Athletes are battling for 21 gold medals in 10 different sports Tuesday, with a day of drama promised in the Olympic Stadium -- site of the track and field events -- and in the velodrome and the gymnastics arena.
Chinese badminton player Yu Yang quits the sport after being disqualified for match throwing. Jaime Florcruz reports.
Eight female badminton players were disqualified from the Olympics this week for apparently trying to throw their matches to secure a favorable draw.
The Australian women's basketball team and the Japanese women's soccer team flew in premium economy seats in their flights to Europe, while their male counterparts stretched out in business class.
Brazilian soccer icon Zico has hailed the South American country's World Cup-winning team of 1958 as the best in the sport's history, ahead of the reigning world and European champions Spain.
CNN's Pedro Pinto and Al Goodman report on Spain's momentous win over Italy in Euro 2012 final in Kiev.
F1 designer Hermann Tilke gives CNN an inside track into the Shanghai International Circuit ahead of Sunday's race.
The foreign invasion of China's professional football league reached fever pitch this week with the announcement that former Chelsea forward Didier Drogba will play with the Shanghai Shenhua team next season.
CNN's Richard Quest talks to Jeffrey Sachs, director of Earth Institute, about the European banks.
Euro 2012 is beginning to resemble the eurozone -- a case of sport imitating economics.
WARSAW -- Three thoughts on the U.S.' 1-1 tie at Guatemala on Tuesday, which moved the U.S. into pole position in its semifinal-round World Cup qualifying group with four points, followed by Jamaica (four with less goal differential), Guatemala (one) and Antigua and Barbuda (one).
GDANSK, Poland -- It was the game of the tournament so far in Euro 2012, a thrillingly open back-and-forth between the champions of World Cup 2010 (Spain) and World Cup 2006 (Italy). And when the smoke finally cleared, both sides came away with a point in a 1-1 tie that featured fascinating tactics (Spain's six starting midfielders; Italy's three-man back line), aggravating misses (Fernando Torres' miscues; Mario Balotelli's Leon Lett impression) and first-rate goalkeeping by two of the world's best, Iker Casillas and Gigi Buffon.
There really is no argument at this point: The European Championship is the most competitive high-level soccer tournament in the world, even more so than the World Cup. When Euro 2012 starts on Friday with Poland-Greece (ESPN, noon ET) and Russia-Czech Republic (ESPN, 2:45 p.m. ET), every team will bring something to the table. The tournament has only 16 national teams (at least until it moves to 24 in four years), and so it's possible to have a first-round group of Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal and Denmark, four teams in the top 10 of the FIFA world rankings.
A huge chunk of Europe's male population is salivating at the imminent arrival of Euro 2012 -- a month long festival of football between the continent's best soccer sides.
The Netherlands came mighty close at the 2010 World Cup -- and quite a few experts believe Bert van Marwijk's team can go one better this year. The starting lineup is virtually unchanged from two years ago. Whether that's a good or bad thing is largely a matter of opinion. If anything, both the strengths and weaknesses of the Dutch seem more pronounced this time. Going forward, "Oranje" certainly looks better than ever. Scoring 37 goals in 10 qualification games would suggest that the "negative and ultra-brutal" tag that the team earned after the final in Johannesburg was over-simplistic and inaccurate.
The long qualifying road to World Cup 2014 starts on Friday in Tampa for the U.S. men's national team, and while the first semifinal-round opponent (tiny Antigua and Barbuda) shouldn't provide much resistance, there's always a danger in taking World Cup qualifying for granted. The U.S. is one of only seven nations to reach the last six World Cups -- along with Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Italy, South Korea and Spain -- and at least 16 qualifying games over the next 17 months stand between the Yanks and Brazil 2014. As always, there are no guarantees.
Like all the best rags-to-riches stories, this one has a twist. In fact, Franck Ribery's story dovetails nicely with that of the France national team: both were loved and supported after reaching the 2006 World Cup final, and both were vilified following the strike threat in protest of Nicolas Anelka's exclusion from the squad four years later. Neither has been completely forgiven, but Euro 2012 offers the perfect opportunity for redemption.
