Stories about Lionel Messi

Barcelona vs PSG and the miracle that will go down in history

“If Paris Saint-Germain scored four, we can score six.” These were the words of FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique in the pre match press conference before the match against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and astonishingly this is precisely what happened. In a historic night at the Camp Nou, the unthinkable happened as Barca, who was seemingly out of this year’s Champions League after their 4-0 loss in the first leg, staged a miraculous comeback which will go down, perhaps, as the greatest turnaround in the history of this magnificent game. The home side got off to the best possible start with Luis Suarez nodding home a goal from close range ...

Read Full Post

Who will replace Luis Enrique to be Barcelona’s next manager?

Spanish giants FC Barcelona – who made the greatest comeback in the history of Champions League last night against Paris Saint Germain (PSG) – will be in search of a new boss come the end of the current campaign as manager Luis Enrique has already announced that he will leaving the club in the summer. Barcelona’s midfielder Sergi Roberto celebrates their victory goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 8, 2017. Barcelona won 6-1. Photo: ...

Read Full Post

How sport terrorism took over Europe and Pakistan in 2016

With the terrorist attack outside Besiktas football stadium in Istanbul last week, that killed 38 people and left 166 wounded, 2016 bids farewell to the world of sports on a gloomy note. A gradual rise in terror attacks on sports venues has been seen over the last two decades but this year, the phenomenon of sports terrorism has horribly haunted the whole world, especially Europe, in terms of the number of tragic incidents and casualties. Police arrive at the site of an explosion in central Istanbul, Turkey, December 10, 2016.Photo: Reuters Terrorism is an international challenge, yet in the ...

Read Full Post

Is the failure to qualify weighing heavily on the shoulders of Messi and the gang?

With the clock fast ticking away for the FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia in summer of 2018, the South American qualifying race is at its pulsating best. The stage is set for a fiercer and much more intense qualifying finale. More than three countries are vying for fifth place for an intercontinental play-off, with the first four countries automatically qualifying in, arguably, the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet. Being a football fanatic ever since I can remember, I have always rooted for the plucky underdogs of the tournament to win the cup, no matter which part ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

RIP Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch, the shining pearl of Balochistan

In a country where you would be hard pressed to find men footballers who ply their trade in a foreign league, I was actually quite surprised when I was first told of Shahlyla Baloch. A woman soccer player who hailed from Balochistan, demonstrating her skills in Maldives. Boy, was I impressed! My astonishment didn’t just stop here; news came in that Shahlyla then went on to grab herself a hat-trick during her stint in Maldives. Woah, this girl is going places. Unfortunately, this precocious talent is no more amongst us. Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch died in a car crash in Karachi late ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

Argentina – A nation in a ‘Messi’ situation

One of the most calm and cool heads under pressure, Lionel Messi steps up to take Argentina’s first penalty of the shootout in the Copa America Final. He is expected to tuck away the penalty, but to the dismay of his supporters he balloons his spot kick over the crossbar. It frantically leads to a catapult of mistakes from the Argentinians, culminating in their loss to Chile in the Copa America Final – again. Chille stun Argentina to win the Copa America final for the second consecutive time.Photo: Reuters As if losing a final wasn’t bad enough, ...

Read Full Post

With the Euro and Copa America, this will be a football summer like no other!

This summer is like Eid, Diwali and Christmas rolled into one for all us football fanatics. It’s not just the Euro taking place in France that will the set our pulse racing, but us fans have got a one-off tournament in shape of Copa America Centenario taking place in the American continent to look forward too. Slotted in between the usual four year cycle, the Centennial Copa America is scheduled to celebrate the 100 years of South American football competition that started off in 1916. Chile won the Copa America for the first time on Saturday when ...

Read Full Post

Quaid-e-Azam inter-provincial games: A light at the end of Pakistan’s barren sports tunnel

What is it about Lionel Messi that excites fans as he dribbles the ball across the field? What gives players like Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic the ability to hypnotise fans as they compete on the court? Is Usain Bolt’s speed really a big deal, after all, he did only run a 100-meter race at the Olympics. It seems as though for the average Pakistani, everything that is remotely foreign seems to be infinitely more appealing, but does that really come as a surprise? Pakistan’s football team is ranked 190th in the world, we are still raving about Aisamul Haq’s success ...

Read Full Post