Stories about football

Forget cakes and flowers! The only thing on my mind this V-Day is Champions League!

I have never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. As far as I am concerned, poor St Valentine ought to be rolling in the grave with the kind of cringe-fest that goes on in his name. But for Liverpool fans all around the world, including myself, cupid is no longer stupid when he comes this February 14th. Valentine’s Day 2018 would be the first time in nine long and tiring years that we find ourselves involved in the knockout stages of the Champions League. Love is finally in the air! Even though fans in Pakistan will be watching this match ...

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The winter transfer window: It was raining money and oozing drama, one transfer at a time

Phew, what an intense roller coaster of a month! With the clock striking 11:00pm (GMT) on January 31st, one of the most exciting winter transfer windows in recent years was finally shut. Traditionally considered as the more relaxed of the two, this particular January window was so frenzied, that English football fans could easily be excused for confusing this time of the year as summers; when the bigger, more frantic, post-season window actually happens. The fact that for the first time since 2006, each member of the ‘Big Six’ (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham) happen to ...

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Who got the better end of the Sanchez-Mkhitaryan swap deal – the Red Devils or the Gunners?

There are times when I actually wonder what is it that football fans truly consider as the most essential facet of the game they oh so fervently claim to love. Is it really the sport itself that fuels their passion? There was a time when an actual football match was the real deal while player transfers were just a very tiny part of the whole equation. But now it seems like the exact opposite is true. The current generation might find this a little hard to believe, but having a fixed period of time every year for players to transfer ...

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Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea – where will Lionel Messi go?

In November, Lionel Messi renewed his contract with FC Barcelona. Apart from the same old, same old, in which he had his salary raised, surprisingly or rather unsurprisingly, he had a get-out clause added in his contract as well.  This clause would allow him to leave for free if Barcelona fails to play in a “competitive” league. Catalonia, in which Barcelona is situated, risks getting thrown out of the Spanish La Liga should it become independent from Spain. FC Barcelona, whose slogan is “Més que un club” which translates into “more than a club”, portrays itself as the defender of Catalan value ...

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Man City will take home the title, but without their unbeaten run, thanks to the magical nature of Liverpool

Phillipe Coutinho might be a very special player; he could even be one of the best footballers currently plying their trade on God’s green earth, but then again, no single player can ever be bigger than the club. This axiom gains special credence when the club in question is as iconic as Liverpool. Following a drawn-out saga, the diminutive Brazilian eventually got his wish last week, when the Merseysiders agreed to sell him to Barcelona, in the third richest player transaction ever, for a whopping £145 million. New Barcelona signing Philippe Coutinho (R) and Josep Maria Bartomeu, President ...

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The fallen giant: Arsenal is out of major leagues and has no one but itself and Arsene Wenger to blame for it

Arsenal under Arsene Wenger had always been a pleasure to watch. With their free flowing attacking moves and gripping inter-changeable link-up play, it was impossible for opposing teams to keep up with them in their prime. The Gunners had immense fire power in their ranks, and for a long time, they were the team that any person would want to support, even if they were neutral about the teams. However, it seems as if those glory days are long gone. Currently, they are a shadow of a team that used to blow their rivals away in matches. Today, they have become this boring and appalling ...

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A billion dollars and the demise of Manchester United

“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times… It was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”- Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities, 1859) Nothing describes the mood better in Manchester than Dickens’s most famous quote. The followers of Manchester United enter the New Year burying any hope of a title challenge, while their neighbour seems destined to clinch another Premier League title, in a style reminiscent of Arsenal’s Invincibles – unbeaten. United have been replaced by their city rival, Manchester City, ...

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The world of sports can provide more drama than movies and these 7 events of 2017 are a testament to that

They say ‘truth is stranger than fiction’, and a sports fan, more than anyone else, is likely to attest to this particular expression. For them, strange is just one of the many adjectives that can be used to describe the wild and whacky world of sports. Even for a movie buff like myself, I would readily concede that sports at times has this ability to provide drama like no work of fiction can. And the following sporting moments from the preceding 12 months are a testament to this very fact. 1. New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl LI in historic ...

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After dominating the Manchester Derby, the Citizens lead the Premier League title race, but who will come second?

The latest edition of the historic Manchester Derby at Old Trafford gave the home side a chance to breathe new life into Premier League’s title race but their City rivals proved unstoppable once again. On Sunday, Manchester United did not just hand over bragging rights to the Blues, but also seemingly lost any chance of regaining the title, which has eluded them since 2012-13. Pep Guardiola once again had the upper hand over his nemesis, Jose Mourinho, despite his side not being at their scintillating best. When I first had a look at Manchester United’s playing XI, I was pleasantly surprised to see the line-up Mourinho ...

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Champions League Round of 16: Xabi Alonso gives us some nerve-racking encounters, and boy, oh boy, are we in for a ride!

Show me a football fan that doesn’t like Xabi Alonso, and I’ll show you a liar. The former Spain player had a long and glittering career with the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Liverpool. While playing for some of the biggest clubs in the world guarantees that one is adored by millions, chances are the same player could be despised by an equal number of fans who are associated with a rival club. However, despite playing for more than a decade for the aforementioned European heavy weights, Alonso was an extremely unique case of a player who was respected ...

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