If 2017 proved anything, it was that the beauty of Pakistan cricket lies in its glorious uncertainties
Heading into the final stretch of 2017, I can say with absolute certainty that as far as Pakistan cricket goes, the past 12 months turned out to be radically different from what most people, including myself, originally perceived at the beginning of the year; the major factor here being Pakistan’s incredible Champions Trophy triumph. I think that’s true for the most of us who closely follow Pakistan cricket, isn’t it? Realistically speaking, a majority of the cricketing pundits and fans did not give Pakistan much of a chance, and personally, I did not expect them to even go beyond the ...Read Full Post
Italy as a country is not too dissimilar to us, especially if you consider the misfortunes that have befallen this particular European nation in recent times. A corrupt head of state governing a highly unstable democracy, natural disasters and general economic woes are just some of the many elements that make us Pakistanis relate to an ordinary Italian’s life, on a somewhat deeper basis. But there is one other similarity between the two countries that is pertinent to mention here – the die-hard love for one particular sport. Football to Italy is exactly what cricket is to us. If we are ...Read Full Post
Real Madrid showing Gareth Bale the door isn’t surprising, considering he’s missed 40 of the last 60 games due to injuries
It was the final of the 2014 Copa del Rey when Gareth Bale’s magical run past Barcelona’s Marc Bartra and the subsequent goal, helped the Los Blancos lift the title. With a jubilant Cristiano Ronaldo watching from the stands, it seemed as if the former Spurs player was ready to be in the centre of Real Madrid’s plans for the future. Unfortunately, however, things did not materialise the way the fans and Bale himself expected them to. If you are a Real Madrid fan, one of the constants in your life would be the amount of injury updates you get to ...Read Full Post
Watching the match this past Sunday, I had no doubt that Real Madrid would win this one and add points to their La Liga ranking. I was even more sure when Isco put the ball inside the net at the 12th minute. This game was supposed to be ours, this game we shouldn’t have lost. Isco scored for Real Madrid in the defeat to Girona. Photo: Reuters After half time though, everything changed. By the 58th minute, we were down by two. It still did not occur to me that we can lose this game since Girona was a La ...Read Full Post
Liverpool got lucky in the UEFA Champions League group draw, but will luck be enough to take them to the knock-out stages?
For a huge football fanatic like me, not giving two hoots about the UEFA Champions League (UCL) is a bit unheard of. But that is precisely what yours truly has been doing for the past several years. People who know me would find this really hard to believe, but there is a very simple reason for this seemingly bizarre behaviour of mine. You see, I might seem like I am football mad, but the truth is I am only crazy about the club I support, Liverpool (LFC). Now anyone who has a passing interest in football would be aware of our European struggles ...Read Full Post
Despite his striking numbers, Wayne Rooney has never truly helped England achieve anything noteworthy
The English Premier League is arguably the best football league in the world. But considering their wretched record in international tournaments, it seems that England’s national side never got the memo. Every single stakeholder from England’s football governing body ‘The Football Association’ all the way down to the kit man could potentially be blamed for this malaise. One particular person, for the best part of the last decade, has had to bear the major brunt of it. And by the looks of it, this particular individual has had enough. Wayne Mark Rooney announced his retirement last week. By doing so, he ...Read Full Post
Ask football fans to identity their favourite player and majority of the answers would include names who have graduated from the club’s academy to become a mainstay in their team’s first 11. In other words, the homegrown star, the local lad who made it big in a sport that has gone global. He’s someone who fans can truly claim as their own in today’s day and age, where football allegiance can change at the drop of a hat (or with the promise of a few extra millions). Over the years, Manchester United might have had dozens of superstars play for them, ...Read Full Post
With Arsenal bagging their first victory and Manchester City being the favourites, who will take home the EPL trophy?
With a summer completely devoid of competitive football, the English Premier League’s (EPL) arrival after a three month hiatus was a breath of fresh air. I won’t deny that I myself get caught up with an incessantly crazy urge to find out about players leaving and joining clubs. But I would rather watch my team, Liverpool, try to do one over their opponent on a football pitch rather than see them locked in a battle with a rival club in the boardroom. Without further ado, let’s try and find out why the forthcoming 2017-18 season will prove to be yet another action packed affair ...Read Full Post
Intelligent, gifted, effective, powerful, at times slow, but brilliant. You name it and Wayne Rooney had it all. For 13 long years, Manchester United fans saw magic unfold right in front of their eyes at the Theatre of Dreams. They would have never thought that the 18-year-old boy who debuted for England’s biggest club with a hat trick against Fenerbarche would leave their club, his club, only to return to Everton where it all began. Wayne Rooney is the the all-time leading goalscorer for both Manchester United and England. Photo: AFP Rooney to Everton, that doesn’t sound quite right, does it? Once Rooney steps onto the turf wearing the blue ...Read Full Post
Okay, I have been fighting this for quite a few years now but it simply cannot go on like this anymore. Being a Liverpool fan, I didn’t really have any vested interest in the relentlessly incessant Lionel Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo debate. But like every other football fanatic, I had to take a side and, probably owing to Ronaldo’s former allegiance with our hated rivals Manchester United, ‘Team Messi’ it was for me. Over the years, like a proverbial ostrich, I have been burying my head in the sand while Ronaldo – like a true force of nature – kept blowing away every record that ...Read Full Post