Stories about football

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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10 of the best young strikers to keep an eye out for at the 2014 FIFA World Cup!

It is quite obvious where all the football fans are going to be this summer – in front of their TV screens. With the 2014 FIFA World Cup commencing from June 12, 2014, in Brazil, a big chunk of the one million tickets have already been sold. So, before the tournament kicks off, I thought I’d present my list of top 10 strikers to watch out for this World Cup as I’m sure they will not disappoint you. Roger Rojas (Honduras) Photo: Reuters The 23-year-old Honduran plays for his native club Olimpia and has scored 70 goals in 119 appearances. Due to his style ...

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Give our cricketers opportunities before we lose them to other countries!

I remember how Raziq Khan was the best cricketer in our village 10 years ago. Whenever he came to the pitch, everyone in the crowd would stand up in excitement and wait for him to play his mind-blowing shots. His fans would chant “One more six, One more six”, egging Raziq on to play with all his might and surely, whenever the time came for him to perform, he never disappointed his fans. He was famous for his phenomenal batting and would hammer the bowlers by hitting balls to all corners of the ground mercilessly. There was a famous story ...

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Barclays Premier League: Which team will take home the title this season?

May 11, 2014 will mark the end of the Barclays Premier League and one team will be crowned as champion of the season. But the astonishing nature of the league this season is such that not many can say who will win the title this time. Sheer, unadulterated unpredictability is the league’s defining feature this season. Past decades have shown us, what was known in football circles as the Big Four’s hegemony – Manchester United FC, Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC and Manchester City FC – each club wielding and strengthening its grip on victories and titles. We saw Arsenal become invincible and dominate the league in the early years of the last ...

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David Moyes: The reason Manchester United are champions no more

Old Trafford Stadium, known as the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ for Manchester United FC, has unfortunately become a theatre of nightmares under David Moyes’s managerial reign. With another poor performance against their arch rivals Manchester City FC, and a sixth home defeat of 3-0, fans have become greatly disconcerted. As part of the aftermath, many stewards were seen guarding the ‘The Chosen One’ banner at the Stratford End, as fans wanted to take the banner down. The defeat has left United reeling 12 points behind first-place Arsenal FC. During the 2013-14 season of the Barclays Premier League, United secured one victory while playing against English Premier League’s top five football clubs, ...

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David Silva is still Manchester City’s best playmaker!

Maybe it’s because David Silva has always been, and continues to be, an out and out playmaker rather than a striker, I was, nonetheless, thrilled to see him score against Hull City last week. However, this piece has nothing to do with his delicious strike. There is no doubt that the arrival of Fernando Luiz Rosa and Jesus Navas last summer, and improving form of Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure are a big reason behind Manchester City’s impressive showing this season, but the former Valencia man has still been the most diligent contributor in the City midfield. How is that possible, you ask? Well, statistics speak for themselves and we’ll take them one at a time here. [caption id="" ...

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Women in sports: What Lala might not know

A friend of mine shared a clip on Facebook of a journalist asking Shahid Afridi his views on the development of a girls’ cricket camp in Peshawar (something the journalist said he felt proud of) and Afridi replied that Pathan girls are best at cooking food and should stick to that. This statement did not come as a shock to me. Other than being aware of Afridi’s record of having passed ludicrous remarks about us, Indian Hindus, not being large-hearted enough, which was slammed by many rational Pakistanis, it reminded me of a scene from the Bollywood movie Chak de India starring Shahrukh Khan. It showed ...

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Barca vs City: Where did Pellegrini go wrong?

I was honestly left disappointed as Manchester City was rightfully defeated by their charismatic and powerful opponents. And as much as Pellegrini would like to put the blame on the referee, there were a few but very blatant mistakes in his own game plan as well.  Firstly, when you play a side like FC Barcelona or Bayern Munich or even Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), you simply cannot go with a single forward and even more so, if that striker has truly limited capabilities like Alvaro Negredo. He missed three really good chances to score and that too against a side as good as Barca which is simply ...

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Do as Wolfswinkel does: Stop sparking controversy, Mourinho

It seems like Norwich’s striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel will be gaining heaps of praise, not for his playing time at the Carrow Road to date but for setting a rare example of sportsman spirit. While many are busy criticising the Football Association (FA), including Jose Mourinho, for not suspending Yaya Toure over kicking Wolfswinkel during their match over the weekend, the Norwich striker came out supporting the FA’s decision not to suspend the City midfielder. Wolfswinkle surprised many by supporting the FA’s decision not to suspend Toure. He further added that he would be disappointed to see the Ivory Coast ...

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