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 ...Read Full Post
Manchester bleeds red: The Citizens may take the title but bragging rights will stay with the Red Devils
The half time whistle signalled the end of an appalling 45 minutes of football by Manchester United. A commanding display by the Blues had them on the verge of being crowned Premier League champions. The Etihad Stadium was buzzing with delight as a perplexed Sir Alex Ferguson watched on from the stands. City had put two past David De Gea in a half where their opponents could not even manage a single shot on goal. Had Raheem Sterling been more efficient with his finishing, the match could have easily gone beyond the reach of Manchester United. Raheem ...Read Full Post
The upcoming Manchester Derby might not have any bearing on the title race itself, but there is still a lot riding on it. In their last meeting, Manchester City virtually dashed all hopes of their rivals to mount a challenge, with a win over their arch nemesis. