Stories about football

No, I’m not a football fan – bite me Suarez

I don’t follow football! Yes, I don’t have a favourite team – the closest I have ever gotten to it was when I played FIFA video games with my friends or back when Ronaldo had not gotten a hair transplant and was not such a Prince Charming lookalike; oh wait, that’s not the same guy – that explains a lot. By the way, we must limit the number of Ronaldos in one era, so that it’s easy to remember who is who. They are becoming the Khans of soccer. Exactly the way people from Rawalpindi think its cooler to live in ‘Pind’ rather than Islamabad, ...

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Hypocrisy at the Pakistan Football Federation is killing our chances at FIFA!

Despite lack of infrastructure, no comprehensive grassroots program and a mediocre league, Pakistani football does have one major gain – foreign-based players. Throughout the globe, national teams opt to pick the best players no matter where in the world they are playing. In Asia alone, you can see glaring examples with world cup candidate Iran recruiting players such as Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham) and Daniel Davari (Grasshopper) from Germany to bolster their ranks. Similarly, Lebanon has done the same with a host of European-born Lebanese players opting to play for The Cedars on an international platform. As a result, Lebanon has reached the last round of the 2014 ...

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Is Carlo Ancelotti the greatest manager of all time?

Florentino Perez, Real Madrid fans and everybody connected to the club are breathing easy now. And why shouldn’t they? At long last, their tenth European title has been secured. The obsession for La Decima has been put to bed once and for all, after a dozen long years of hysteria. Real Madrid’s captain Iker Casillas and team celebrate with the trophy after defeating Atletico Madrid in their Champions League final. Photo: Reuters In 2002, Real Madrid marked their centenary year with their ninth European triumph. In the rain in Glasgow, Zinedine Zidane’s unforgettable volley sealed a 2-1 win over Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen. ...

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Anti-FIFA graffiti in Brazil: Could Pakistan ever protest against cricket?

The first time the World Cup caught my interest was when the official theme song was being selected. The competition between Shakira, J-lo and Pitbull was worth following because no one could predict what the amazing musicians could have up their sleeves. Although I was utterly disappointed, when Pitbull and J-lo released their unimpressive and clichéd We Are One (Ole Ola) – which was eventually selected as the theme song of the tournament – Shakira’s powerful and colourful LaLaLa Brazil 2014 was refreshing enough. I still have it on my cell-phone. On repeat, might I add. This time, my attention was caught by the FIFA World Cup ...

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FIFA World Cup 2014: Pakistani footballs kicking it in Brazil

Although I like hockey and cricket a lot more than football, sometimes I wish I didn’t. Football fans have proven time and again how crazy, passionate and involved they are when it comes to their love for the game. I guess one of the major reasons why I, and many other Pakistanis like myself, are not so interested in football is because we do not have a national team that does well during world cups and brings back trophies. Pakistan ranks 159th in the FIFA’s World Ranking, which is a dismally low level, but with the recent success of the Pakistani team at the Street Child ...

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The end of a drought for an Arsenal fan

When I was 11-years-old, many kids my age in my country did not know much about football. Their knowledge of football consisted of a sport where you have to kick a ball, score goals and that the goalkeeper has the privilege of using his hands. At the same age, I bought my first football video game. Like any other sports game, the first task was choosing your team, and while I knew that Brazil was the best team and Ronaldo Lima was the best player in the world, FIFA 99 featured a list of teams I had never heard of before as ...

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The charming Manuel Pellegrini knows how to deliver gold!

The Barclays Premier League has finally concluded with Manchester City FC being crowned as the Champions of England. They faced West Ham in their final match of the season and required a draw or win to bag the trophy. And they bagged it! They did it with a mature and professional performance beating West Ham two goals to nil, thus finishing the season on top of the Premier League table. Over the next few weeks praise will be showered upon all the players and the management but, the one person who really was at the focal point of this successful ...

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Surrendering the title: A stepping stone to Liverpool’s success?

Following a costly error from their skipper Steven Gerrard, Liverpool exposed themselves to all sorts of taunts, trolls and criticisms that were hiding when they were on an unbeaten streak before. Captain Steven Gerrard swerving the ball against Chelsea. Photo:AFP This setback means that the reds’ future is out of their hands and they rely solely on how the opposition teams fare against the Manchester City side. Just like when Manchester United were on the horizons of success there were anti and pro United supporters in the league with Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea fans falling in the former category. Liverpool now tastes ...

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Nemanja Vidic: Bye bye Manchester United, hello Inter Milan!

It’s always hard to let go of someone who has been the backbone of a team for over eight years. Manchester United captain and central defender Nemanja Vidic is all set to leave the club at the end of the season. Giving his farewell speech to his supporters and team mates. Photo:AFP Vidic, 32, has already signed a contract this year in March, with Italian giants Inter Milan and will join them from next season. However, Tuesday night the Serbian played his last home game for Manchester United at Old Trafford and was given a rousing farewell after the game against Hull City. In ...

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Marking the end of tiki-taka in football?

There are games that shape the future of the sport; moments which pass us by with no warning of the transition they bring with them. It was only about five seasons ago that Barcelona under the steering of Josep Guardiola introduced a style of play by the name of ‘tiki-taka’ that took the world by storm. Messi’s Hat-trick keeps Barca on top.Photo:AFP All of a sudden, any team that was not emulating their model of quick passing and precise running was living in the Stone Age. The Barcelona team won many laurels under Guardiola’s management before he went on to implement ...

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