In the inner sanctum of the Bayern Munich players' quarters, on a wall next to the communal dining areas, there's a giant black-white picture with photos and red letters. They spell out the clubs unofficial mantra Mia san Mia (We are who we are) and a number of its defining ideals. Full of confidence, loyal, technically brilliant, innovative, effective, focused, attacking, tactically flexible. In between those big words there are snap shots of 11 men who don't need any names or introduction, Bayern's all-star team:
From the courts of the ancient Pharaohs to a simple game of catch on a spring afternoon; the ball has a centuries-long history of play. It's one of our simplest yet most enduring inventions. While the games have evolved, the ball in all its various forms continues to play a key role in different cultures around the world.
An India icon and now a cricket legend, Sachin Tendulkar is a marketer's dream come true. Mallika Kapur reports.
Ricardo Teixeira has resigned as both the president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) and head of Brazil's organizing committee for the 2014 World Cup finals.
Brazil's best footballers often seek riches in leagues abroad, but the country's booming economy is changing that.
Canadian skier Nik Zoricic died of head injuries sustained from a crash while racing Saturday at a World Cup Ski Cross event in Grindelwald, Switzerland.
If there is anyone who embodies the fighting spirit of Japan's disaster-laden year, it is Homare Sawa.
Football's global governing body FIFA will examine Bahrain's "unusual" 10-0 World Cup qualifying win over Indonesia on Wednesday.
South Korea beat Kuwait 2-0 Wednesday to seal their place in the final stage of Asia World Cup qualifying as Group B winners.
Veteran Dutch coach Guus Hiddink is the latest man to take the reins at big-spending Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, succeeding Yuri Krasnozhan who resigned before he'd even taken charge of a match.
He was the soccer referee known as "golden whistle" who officiated in high-profile events such as the World Cup and the Olympics.
It was nearly 1 a.m. Cairo time last Friday when Bob Bradley called. If you're the Egyptian national soccer coach, as Bradley has been since last September, lack of sleep is understandable these days. On Feb. 1, more than 70 people died in violent clashes after an Egyptian league game between Al-Masry and Al-Ahly in Port Said.
VANCOUVER -- When a team has beaten another team in all seven meetings by an aggregate score of 34-0, is there anything to be worried about?
FIFA and World Cup host nation Brazil are on a collision course over whether alcohol should be served in stadiums during the 2014 finals.
LOS ANGELES -- Greetings from Southern California, where I opted to spend some time with the U.S. women's team this week as it prepares for the Olympic qualifying tournament later this month in Vancouver. (We have MLS Draft coverage elsewhere on SI.com, so don't worry.) I decided to open up the mailbag this week for questions on Alex Morgan, Clint Dempsey, Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry and a number of other topics. Let's dive in:
There are two traits prevalent among the top prospects available in Thursday's MLS SuperDraft: finishing and creating.
Almost six months after Japan's women gave the country a much-needed boost by winning the football World Cup, the team was again celebrating after scooping a hat-trick of prestigious awards.
Looking ahead to the headlines of our game in 2012, here's where much of the domestic U.S. soccer news will come from, everything from the awesome to the awful and points in between:
It's that time of year again where we look back on a selection from the standout soccer stories in the year just passed. Here's the best of 2011:
Lionel Messi scored twice as European champions Barcelona secured the Club World Cup with a 4-0 rout of Brazil's Santos in Yokohama Sunday.
Brazilian side Santos booked their place in the FIFA Club World Cup final on Wednesday with a 3-1 defeat of Japanese outfit Kashiwa Reysol in Toyota City.
Shasta Darlington talks with Brazil's new Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo about preparations for the World Cup in 2014.
