Stories about football

Will Cristiano Ronaldo win the Ballon d’Or 2016? I think so!

A 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or was announced this week by ‘France Football’, one of Europe’s most reputable sports magazines, after the world football governing body, FIFA, ended its association with the Ballon d’Or earlier this year. The footballing magazine spent an entire day unveiling the 30-man shortlist for this year’s prize, ahead of the gala awards ceremony in January, with the venue for the occasion yet to be decided. Since 1956, the prestigious award has annually been given out by the French publication and it was awarded to the best European player of the previous footballing season ...

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Gordon Strachan – Dead man(ager) walking

And it all started so well! Well that’s the life of a football manager. Last Tuesday’s result in Trnava means the Scots despite thumping Malta 5-1 in their first FIFA world cup qualifier have taken just four points from their first three matches and within this short span, boss Gordon Strachan is under increasing pressure to retain his position as chief of Scotland football team. There is a prevalent understanding that the 59-year-old will be forced out of the job if his players do not return from the November 11 encounter against England with a victory. But Strachan is not one to ...

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Is it time for Wayne Rooney to retire?

I have no qualms in admitting that there have only been two players ever that I have feared facing as an opponent going into a Liverpool match. One of them was the Welsh wizard, Gareth Bale from his Tottenham Hotspur days and the other is a certain Wayne Mark Rooney. Wayne Mark Rooney (left) and Gareth Bale (right) The golden boy of English football, he was a footballing force of nature during his peak. Rooney wasn’t just all pace or power like an archetypal English player, he also had the technique and flair of a Brazilian footballer ...

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Hala Madrid? Not anymore!

The stage was set, popcorn ready and the browser switched to the right streaming website. This after all was supposed to be a momentous night, a date when I would watch history being re-written, and a day when arguably the greatest football club on planet earth would add another feather to the cap. But sixth placed Villareal clearly failed to read the script. The Yellow Submarine came to the Bernabeu with ‘Mission: Damage Limitation’ against the leaders but left the capital with Real Madrid’s dreams sunk. Zinedine Zidane’s men had equalled the previous best of 16 – a feat achieved by Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona ...

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What’s going wrong with José Mourinho’s United?

Manchester United – a team consisting of extra-ordinary individuals but performing below the ordinary level of expectations. After the disastrous derby day defeat, no one thought things with someone like José Mourinho at the helm could go this wrong. After the disastrous derby day defeat, no one thought things with someone like José Mourinho at the helm could go this wrong. Photo: AFP But bloody hell, (Fergie-style) we have been wronged. Mourinho got it horribly wrong in the first half of Manchester Derby. He really underestimated City, and above all, Pep Guardiola’s strength. Although United’s performance in the ...

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Champions League Matchday 1: Aye, it’s going to be a roller coaster ride

Even with a summer full of riveting international soccer contests with the Euro and the Olympics, being a Liverpool fan, nothing beats the good old start to the English Premier League (EPL). And if EPL is the cake then UEFA Champions League is surely the cherry atop this delicious offering. Unfortunately for me, this year is yet another in the long list of seasons this past decade that I would have to do without this particular footballing condiment. But hey, counting your blessings and all that shizz, I still get to cheer on former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and his band of merry men at Barca. And ...

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Wham bam, thanks but no thanks Sam!

Love him or loathe him, Sam Allardyce aka Big Sam is never far from the headlines. This after all is the same guy who bizarrely had designs on conquering the sport with his unique (read Neanderthal) style of football. “I’m not suited to Bolton or Blackburn, I would be more suited to Inter or Real Madrid. It wouldn’t be a problem to me to go and manage those clubs because I would win the double or the league every time. Give me Manchester United or Chelsea and I would do the same, it wouldn’t be a problem.” ...

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The year of Cristiano Ronaldo; Champion of Europe for both club and country

Unanticipated, unpredictable and unexpected are a few of many analogous adjectives that have been used to describe the recently concluded football spectacle, Euro 2016. It was indeed a tournament which saw several unheralded outcomes: - The spirited Icelandic ‘sons’ stomped over a perplexed and dumbfounded English 11 in the round-of-16. Iceland celebrates a goal during Euro 2016.Photo: Twitter England suffered 2-1 upset loss to Iceland in Euro 2016 round.Photo: Headline News - A united Welsh outfit sailed through to the semi-finals in what was their first major tournament since the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. [caption ...

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Portugal’s victory in Euro 2016 proved that the whole is greater than the one!

The final of the European Championships took place in Paris, France, with Ronaldo’s Portugal against a resolute French team that had thumped Iceland in the quarter finals and edged past Germany in the semis. France were the absolute favourites to win the cup; indeed, it hadn’t been expected that Portugal would even reach the final. History was on Didier Deschamp’s side as Portugal had never beaten France in a major tournament and had only beaten France five times in 24 meetings, with a massive defeats-total of 19 games. However, the Portuguese were slightly more rested than the hosts, and would ...

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I want a Liverpool versus Liverpool UEFA Euro 2016 final

FIFA World Cup..  Nah! UEFA Euro.. Meh!! Copa America.. Not a chance!!! Africa Cup of Nations.. Are you frikkin kidding me??? We are a strange lot, we club football fans. Even while there’s a major international football tournament going on, someone like me is more interested in something as insignificant to an outsider as, well, Liverpool (LFC)’s pre-season training.

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That in no way should mean that I am not fully aware of what is going in any of the aforementioned ‘country versus country’ tourney, but putting it mildly let’s just say… ‘Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn!’ That is unless one of my ...

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