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 ...Read Full Post
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 ...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
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
On Friday morning, Neymar completed his transfer from FC Barcelona to Paris St Germain (PSG) for a whopping €222 million. It has by far shattered previous records for being the most expensive transfer in history – more than twice the fee Manchester United paid Juventus last summer to lure Paul Pogba to Old Trafford. The question that comes to mind after this fiasco is done and dusted with is: Was it worth it? The level of scrutiny that will be aimed at Neymar over the course of his first year in Paris is bound to be incessant. On the field, every touch that he makes will ...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
The immensely talented Spanish giants, Real Madrid, have finally gotten their hands on the coveted La Liga trophy, which is a title they have cherished the most over the past few years. Real Madrid feel ‘broken’ after losing late lead in Dortmund. Photo: Reuters From the very beginning of this season, it was absolutely clear that Real Madrid were very keen on tasting some domestic league glory as the La Liga title had eluded them since 2012 and this is precisely what Zinedine Zidane and his boys have achieved after a stellar season. Zidane’s influence After Real Madrid sacked ...Read Full Post
Professional football is fast turning into a theatre, with protagonists, antagonists and anti-heroes all vying to be at the forefront of this multibillion dollar industry. Would Zidane have retired a tragic hero had he been on the pitch to slot the winning penalty for France? Would Maradona be adored if he had not followed up his “Hand of God” with the greatest goal in history only minutes later? Diego Maradona tips the ball over England’s goalkeeper Peter ShiltonPhoto: Rex Arguably no club epitomises this quite like Chelsea. A club which for decades was another middling English club ...Read Full Post
The clash of the European giants lived up to its hype in Berlin’s showpiece final. History was on the line for both teams, though with different connotations. Barcelona were bidding to become the only team in Europe to win the treble on two occasions, whereas Juventus were in pursuit of their own first treble, as well as trying to avoid a record sixth defeat in the cup final. It was a highly anticipated encounter, after all the greatest attack was against the best defence in Europe. Barcelona were firm favourites in the build up to this game and they lived up ...Read Full Post
Zinedine Zidane was announced as the new manager for Real Madrid’s reserve team, also known as the Real Madrid Castilla. UEFA Golden Jubilee named Zidane as one of the greatest European football player in the past 50 years. So this shows how great a step this is for the reserve team. Zidane’s achievements boast of two winning goals for France in the final of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, he was named the Player of the Tournament during the UEFA Euro 2000, while in 2002, during the UEFA Champions League, he scored one of the most iconic goals of all time. His 2001 transfer from Juventus to Real ...Read Full Post