In the last decade, we've seen a lot of Lindsey Vonn. Three Olympic Games, including a gold medal in the 2010 downhill in Vancouver. Five world championship medals, including two golds in 2009. Three consecutive World Cup overall titles (2008, '09, '10) and 45 career victories, by far the most of any U.S. ski racer of either gender. She has been photographed in ski suits and swimsuits (SI, 2010); she has walked red carpets and sold Red Bull. She appeared in a 2010 episode of her beloved Law & Order, and not as herself. In the small world of ski racing, she stands very large.
As ever, with thedraw for the European Championship, the first thought is how many exciting ties there are in prospect in the group stage. Holland vs. Germany, Spain vs. Italy, France vs. England, Portugal's games against the Dutch and the Germans ... this is how tournament soccer ought to be; big games at every turn. The World Cup, ludicrously bloated as it now is, doesn't offer that sense of immediacy, of giants clashing from the off, and the fear must be that as the euros expand to 24 teams from 2016, it too will be diminished by the grind of small sides packing their half and seeking to frustrate opponents.
Sports Illustrated will announce its choice for Sportsman of the Year on Dec. 5. Here's one of the nominations for that honor by an SI writer.
This is supposed to be the sweet spot for a professional women's soccer league -- the space between an interest-fueled World Cup and a promising Olympics.
Ireland will seek to win the World Cup of Golf for the first time since 1997 on Sunday after Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell earned a two-shot lead in China.
Irish pair Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell shared the lead at the halfway stage of golf's World Cup in China after a second round four-under-par 68 Friday.
Lionel Messi inspired Argentina as the two-time world champions came from behind to defeat Colombia 2-1 in a South American World Cup qualifying clash on Tuesday.
One of the classic stories of U.S. soccer is set to appear in movie theaters across the nation on Thursday night. Rise & Shine: The Jay DeMerit Story, which is being shown in more than 125 theaters, retraces the inspiring journey of an MLS reject from Green Bay who goes to London and somehow rises from playing in pub leagues in city parks to competing in the English Premier League and shutting down Wayne Rooney in the 2010 World Cup.
All Black fans flood the streets of Auckland to celebrate New Zealand's first Rugby World Cup title in 24 years.
New Zealand woke up to a giant collective hangover Monday as the rugby-mad nation savored its triumph in the World Cup final in Auckland.
CNN's Alex Thomas reports from an exuberant crowd of All Blacks fans following New Zealand's victory in the Rugby World Cup.
All Blacks captain Richie McCaw is warning his side against complacency as they go into Sunday's Rugby World Cup final against France as odds-on favorites to lift the William Webb Ellis trophy.
Big news in the world of U.S. soccer came on Friday when FIFA awarded the U.S. broadcast rights for 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Fox (English language) and Telemundo (Spanish language). The Sports Business Journal reported the total rights fee for the U.S. to be between $1.05 billion and $1.1 billion, an increase of at least 147 percent over the combined $425 million that ESPN and Univisión paid for the rights to the '10 and '14 tournaments.
Sidelined superstar Dan Carter has told his New Zealand teammates to "expect the unexpected" ahead of Sunday's Rugby World Cup final against France in Auckland.
CNN's Alex Thomas visits a New Zealand rugby youth tournament that typifies how rugby unites the nation.
France beat heroic 14-man Wales 9-8 in Auckland Saturday to reach the final of the Rugby World Cup.
Next Wednesday is one of the most important days of the next decade for soccer in the United States. That's when bids are due in Zürich, Switzerland, for the U.S. broadcast rights for World Cups '18 and '22. ESPN, NBC and Fox are expected to bid for the English-language rights, while Univisión and NBC-owned Telemundo are expected to be in competition for the Spanish-language rights. After the bids are submitted on Wednesday -- there will be no formal presentations, as there were for the Olympic rights bids earlier this year -- the FIFA executive committee will meet on Thursday and could reach a decision on the winners as soon as that day.
It has been clear for some time that the Spanish will be at next season's European Championships in Poland and Ukraine. The question now is which of the Spanish?
