Stories about Lionel Messi

Controversies, surprises and uplifting moments – 2018 was the year of football

Football is rightly lauded as the king of sports and 2018 was another year where this sport proved why it is held in such a high regard. Since this was also a FIFA World Cup year, there were already major expectations attached with the sport, but like every year, football managed to exceed these expectations and then some. So without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the moments which helped consolidate football’s position right at the top during this past one year. Croatia losing the FIFA 2018 After 63 matches and 163 goals, Croatia and France were the last two ...

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In this sexist world, it doesn’t matter if Ada Hegerberg won the Ballon d’Or – what matters is if she can twerk

Just in case someone still needed proof that sexism is still alive and well in sports, get a load of this. After winning an award declaring her the best female football player in the world, Ada Hegerberg was asked on stage, in front of millions, if she knew how to twerk. Let that sink in for a minute.  A 23-year-old female footballer who has thus far scored almost 250 goals in her career and helped her club last season to the French League title and the UEFA Women’s Champions League Trophy, was asked if she could twerk. Hegerberg, who has achieved ...

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Without Messi and Ronaldo, El Clasico is now anyone’s game

Looking for a match that won’t bore the living daylights out of you? Fancy some enterprising and expansive football? Is an obstinately boisterous crowd support your cup of tea? Then El Clasico is for you. Fair to say that whenever arch rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona share the same pitch, the stakes are incredibly high and losing is just not an option. Real Madrid are in a rut By the time the referee blew the final whistle at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Real Madrid’s last home fixture against Levante, the home side’s poor run of form in La Liga alone had stretched ...

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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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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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#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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