Stories about Lionel Messi

FIFA World Cup 2018: No Lionel Messi and no Cristiano Ronaldo?

Brazil is the go-to team for an overwhelming majority of my countrymen when it comes to the FIFA World Cup. But Argentina is arguably the second most widely supported international team, as far as Pakistani football fans are concerned. So with a very heavy heart, I am sad to announce that La Albiceleste, after a goalless drawn match against Peru, are at risk of missing the World Cup for the first time since 1970. Come to think of it, that was even before than most of us were born. Moreover, their failed qualification would be the first time in our lifetime ...

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Without Ronaldo, and with Bale and Benzema’s recent performances, will Real Madrid lose the La Liga title?

Heading into a fresh season, football fans had little doubt about the impervious Real Madrid side. Such was their dominance last season which was carried into the pre-season matches as well, including their thumping win over FC Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup. Real Madrid won the Spanish Super Cup on Wednesday after a 5-1 aggregate win over bitter rivals FC Barcelona over two legs. Photo: AFP But things have not gone according to plan for the Spanish powerhouse since then. Their performance at the beginning of the season has raised questions over whether the team can ...

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Did Neymar leave FC Barcelona because he was always playing second fiddle to Messi?

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 ...

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Real Madrid’s 12th Champions League win was Cristiano Ronaldo’s one-man show

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 ...

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A crime is a crime, even for Lionel Messi

He might currently be the best football player on the face of God’s green Earth. You can even argue that he is one of the best footballers to have played the beautiful game, but ladies and gentlemen. Lionel Messi is also a criminal. Argentina’s national team player Lionel Messi has been convicted of tax fraud but is unlikely to serve any time in jail. Photo: AFP He, in all likelihood won’t be serving a prison sentence but I have to regrettably inform you that your demigod – by the rule of law – can sadly be bracketed with the likes of ...

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After a five-year hiatus, the La Liga victory surely tastes sweet for Real Madrid

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 ...

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Barcelona vs PSG and the miracle that will go down in history

“If Paris Saint-Germain scored four, we can score six.” These were the words of FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique in the pre match press conference before the match against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and astonishingly this is precisely what happened. In a historic night at the Camp Nou, the unthinkable happened as Barca, who was seemingly out of this year’s Champions League after their 4-0 loss in the first leg, staged a miraculous comeback which will go down, perhaps, as the greatest turnaround in the history of this magnificent game. The home side got off to the best possible start with Luis Suarez nodding home a goal from close range ...

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Who will replace Luis Enrique to be Barcelona’s next manager?

Spanish giants FC Barcelona – who made the greatest comeback in the history of Champions League last night against Paris Saint Germain (PSG) – will be in search of a new boss come the end of the current campaign as manager Luis Enrique has already announced that he will leaving the club in the summer. Barcelona’s midfielder Sergi Roberto celebrates their victory goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match FC Barcelona vs Paris Saint-Germain FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on March 8, 2017. Barcelona won 6-1. Photo: ...

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How sport terrorism took over Europe and Pakistan in 2016

With the terrorist attack outside Besiktas football stadium in Istanbul last week, that killed 38 people and left 166 wounded, 2016 bids farewell to the world of sports on a gloomy note. A gradual rise in terror attacks on sports venues has been seen over the last two decades but this year, the phenomenon of sports terrorism has horribly haunted the whole world, especially Europe, in terms of the number of tragic incidents and casualties. Police arrive at the site of an explosion in central Istanbul, Turkey, December 10, 2016.Photo: Reuters Terrorism is an international challenge, yet in the ...

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Is the failure to qualify weighing heavily on the shoulders of Messi and the gang?

With the clock fast ticking away for the FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia in summer of 2018, the South American qualifying race is at its pulsating best. The stage is set for a fiercer and much more intense qualifying finale. More than three countries are vying for fifth place for an intercontinental play-off, with the first four countries automatically qualifying in, arguably, the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet. Being a football fanatic ever since I can remember, I have always rooted for the plucky underdogs of the tournament to win the cup, no matter which part ...

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