Jordan took a step nearer qualifying for the World Cup finals for the first time with a 3-0 win over Singapore Tuesday to top Asian Group A with a 100 per cent record.
As the powerhouses of the rugby world continue to battle over the Web Ellis trophy in the knockout stages of the World Cup, some of the sport's less-fancied teams are making their way home after a valiant, if unsuccessful, fight in the group stages.
England striker Theo Walcott tells CNN's Pedro Pinto about the ups and downs of his international career so far.
1987 World Cup winner John Gallagher won the title with New Zealand, but is an Englishman. CNN's Alex Thomas reports.
Four years ago a shock defeat by France sent a rugby-mad nation into mourning, but New Zealand's All Blacks erased some of that hurt with a comprehensive 37-17 vanquishing of their longtime bogey team on Saturday.
Seamstresses in South Africa turn recycled materials into rugby balls just in time for the World Cup.
While the country's rugby team battle for glory in the World Cup a group of South African seamstresses are tackling poverty by cashing in on the action.
German World Cup winner Lothar Matthaus has been sacked as coach of the Bulgarian national football team.
England and France set themselves on course for the quarterfinals of Rugby's World Cup with their second wins of the competition in New Zealand Sunday.
Another NFL season is upon us, and so is one of the greatest inventions known to man: the NFL Red Zone channel, which whips around from city to city, allowing you to see live look-ins, real-time highlights and all the scoring plays from every NFL game on any given Sunday.
CNN invites you to take part in their Rugby World Cup crossbar challenge as demonstrated by the London Irish rugby team.
England captain Lewis Moody has dismissed suggestions his team have been handed an easy draw for the group stage of the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Three thoughts on Saturday's WPS final, won by the Western New York Flash on penalties over the Philadelphia Independence after a 1-1 tie:
Not long ago -- well, very long ago if you're only tracking in 15-minute news cycles -- much of our country halted on a Sunday afternoon. They tuned into a television, tracked on a smart phone and wanted to know what happened when an appealing team of soccer players wearing our nation's uniform took the field against an emotionally charged team from Japan. It was the Women's World Cup. It was cool. It was entertaining. It was invigorating.
PEREIRA, Colombia -- Along the road to the stadium, the hawkers still sell their Colombia shirts, but the yellow seems a little less vibrant now. Round Plaza de Bolivar, the yellow of the national team remains the most common item of clothing, but the television adverts imploring fans to "have pride in the shirt" feel have taken on an air of poignancy. A man sitting near me in the pasta restaurant where I have lunch takes off his baseball cap and lays it on the table, looking forlornly at the Colombia national team badge on the front.
MANIZALES, Colombia -- Thoughts on the just concluded group stage in the U-20 World Cup:
PHILADELPHIA -- The first thing you notice is the shirt. Jurgen Klinsmann is wearing a blue-and-red Nike shirt with the badge of the U.S. national team as we sit down on Sunday for our first private interview since he took over as the U.S. coach. For some reason, seeing Klinsmann in the team gear for the first time rams home the point more than anything else so far. He's here. The World Cup-winning German really did take the job.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- On a glorious summer day not long ago, Sporting Kansas City president Robb Heineman stopped the tour he was giving me of his jaw-dropping new soccer stadium, Livestrong Sporting Park, and picked up his handheld radio.
Even with the tonnage of analysis on how Jurgen Klinsmann might spice up the U.S. national team stew, the rest of the soccer world just keeps on spinning.
The curious timing of Bob Bradley's abrupt, stunning dismissal won't seem so curious if we discover that U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati already has identified a successor.
Going into the Copa America, we posed questions about the campaigns of the 10 South American sides. Now that the 43rd Copa America is history, we look back to find out if the tournament came up with the answers. (Listed from winners down to the teams eliminated in the group phase)
Women's Professional Soccer is back in full swing following the Women's World Cup. The always hoped for and oft-alluded to bump in interest was very evident last week in WPS, which registered two of its top-three all-time crowds in the past seven days. Most importantly, two games were on display in front of national TV crowds, making it a watershed week for WPS. Those types of numbers will not last very long, but they provide a glimpse of hope for a league that was more than in need of one.
