Muneeb Farrukh

Muneeb Farrukh

The author is a freelance sportswriter based in Karachi. He tweets as @Muneeb313_ (twitter.com/Muneeb313_)

Ahmed Shehzad is neither performing nor behaving, yet he’s given more comeback opportunities

When Ahmed Shehzad first came under the limelight, a lot was expected of him and some even went on to tag him as the solution to Pakistan’s opening woes. However, despite a promising start, his international career has gradually been festooned with darkness – which is mostly down to his antics on and off the field. His latest involvement in the doping scandal is just another example of why the Lahore-born cricketer lacks the temperament to survive and thrive in modern-day cricket. It’s a pity that deserving players struggle to breakthrough in the side while Shehzad, despite his shenanigans, has ...

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Without Ronaldo and Zidane, can Real Madrid hold the fort this season?

With the start of the new season, Real Madrid find themselves in an unusual position due to the departure of the two most important individuals, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane. What transpired over the transfer window was not unfathomable but it still leaves the club in a precarious situation with question marks over the team’s progress in the next season and beyond. To say that Real Madrid will not miss the absence of Ronaldo and Zidane within their ranks in the upcoming season would be like narrating a Banbury story of a cock and bull. Ronaldo’s unprecedented excellence coupled ...

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Imaginative, exhilarating and unexpected, Wimbledon 2018 was tennis at its best

A fortnight of exhilarating tennis at the game’s showpiece event – Wimbledon – culminated in triumphs for Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber in their respective domains. Unexpected winners? Yes. Disappointing tournament? Not at all! While Djokovic and Kerber’s performance at SW19 alone is enough to gauge the magnitude of their achievement, their tango sequence after the conclusion of the event unintentionally encapsulated their entire careers. The peaks and troughs of their tennis careers were subtlety portrayed as they tangoed on the dance floor during the Champions Dinner at Guildhall in London, with notable rhythms and sudden pauses. Djokovic rejoins the cult of ...

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Beware, champions! It is the year of the underdogs!

Whether it is fiction or real life, generally people find it easier to get behind the underdogs because of the more appealing nature. Harvard Business Review (HBR) once stated its viewpoint on underdog brands which is quite similar to what happens in football. “The biographies of underdog brands share two important narrative components: a disadvantaged position (they highlight a company’s humble beginnings and portray it as being ‘outgunned’ by bigger, better-resourced competitors) and a passion and determination to triumph against the odds,” an extract from the HBR report said. FIFA World Cup comes every four years but it gives the game ...

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FIFA World Cup 2018: These 4 formidable teams do not need Ronaldo or Messi to go the distance

FIFA World Cup is football’s showpiece event which breathes life into the sport every four years. The mega event has a distinctive swagger attached to it, promoting national unity and radiating positivity.  You will find passionate Barcelona and Real Madrid fans coexisting in harmony, derby rivals sharing a drink at a pub in Manchester, and a multicultural French team with the backing of the entire nation, for the sole reason of winning the elusive trophy. Let’s take a dip in the dynamics of international football, and ascertain the teams which have a realistic chance of going the distance in the World Cup ...

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FIFA World Cup 2018: 7 talented young stars who could be the next Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar

Before the beginning of every FIFA World Cup, there are certain usual suspects who are expected to do well due to their experience and skill set. But on the flip side, it also provides the younger and lesser known players an elephantine opportunity to share the spotlight. The mega event can catapult the developing talent to stardom, if they are willing to grab this opportunity with both hands. The immense depth of talent globally ensures that one has to chew the cud for a significant portion of time before arriving at a shortlist. However, as things stand, the following list ...

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7 moments that prove FIFA World Cup is more than just football

Back in the day when I started regularly following football, one of the things that struck me most about the game was its rich history. The archives of the FIFA World Cups in particular are engrossing to say the least. The furore surrounding some of the more notorious events gives enough credence to the fact that the quality of football is not always the solitary source for noteworthy events. Some of these moments can woo the world with their brilliance, while others can make our heads fall in shame. Nevertheless, they tend to live long in the memory of those who ...

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Cristiano Ronaldo: How Madeira’s ‘little bee’ turned into the greatest player of all time

Visualisation of a dream is considerably easier than actually turning it into a reality. One can associate a lot of attributes with the realisation of this process but three key elements behind it are optimism, persistence and hard work. The perfect embodiment of these traits can be found amongst many successful individuals, and one such name in that prestigious list is Cristiano Ronaldo. We can all talk at length, with great detail and assurance, about how great a footballer Ronaldo is due to the benefit of hindsight. Yet this by no means will surpass the confidence of a 15-year-old Ronaldo ...

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Karma is making rounds as Roma did to Barcelona what the Catalans did to PSG a year ago

‘Historical debacle’ claimed Spanish daily, Mundo Deportivo, which is anything but far from the truth. On a night where Manchester City getting knocked out of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) should have been the biggest story, the Catalans were making the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Barca paid the price for sitting on the fence, without realising they were running into quick sand. Barcelona’s harbinger of hope, the prodigiously gifted, Lionel Messi, was not able to put the team on his back. A team which has many high calibre players, looked like an ordinary team when the little Argentinean ...

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Manchester bleeds red: The Citizens may take the title but bragging rights will stay with the Red Devils

The half time whistle signalled the end of an appalling 45 minutes of football by Manchester United. A commanding display by the Blues had them on the verge of being crowned Premier League champions. The Etihad Stadium was buzzing with delight as a perplexed Sir Alex Ferguson watched on from the stands. City had put two past David De Gea in a half where their opponents could not even manage a single shot on goal. Had Raheem Sterling been more efficient with his finishing, the match could have easily gone beyond the reach of Manchester United. Raheem ...

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