Stories about club

#GraciasCristiano: Two heartbreaks, one cruel summer

I remember holding my phone, staring at the screen, reading my friend’s message:  “Zinedine Zidane has left us.” It’s 15th Ramazan, I’m about to break my fast, I felt like a lump of tears had tied a knot in my throat. Even after keeping a fast of 16 hours, suddenly, I didn’t feel like eating anything at all. Shock, anguish or grief, I don’t remember. A wave of mixed emotions had swept across my body. I don’t remember crying but I do remember my mom asking, “What happened to her?” And the usual reply by my sister, “Oh, probably something related to football.” I don’t remember isolating ...

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Argentina and Messi, a story of missed opportunities rather than a fairy tale

Alexis Sanchez slotted home the winning penalty in an outrageous manner and ended no less than 99 years of wait for Chile in front of a rapturous home crowd. As the Chilean players sprinted across the Estadio Nacional pitch to celebrate a momentous victory, Lionel Messi cut a desolated figure yet again. A long wait was over, but a painful one for Argentina and Messi continued. A year earlier, it was all about the little Argentine reaching heights, reserved only for past greats like Pele, Maradona and Zidane when Argentina faced Germany in the World Cup Final. ...

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Steven Gerrard, you will never walk alone

All the suspense regarding Steven Gerrard’s future at Liverpool came to an end when, on January 2nd, he finally announced his departure from his beloved hometown club. He described this as “the toughest decision” of his life. The Reds captain will bring the curtain down on a glittering Anfield career that has spanned almost 17 years. This decision comes at a time when the club is struggling at the eighth Premier League spot and has been knocked out of the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, to which they returned after three season’s absence. Gerrard mentioned that he will not be playing ...

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An Ángel to the rescue

August 28, 2014 was a heart-breaking day for many Real Madrid fans as well as for all the rival clubs of Manchester United and their fans. United’s signing of a world class winger and extremely skilled midfielder just boosted the confidence of the torn and broken football team. As soon as he joined the club, he proved he was worth the money the club paid for him. Ángel Fabián Di María Hernández, commonly known as Ángel Di María signed a five year contract on August 28, 2014 with one of the greatest, glorious and most successful clubs in English football history, Manchester United. ...

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Frank Lampard and Chelsea’s awkward yet beautiful reunion

Every once in a while in sport, something awe-inspiring happens – something that envisages the true spirit of sporting ethos. The beautiful game that is football is filled with such episodes of shear emotional brilliance that help give the sport a human face, which not only can we relate to but also idealise. It was the 78th minute in the Etihad stadium, the hosts not only trailed their rivals by a goal in a match that could have a lot of bearing in the title race, but also were a man short. It was in that moment that Manuel Pellegrini ...

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Chelsea – The clear winners

Amidst the last-minute deadline day transfer scramble that every football fan relishes, one club that kicked-back and relaxed was the Chelsea FC. José Mourinho and crew did a spectacular job and they stood as the best example of how to do business in football. They started out from the word ‘go’ with a clear plan in mind, never pouncing on any prospect meaninglessly yet always taking full advantage of whenever an opportunity arose. The dead weight and surplus of the squad was swiftly gotten rid of and the loan game was played shrewdly and to maximum effect. The club’s official website reports that the West ...

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The reluctant Louis van Gaal

For over two decades, Manchester United ruled over English football. We have seen them win titles with both extraordinary and, at times, the most ordinary of squads, all under Sir Alex Ferguson. But now, things at Old Trafford have changed rather dramatically. The stories of a late Manchester United comeback and the myth of ‘Fergie time’ are all well and truly preserved in the past. The question here is what was the secret behind Manchester United’s ultimate dominance for so long? It sure had nothing to do with the transfer market; the reason, in fact, is way too simple to guess. The Manchester ...

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An Ángel in disguise for Manchester United

Much has been said about Manchester United’s transfer policy for the last two years, the majority of which is negative. Last season, United had to replace two individuals, who have been part of the fabric of the club, for a good part of a decade, regardless much was expected. What ensued was a virtual train wreck; without completing even one season, David Moyes was given the boot. The chief executive of the club, Ed Woodward, also had to shoulder a great deal of the blame due to his failed exploits in the transfer window. Fast forward one year: Manchester United is in the hands of the experienced Louis Van ...

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Is Carlo Ancelotti the greatest manager of all time?

Florentino Perez, Real Madrid fans and everybody connected to the club are breathing easy now. And why shouldn’t they? At long last, their tenth European title has been secured. The obsession for La Decima has been put to bed once and for all, after a dozen long years of hysteria. Real Madrid’s captain Iker Casillas and team celebrate with the trophy after defeating Atletico Madrid in their Champions League final. Photo: Reuters In 2002, Real Madrid marked their centenary year with their ninth European triumph. In the rain in Glasgow, Zinedine Zidane’s unforgettable volley sealed a 2-1 win over Germany’s Bayer Leverkusen. ...

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Learn from the BCCI, Pakistan, don’t hate on it!

High school is all about hierarchy. You have the cool kids who set the trends and everyone else is a follower. And then you have the drama geeks, the science club and the kid with the braces and the asthma pump who watches as teams are picked and groups are made but he is left watching from the sidelines.  Welcome to the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Pakistan cricket team and the wonder of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). This year marks the seventh season of the IPL, six of which have excluded Pakistan. The BCCI has tactfully managed ...

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