Stories about football

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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What does sugarcane have in common with football? Answer: Mohammad Adil

Swift pace. Check. Speed. Check. Stocky build. Check. No, I am not talking about Carlos Tevez; this is Mohammad Adil, the star winger of the Pakistan national football team and the new signing of the Kyrgyzstan league giants, Dordoi Bishkek. Adil, a blistering winger with bags of pace and skill, who lit up the SAFF Championship 2013, reached the final of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Presidents Cup with KRL FC and attracted attention from several clubs in Nepal and Palestine in 2013. Belonging to a country where the domestic structure for football provides very little for player development and talent polishing, Adil and his achievements are a testament of his struggles. However, he has clearly proven ...

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Ronaldo won the Ballon D’Or but Messi deserved it!

Cristiano Ronaldo won the fourth 2013 FIFA Ballon D’Or and he rightly deserved it. The types of performances he showed last year have been, without a doubt, extraordinary. The fact that in terms of performance statistics, he outscored the other two contenders to top the charts makes his case very strong. If he had failed this time, the credibility of Ballon D’Or would have been seriously questioned. In the end, it was a good result for football in general. However, the result doesn’t reflect accurately on who the best footballer in the world is. People have made all sorts of arguments in favour of ...

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10 footballers of Pakistani descent who have made us proud

Despite being a minnow in world football, Pakistan has a vibrant diaspora of footballers playing across Europe and Asia who are eligible to represent a ‘Pakistani football team’ internationally. While some have already starred for the national team, others remain waiting for a call-up in the future. Here is a list of the top 10 players of Pakistani-descent who have shown their magic in Europe and other countries. Mohammad Ali (BK Avarta, Danish second division) The former FC Copenhagen striker has already been capped by Pakistan, after making his debut in the friendly match against Singapore. Deemed as a superb find by the coaches, Ali cemented his place as ...

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