What comes next for the U.S. women's soccer team? That's the question I'm hearing from several precincts after the dramatic end to the Women's World Cup on Sunday. The short answer is this: the 2012 Olympics come next. Women's soccer has a strange schedule, since its two main events (the World Cup and Olympics) take place in consecutive years, followed by two years in which women's soccer largely drops off the radar.
Countless pundits have wondered aloud whether or not the incredible attention the U.S. women's national team has received can be translated to Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). The extremists have had their say. Women's soccer faithful talk about the sport "arriving" after such a glorious Women's World Cup run in which the U.S. fell just short, losing to Japan in a captivating final. On the other hand, mainstream media conditioned to think soccer -- let alone women's soccer -- is an inferior sport will continue to think that it's a waste of time.
SI.com asked several current and retired SI writers to offer reflections on the best team they ever covered as sports journalists. Here's Grant Wahl on the French national soccer team that won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European championship: The man behind the hotel desk in Rotterdam got right to the point. "Did you come for a sex-and-drugs tour?"
Hope Solo, goalkeeper for the U.S. Women's soccer team, previews Sunday's final game for the World Cup title.
Women's World Cup stories in the SI Vault
The FIFA Women's World Cup set two new records for number of tweets sent per second on Sunday.
Japan's women's soccer team returns home after winning the World Cup. CNN's Paula Hancocks reports.
Japan celebrates their team's win in the 2011 Women's FIFA World Cup. CNN's Paula Hancocks reports
India Barnes charged a makeshift goal during Friday's soccer practice. The 9-year-old's blue and white uniform flapped at her back as she dodged past her teammates through a patch of dirt.
The curtain came down on the Women's World Cup on Sunday, Japan clutching the trophy for the first time as the U.S. players graciously applauded. Japan's 3-1 win on penalties (after the game ended 2-2 in extra time) was a fitting ending to an absorbing, highly competitive three weeks of action played in tremendous spirit. Here's a look back at some of the standout moments:
"We're focusing on our game. This is going to be very exciting to watch," midfielder Lauren Cheney tells PEOPLE
Japan's victory in the Women's World Cup gives a disaster-weary nation a boost. CNN's Kyung Lah reports.
SAN JUAN, Argentina -- The full moon shone bright and white over San Juan, its domination of the chill sky seeming a symbol of the lunacy that took over the Copa America this weekend. The tournament -- perhaps any tournament -- has never known a series of quarterfinals like it, as the three group-winners and the hosts all crashed out. The machinations of the schedulers, who had done everything in their power to ensure a third successive Brazil-Argentina final, are left looking a little silly.
Fans of the U.S. women's soccer team react to the 3-1 win over France in the semifinals. CNN's Richard Roth reports.
CNN's Nadia Bilchik talks to T.J. Holmes about the amazing win that got the U.S. into the finals.
From the White House to baseball press boxes to screens large and small around the globe, millions followed Sunday's Women's World Cup final between Japan and the United States.
This is the World Cup final that nobody predicted. Plenty felt that the U.S. could and would make it to Frankfurt on Sunday, though that belief was stretched to its limits along the way. Not many had Japan making it through Germany's half of the draw, though. In the five previous World Cups, the Japanese had won just three matches, and had never beaten European opposition. In the past three weeks, they have won four, and defeated Germany and Sweden. This magnificent trajectory has won the hearts of neutrals and helped to make the final one of the most nerve-tinglingly anticipated matchups ever.
In his most memorable call of the Women's World Cup, ESPN announcer Ian Darke howled with delight that "Abby Wambach has saved the U.S.A's life in this World Cup."
FRANKFURT, Germany -- Abby Wambach's sore Achilles? So bothersome that it keeps her from training full-speed. Hope Solo's surgically-repaired shoulder? So painful that it requires injections.
A look at how the Copa America quarterfinals match up: