Stories about Lionel Messi

RIP Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch, the shining pearl of Balochistan

In a country where you would be hard pressed to find men footballers who ply their trade in a foreign league, I was actually quite surprised when I was first told of Shahlyla Baloch. A woman soccer player who hailed from Balochistan, demonstrating her skills in Maldives. Boy, was I impressed! My astonishment didn’t just stop here; news came in that Shahlyla then went on to grab herself a hat-trick during her stint in Maldives. Woah, this girl is going places. Unfortunately, this precocious talent is no more amongst us. Shahlyla Ahmadzai Baloch died in a car crash in Karachi late ...

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Hala Madrid? Not anymore!

The stage was set, popcorn ready and the browser switched to the right streaming website. This after all was supposed to be a momentous night, a date when I would watch history being re-written, and a day when arguably the greatest football club on planet earth would add another feather to the cap. But sixth placed Villareal clearly failed to read the script. The Yellow Submarine came to the Bernabeu with ‘Mission: Damage Limitation’ against the leaders but left the capital with Real Madrid’s dreams sunk. Zinedine Zidane’s men had equalled the previous best of 16 – a feat achieved by Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona ...

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Argentina – A nation in a ‘Messi’ situation

One of the most calm and cool heads under pressure, Lionel Messi steps up to take Argentina’s first penalty of the shootout in the Copa America Final. He is expected to tuck away the penalty, but to the dismay of his supporters he balloons his spot kick over the crossbar. It frantically leads to a catapult of mistakes from the Argentinians, culminating in their loss to Chile in the Copa America Final – again. Chille stun Argentina to win the Copa America final for the second consecutive time.Photo: Reuters As if losing a final wasn’t bad enough, ...

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With the Euro and Copa America, this will be a football summer like no other!

This summer is like Eid, Diwali and Christmas rolled into one for all us football fanatics. It’s not just the Euro taking place in France that will the set our pulse racing, but us fans have got a one-off tournament in shape of Copa America Centenario taking place in the American continent to look forward too. Slotted in between the usual four year cycle, the Centennial Copa America is scheduled to celebrate the 100 years of South American football competition that started off in 1916. Chile won the Copa America for the first time on Saturday when ...

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Quaid-e-Azam inter-provincial games: A light at the end of Pakistan’s barren sports tunnel

What is it about Lionel Messi that excites fans as he dribbles the ball across the field? What gives players like Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic the ability to hypnotise fans as they compete on the court? Is Usain Bolt’s speed really a big deal, after all, he did only run a 100-meter race at the Olympics. It seems as though for the average Pakistani, everything that is remotely foreign seems to be infinitely more appealing, but does that really come as a surprise? Pakistan’s football team is ranked 190th in the world, we are still raving about Aisamul Haq’s success ...

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Move over Ronaldo; Let Messi, the real champ, reign the field

If someone had said superstar Lionel Messi would be crowned ‘FIFA World Player of the Year’ in 2016 for a record fifth time, I’m pretty sure everyone would have considered that person as deluded. Why though? Simply because the Argentinian maestro was nowhere near the form which won him four successive ‘World Player of the Year’ awards from 2009 to 2012. Photo: AFP In fact, he had just endured the terrible ordeal of losing a World Cup final to Germany, a feat which has not only tested his physical strength but his mental endurance as well. The entire topic of discussion ahead of ...

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Can Zizou prove to be a saviour for the Galacticos?

Zinedine Zidane is arguably the best player of his generation – watching him glide on the football field was like watching a painter perfect his art. Unstoppable with the ball at his feet, he was truly one of the most gifted players to grace us with his presence on the field. When the Spanish press revealed that Rafa Benitez’s days are numbered as head coach of Real Madrid, rumours had it that Zidane would replace him as the manager of his former club. Instinctively, the fans and the media began to reminisce about the man whose sublime volley won them the Champions League, and the fact that ...

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Argentina and Messi, a story of missed opportunities rather than a fairy tale

Alexis Sanchez slotted home the winning penalty in an outrageous manner and ended no less than 99 years of wait for Chile in front of a rapturous home crowd. As the Chilean players sprinted across the Estadio Nacional pitch to celebrate a momentous victory, Lionel Messi cut a desolated figure yet again. A long wait was over, but a painful one for Argentina and Messi continued. A year earlier, it was all about the little Argentine reaching heights, reserved only for past greats like Pele, Maradona and Zidane when Argentina faced Germany in the World Cup Final. ...

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Barcelona reign supreme in Europe once again

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 ...

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Are Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar the best attacking trio in football history?

Some people say that they are the best trio since Nirvana. While the comparison between a music band and bunch of exceptionally talented football players may seem odd, the fact remains that both have excelled in their respective fields. Nirvana wooed people through their magical music, whereas the attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar – commonly referred to as ‘MSN’ – are busy setting benchmarks through their amazing skills and goals galore in football. With an unprecedented number of 117 goals so far during the current season, MSN is the reason Barcelona are on the cusp of winning a historic treble again. Photo: ...

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