“Every player creates value by being his best every time he gets the opportunity. The scoreboard shouldn’t matter. Who you’re playing shouldn’t matter. And where you’re ranked shouldn’t matter. And what somebody says on the internet shouldn’t matter. You should be playing because you want to get the self-satisfaction to know you did the best to be the best that you can be. Hopefully, that’s what we can get our players to focus on.”Being ranked No. 1 is an honor, but Saban is right, too. It doesn’t really matter where Alabama is ranked in the Coaches’ Poll or AP Poll.The poll that does matter, the College Football Playoff rankings, won’t be out until the end of the month. And, even then, the only rankings that truly matter are the final College Football Playoff rankings in December. NEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 01: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts in the second half of the AllState Sugar Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)Alabama head coach Nick Saban is known for calling any outside praise or hype “rat poison” for his program. He doesn’t want his players to buy into or be distracted by any outside noise.So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Saban had a brutally honest reaction to the Crimson Tide jumping Clemson for the No. 1 spot in the top 25 polls.Saban, of course, says it doesn’t matter right now.“I don’t think it really matters at all where you’re ranked or rated right now,” Saban told reporters on Wednesday night. “It only matters when it’s in January. When the season’s over, that’s all that matters. It can slip away very quickly. As it did last week, it wasn’t even because the team (Clemson) didn’t win. It must’ve been somebody’s perception of how they played. So it’s not even about winning, it’s about how you played.
New FIFA world champion Mohammed ‘MoAuba’ Harkous fell in love with the game as most young boys do – while playing against his brother. “The old times were playing with my brother when I was seven or eight, I always played a lot and it was so much fun for me to play FIFA,” MoAuba told Goal .But from those early days of a simple sibling rivalry confined to the couch, MoAuba’s affection for the EA videogame has taken him to the world stage, where the German was recently crowned the 2019 FIFA eWorld Cup winner . Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream While MoAuba was an underdog heading into the tournament, he knocked off multiple top seeds en route to the final where he then beat last year’s winner Mosaad ‘MSdossary’ Aldossary.After claiming a 1-1 draw in his less preferred Xbox leg, MoAuba won 2-1 in the reverse PlayStation tie to seal a massive upset. “In the moment I thought I was dreaming because I didn’t expect it,” he said.”It was funny because I didn’t expect to make the final so I didn’t practice on Xbox, I play maybe one game a year on Xbox so it was not easy to do – the controller is as big as my hand!”This tournament was perfect for me. I did well and I’m really happy.”I think I needed that win. I’ve won five championships in Germany but internationally I was always close and now I have the confidence to hopefully win more tournaments.”WOOORLD CHAMPIIIIOOON!!! 🏆🏆 pic.twitter.com/C6DZNyItIq — Mo (@MoAuba) August 4, 2019 With FIFA 20 set to be released later next month, the eWorld Cup comes at a difficult time for pro gamers like MoAuba, who are already shifting their attention to the new entry. Barely playing FIFA 19 in the build-up to the tournament, the German is adamant practice only prepares you so much for such a big event.”The FIFA eWorld Cup is special because it’s coming towards the end of a FIFA so I didn’t practice a lot before I played – maybe four games in one week, so like one hour,” he said. “For the World Cup you have to play your game because it’s not easy, you’re under so much pressure and everyone is nervous.”You need to be relaxed and it’s not important to practice a lot – it’s important to perform in that moment.” Performing on the big stage is something that comes naturally to MoAuba, who cherished playing the tournament in front of thousands of fans at London’s The O2. “I always enjoy it when there’s such a big crowd or viewership,” MoAuba said.”I always play better than when I play alone at home. When 50 million viewers are online you want to show what you can do – score good goals and play good passes.”Once sporting hair that resembled Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, MoAuba was given his nickname by former team-mates and has stood by it despite a receding hair line. “I played as a striker and I had the same hair as Aubameyang so my team-mates always called my Aubameyang. Now I’ve lost my hair like an old man,” he said.As part of being crowned the best FIFA player in the world, MoAuba pocketed €225,000 (£205,000/$250,000) in prize money and earned a ticket to FIFA’s The Best awards next month, which was created following the organisation’s split from the Ballon d’Or award a couple of years ago.Having controlled football’s biggest names on the TV screen for over a decade, the young German gamer is excited by the prospect of meeting them in the flesh. “I think if I meet Messi, Ronaldo, Mbappe it will be special because your friends are watching and saying ‘wow, he got a photo with him!’” MoAuba said. “It’s crazy if I get to meet them and I will enjoy it.”In real life I think Messi is the best ever because he’s a complete player.”Ready to turn his attention to FIFA 20, which releases globally on September 24 , MoAuba admits adapting to each new entry can be nerve-wracking.The slightest gameplay tweak is capable of unsettling some, but the new FIFA champion is confident his skills will translate to the next edition.”I’m nervous and excited about how the next game is but I think I’m one of the best players to adapt always because I can play fast or slow,” MoAuba said.”I know how to deal with it and I think I don’t have to worry about the game.”But each year you need a bit of luck that the game suits you. Like this year the game was perfect for me because it was quite balanced.”Having already got his hands on FIFA 20, MoAuba believes it will require some patience but with the addition of Volta, says it strikes a good balance. “It’s a bit slower and less fast than the old game. You have to be more tactical,” he said. “Volta looks like a fun game for casuals so you have a good balance.”
Paris: Roger Federer faces Roland Garros’ mission impossible on Friday when he tries to become just the third man to beat 11-time champion Rafael Nadal on the Paris clay. The great Spaniard has only been defeated twice on the red brick dust in the French capital in 93 matches since his 2005 debut. Ten years ago Robin Soderling hit winner after winner as the unheralded Swede ended Nadal’s 31-match win streak at the tournament. “I think to beat him on clay is challenging. But to beat him in five sets on clay is even more difficult,” said Soderling who crushed 63 winners in that last-16 landmark win. Also Read – We don’t ask for kind of tracks we get: Bowling coach Arun”You have to play extremely well. To beat him on clay, the only chance for any player is to be really aggressive. Take some risks. Many, many players, even good players, top players… you can almost see that they don’t really believe 100 per cent that they can win.” Nadal was far from his best that day in 2009. He was to eventually pull out of Wimbledon with a knee injury, ending his hopes of defending the title he had so thrillingly won against Federer 12 months earlier. Also Read – Bastian Schweinsteiger announces retirement, could join Germany set-upNadal, however, was to get his revenge over Soderling in the Roland Garros final in 2010 as he captured his fifth title. He was to win the next four as well, a run which ended in 2015 when Novak Djokovic stunned him in straight sets in the quarter-finals. That was the last time 33-year-old Nadal lost in Paris although he was forced to withdraw before the third round in 2016 due to a wrist injury. “I didn’t want to give him too much comfort and opportunities where he can dictate the play,” said Djokovic of his 7-5, 6-3, 6-1 win in 2015. “I tried to mix up the pace, get into the net. Dropshots, high balls, fast balls, always something different. “He made some unforced errors that are not characteristic for him maybe from the forehand side. “But that’s what happens when you don’t feel comfortable on the court. I think because I play fast to his forehand and moved him around the court, he was a bit uncomfortable in his footing. That’s where I want him.” Federer, playing his first French Open since 2015, has lost all five meetings he has had with Nadal in Paris. The pair haven’t met at the tournament since the 2011 final which Nadal won in four sets. Overall, Nadal leads their head-to-head 23-15 and is 13-2 on clay. Their last meeting on clay was in the Rome final in 2013 when Federer managed just four games. Furthermore, it’s been 10 years since Federer beat Nadal on the surface, in the final in Madrid where the higher altitude keeps the ball moving faster through the air, playing perfectly into the Swiss star’s game plan. If Federer is to have any hope of a shock victory on Friday, then he needs to significantly improve his break point statistics. Currently he stands at 20 out of 55 for the tournament (36%) compared to Nadal’s 31/54 (57% conversion rate). In his four-set quarter-final win over Stan Wawrinka on Tuesday, Federer converted just two of 18. Despite the weight of history counting against the 20-time major winner, Federer insists Friday’s outcome is not a foregone conclusion.