Stories about Lionel Messi

#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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Why Belgium and England will win the 2018 FIFA World Cup semi-finals

The 2018 FIFA World Cup has reached a fascinating stage. After a dramatic Round of 16, which saw two of this generation’s greatest players, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina’s Lionel Messi, exiting the tournament on the same day, the quarter finals treated us to some memorable encounters, with England and France – both one-time champions – breezing past their opponents Sweden and Uruguay respectively. Belgium beat heavy tournament-favourites Brazil, courtesy of a classic display of quick counterattacking football, while Croatia defeated a spirited Russian side on penalties. Neither Belgium nor Croatia have ever won the World Cup. The semi-final line-up ...

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#FIFAWorldCup18: The only thing that worked for Argentina was Nigeria’s bad luck

This is a clipping of a supposed interview, attributed to Pelé, going viral on social media these days. It goes as follows: Interviewer: "Do you think Brazil's 1970 team can beat today's Argentina?" Pelé: "Yes." Interviewer: "By how much?" Pelé: "1-0" Interviewer: “That's it?" Pelé: "Well, most of us are over 75 years old now." 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/mThA6bDQ8A — World Cup (@EPLBible) June 25, 2018 This citation, to the best of my knowledge, is a complete fabrication. But the funny part is that if you analyse Argentina’s performances over the course of FIFA World Cup 2018, you would completely understand where the Brazilian legend would be coming from, if ...

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Beware, champions! It is the year of the underdogs!

Whether it is fiction or real life, generally people find it easier to get behind the underdogs because of the more appealing nature. Harvard Business Review (HBR) once stated its viewpoint on underdog brands which is quite similar to what happens in football. “The biographies of underdog brands share two important narrative components: a disadvantaged position (they highlight a company’s humble beginnings and portray it as being ‘outgunned’ by bigger, better-resourced competitors) and a passion and determination to triumph against the odds,” an extract from the HBR report said. FIFA World Cup comes every four years but it gives the game ...

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For these 10 players, the 2018 FIFA World Cup could be their last shot at redemption

There are superstars and there are rising stars. There are seasoned veterans and there are hidden gems. Then there are those looking for a final chance at reviving their stagnating careers. The World Cup is a showcase for everyone and anyone but for some players, it is more about one last shot at salvaging their careers than aiming for the World Cup glory. But then again, things can go either way and players can find their careers sinking, if they exhibit poor performance in this tournament. In this list, let’s look at 10 players for whom this World Cup could ...

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Mohamed Salah: The Egyptian King and Liverpool’s mind-boggling, record-breaking miracle

While it may seem extremely ridiculous now, but last summer when Mohamed Salah was bought in, for what now seems like a measly £36.9 million, Liverpool owner John W Henry was found grumbling to his AS Roma counterpart James Pallotta, that the English club had overspent on the Egyptian. Pallota, clearly feeling smug that he had gotten the better end of the deal, jokingly offered to buy Henry a free lunch. Ever since the day he got his new paymaster free food, the 25-year-old has proven to be an absolute treat for every Liverpool supporter in the world. Salah’s first spell in ...

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FIFA World Cup 2018: 7 talented young stars who could be the next Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar

Before the beginning of every FIFA World Cup, there are certain usual suspects who are expected to do well due to their experience and skill set. But on the flip side, it also provides the younger and lesser known players an elephantine opportunity to share the spotlight. The mega event can catapult the developing talent to stardom, if they are willing to grab this opportunity with both hands. The immense depth of talent globally ensures that one has to chew the cud for a significant portion of time before arriving at a shortlist. However, as things stand, the following list ...

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Karma is making rounds as Roma did to Barcelona what the Catalans did to PSG a year ago

‘Historical debacle’ claimed Spanish daily, Mundo Deportivo, which is anything but far from the truth. On a night where Manchester City getting knocked out of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) should have been the biggest story, the Catalans were making the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Barca paid the price for sitting on the fence, without realising they were running into quick sand. Barcelona’s harbinger of hope, the prodigiously gifted, Lionel Messi, was not able to put the team on his back. A team which has many high calibre players, looked like an ordinary team when the little Argentinean ...

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#UCLDraw: As the final eight battle it out, will the road to Kyiv lead to victory for Liverpool?

Following the round of 16 victory against FC Porto, Scousers were dreaming of all the fantastic cities that could potentially end up as their next European destination. Thoughts were already occupied with airplane and hotel bookings, which had to be made for the Champions League quarterfinal away trip. But as fate would have it, local Liverpool FC fans had to begrudgingly settle for a mere 60 minutes bus-trip down the M62 motorway, when the draws were made for the quarters in Nyon. Neither Liverpool nor Manchester City would have preferred to draw their local opponents at this stage of the ...

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With less than 100 days to go, unpredictability surrounds FIFA World Cup 2018

Football enthusiasts have tons of action throughout the year to quench their thirst for quality matches, but the epitome of the game lies in its showpiece event, the FIFA World Cup. Similar to the conching process in chocolate manufacturing, the sport receives its true flavour with the best players in the world donning their national colours. With less than 100 days left before the tournament, it is apt to look at some of the key talking points which might have a significant impact on the way the mega event pans out. Is the time right for Video Assistant Referee (VAR)? During the trial ...

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