Stories about football

#MUNJUV: Ronaldo is coming home – along with United’s possible defeat

The 2010-11 footballing season will be fondly remembered as one of Manchester United’s most memorable seasons as they romped their way to a record-breaking 19th league title. The Red Devils reached the UEFA Champions League Final too and although they suffered heartbreak at the hands of Barcelona, the club will fondly remember the season as the one where they finally knocked Liverpool “off their perch”. England’s greatest club marvelled. The same season was one to forget for Juventus. The Bianconeri laboured their way to finish a mediocre seventh, repeating their final position from the previous season. Their struggles were laid bare ...

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Because how can the GOAT Ronaldo ever rape a woman, despite her saying ‘no’ and ‘stop’?

Cristiano Ronaldo is so many things; father, son, partner, friend, mentor, hero, celebrity, athlete, and now an alleged rapist. Fans all over the world are offended; how is it that the hero they have put on a pedestal is accused of such a heinous crime? Is this a conspiracy by Lionel Messi fan boys to drag down Ronaldo’s good name? His admirers have come together to show their loyalties and back their forever favourite. In the midst of all this, I, a former Ronaldo fan, choose not to give him the benefit of the doubt. In cases of sexual ...

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How do we deal with Lionel Messi getting older

Lionel Messi’s first goal of this new season was a free kick that went under the jumping wall of Deportivo Alavés defenders and into the bottom right corner. He scored a similar goal against Girona in early February, that one went in the opposite corner. He also did the same for Argentina a few years ago. Free kicks that go under the wall are fun for their mischievousness. In those instances, Messi is punishing the wall for doing what it has been instructed to do, for taking the sensible action of jumping to block the free kick. Messi wasn’t the first ...

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If things don’t improve, our performance at Asian Games 2018 will serve as a preview for Olympics 2020

Thirty-five sports disciplines, around 250 athletes, and only four bronze medals, this is the dismal summary of Pakistani athletes‘ performance at the Asian Games in Jakarta. This is our worst ever performance in the tournament, lowest total medal count (same as the Asian Games in 2006) and the first time that Pakistan failed to win a gold or silver medal. The bronze medals came from four different categories: athletics, kabaddi, karate and squash, while the men’s field hockey team missed out on a medal only for the second time in the history of the Asian Games. Two of the four bronze ...

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From “the special one” to “the bitter one”: Is Jose Mourinho a dead man walking?

The ‘special one’? No, not anymore. These days it would be more appropriate to call Jose Mourinho ‘the bitter one’, or perhaps the ‘the grumpy one’, and if we are perceptive enough to read the writing on the wall, the soon-to-be ‘fired one’. The Portuguese tactician has always been someone that rival fans wouldn’t quickly warm up to. When he first came to manage in England with Chelsea, he was still someone you could call charmingly brash and his early achievements at Stamford Bridge made sure his pride and a questionable style of play were being justifiably backed by some ...

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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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Pakistan, a champion of making footballs, but not the game itself

The Middle East, notably the UAE and Qatar, is not just sponsoring European football clubs; it is also inviting them to occasionally play friendly matches in their home grounds. This is not only to promote football in the region, but also to promote their heritage amongst football fans. China, the Asian giant, is investing heavily in their football league by buying expensive players from top leagues of the world for their local clubs. Similarly, India has just successfully organised an Under-17 (U-17) FIFA World Cup this year, and is also following in the footsteps of China to improve their league. ...

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New season, new players, new spirits: Will EPL clubs benefit from their summer transfers?

As the Premier League (EPL) finally returns (and my life has meaning again) there are major hopes and expectations placed upon a club’s new players. There have been record-breaking transfers this summer window and some interesting players have joined the English league. Here is a list of five (obvious and not-so-obvious) signings that could potentially change the fortunes of the clubs they have joined. Disclaimer: This list only includes players who have joined from other leagues. 1. Frederico Rodrigues (Fred): Amidst the lack of late signings and Jose Mourinho’s melt-down, we seem to have forgotten that early on Manchester United signed Brazilian midfielder ...

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“If I score, I’m French; If I don’t, I’m Arab”: Why France needs to recognise its “others”

As a Muslim French woman, my feelings regarding France’s victory in the 2018 FIFA World Cup are quite divided. They are not divided about the game per se – the players undoubtedly demonstrated their brilliance on the field, and I do not see how I could be unhappy about winning the title again after 20 long years. Rather, I am sceptical about what changes this win will bring to individuals belonging to certain ethnic groups in this country, and to the Muslim faith in particular. Nothing major, I fear. Dear France, Congratulations on winning the #WorldCup. 80% of your team ...

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Best World Cup ever: VAR controversies, major mishaps, outstanding goals and a fitting finale

According to a vast majority of people, this might just have been the best FIFA World Cup ever. And probably for one of the really rare moments in my life, I wouldn’t be a total cynic and would align myself with the popular opinion. Football’s showpiece event in Russia had it all. It had video assistant referee (VAR) controversies, major upsets, memorable contests, and bucket loads of goals; more per game than in three of the last four tournaments. In fact, if you were trying to create a perfect month-long sporting spectacle in a lab somewhere, an outcome like ...

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