Stories about football

Manchester United versus Real Madrid left red mist rising

Manchester United 1 – 2 Real Madrid (2-3 on aggregate) Prologue: The script was written for another magical night of European football at the “Theater Of Dreams.” The Red Devils lay in wait as the Spanish armada sailed into Manchester bearing their prodigal son, more commonly known as Ronaldo, for the return leg of their clash. However, neither the magic of the night nor the mania of Ronaldo’s return was to take centre stage. A hasty revision had been made; the story line altered the plot thrown asunder. A rollercoaster game that began with the sheer disbelief at Wayne Rooney’s omission from the ...

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English Premier League: Predicting the final league table

Like every year, we are in for a great end to the English Premier League saga. With clubs competing at several avenues this year, it will be a rather stressful, nail-biting finish to see which of these secure elite positions at the league table. The big spender Manchester City is trying to shift in top gear after securing a win over Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium. This is being done in an attempt to bridge the gap between them and their namesake, leading Manchester United. The table leaders, Manchester United, have only lost one league home game (against Tottenham Hotspur) this season and are in ...

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English Premier League: Manchester City or Manchester United?

I’m sure all the avid lovers of the English Premier League (especially Manchester United) think that they have already won the crown of the English Premier league for 2012-2013. However, there are still 12 matches to be played by 18 teams and anything can happen. Manchester United seems to be in a very strong position; 12 points above the second place team (Manchester City), and 16 points over third place (Chelsea). Sir Alex Ferguson’s team has the best lead since the 2000-2001 season and their next five matches are against Queens Park Rangers (QPR), Norwich City, West Ham, Reading and Sunderland. They look ...

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Tired of cricket? Try gulli danda, pitthu or baander killa!

Growing up in the streets of Punjab, we enjoyed playing popular sports such as cricket, hockey and football, but the real flavour of street games was in our local folk games. This piece is dedicated to all those who have played any of these games in their childhood and I hope it serves as a pleasant trip down memory lane.  Baander killa: The name might sound funny and the game actually looks so too, but it isn’t funny for one person – the baander (we’ll get to that in a bit). Every participant of the game takes his shoes off and places them ...

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Messi wins Ballon d’Or four times in a row

2013 couldn’t have started better for Messi. He successfully managed to win the Ballon d’Or award for the fourth time in a row; an achievement which hasn’t been accomplished before. On January 7, the Ballon d’Or awards ceremony was held in Zurich, Switzerland. Messi won this prestigious award ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Andreas Iniesta. 2012 itself was a record breaking year for the 25-year-old Argentinean maestro Lionel Messi. Prior to the match against Real Betis on Dec 9, 2012, he had scored 84 goals (in the year) and this meant that he needed two more goals to surpass the previous record ...

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Out with Di Matteo, in with Benitez

It’s been a long standing quote that a week is a long time in football. In this case, in fact, it was five days ─ from last Saturday to this Wednesday. The Saturday brought the mouthwatering North London derby and its share of controversy. As the commentator said, “It had to be him,” Adebayor sent off when Spurs seemed to have a better hand in the clash. Traditionally, the clash of Arsenal with Tottenham Hotspurs is only second to the Liverpool derby and players being sent off is fairly common. Adebayor ─ once of Arsenal, and loved in the Islington area ...

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The Real Madrid Foundation: A real chance for Pakistan

There is a school of thought that hints of a place deep beneath the chasm of our cricket loving souls, where a current of passion for the beautiful game of football flows. From Bolivia to South Africa, China to Mexico the Real Madrid Foundation has sought to instill its values and traditions that have seen it become one of the most dominant forces in football, the world over. And now, thanks in no small part to the Aman Foundation, 250 children aged between eight to 13 years will now find themselves enrolled in the Real Madrid Foundation. The programme that is ...

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Is cricket the beginning and end for Pakistan?

Our country, Pakistan is blessed with some amazing talent. We have had some true legends in almost every field, and sports is no exception. Who can forget the great Jehangir Khan and Janshair Khan? The leadership of Imran khan, that legendary duo of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis? That sixer from Javed Miandad and the master of the penalty corners, Sohail Abbas. Unfortunately however, sports here in Pakistan have been dominated by one and one only, cricket. I’ll try to prove this statement with some examples and facts that support my argument about how this sport is getting the lion’s share ...

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Euro 2012: So Poland and Ukraine can host but not Pakistan?

The UEFA‘s decision to choose Poland and Ukraine as hosts for the Euro 2012 was dealt with criticism and rightfully so: The two countries are known for their hostile attitudes. Poland, where 96.7% of population is pure Polish, is ranked number 14 in the list of the most racist countries in Europe. Ukraine, which has a whopping 78% of pure Ukrainians, has bagged the 23rd position on the list. However, we were not aware of the situation regarding racism in Ukraine and Poland before the release of the famous BBC documentary “Stadiums of Hate”. ...

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Euro Cup 2012: The highs, the lows and the just plain funny!

The recent European championship provided plenty of entertainment and nerve-wracking excitement for football fans all around the globe. The Spaniards were crowned champions after demolishing Italy in the final, which truth be told, was pretty anti-climactic. However, the rest of the tournament was deluged with controversy, tension, brilliance and quality football. The following is a list of the moments/highlights that stood out the most: 10. Nicklas Bendtner’s ‘power-ful’ celebration Dane could hardly have imagined what the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) had in store for him when he flashed his ‘Paddy Power’ (betting company) sponsored underwear. After heading past Rui Patricio ...

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