s Oliver Brown says the British challenger has “everything to lose” on Saturday night in Saudi Arabia.

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Brown writes: “In terms of his bank balance, he can afford to keep grinning. In terms of his image, he has everything to lose.”

Where to watch Ruiz Jr vs. Joshua II: official screenings, pubs and bars

5. Trump shocked by Bond 

Snooker world No.1 Judd Trump was knocked out of the UK Championship last night, losing 6-3 to world No.98 Nigel Bond. Speaking after his shock win, Bond told BBC Sport: “He’s the man of the moment. I’m 54 what am I doing? Once I settled I played some good stuff out there. It’s unbelievable.”

6. Amazon primed for Premier League debut 

Amazon Prime Video will make its Premier League bow tonight with its first live coverage of games from England’s top-flight. The online streaming service will show two matches tonight, six tomorrow and two on Thursday. 

7. Man City face tough trip to Burnley 

One of the matches live on Amazon tonight is Manchester City’s trip to Burnley. The Premier League champions are already 11 points shy of leaders Liverpool and lie third behind Leicester City in the table. Tonight’s visit to Turf Moor is therefore a must-win game for Pep Guardiola’s side.

Pressure is slowly building on Man City boss Pep Guardiola 

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8. Merseyside rivals drawn in FA Cup

Liverpool will host Merseyside rivals Everton in the third round of the FA Cup. The third-round draw was made last night and other standout ties include holders Manchester City vs. Port Vale, Wolves vs. Manchester United and non-league AFC Fylde vs. Sheffield United. The ties will take place from 3-6 January.

9. Poch hints at return

Mauricio Pochettino has given his first major interview since being sacked as Tottenham Hotspur manager last month. 

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The Argentine’s comments have put Manchester United and Arsenal “on red alert” with both clubs eyeing up the out-of-work South American.

Pochettino said: “There are a lot of clubs and attractive projects for me to take on. My aim is to seek the ability to rebuild myself and get my self-motivation back.”

10. Messi and Rapinoe win Ballon d’Ors

Barcelona and Argentina superstar Lionel Messi made history last night by winning a record sixth Ballon d’Or award. 

The 32-year-old is now one clear of rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has five wins. Messi secured the most votes ahead of second-placed Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool and Netherlands) and third-placed Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal).

United States star Megan Rapinoe won the women’s Ballon d’Or. England’s Lucy Bronze and USA’s Alex Morgan finished second and third in the voting.

Today’s back pages

Messi makes Ballon d’Or history and Pochettino is open to offers

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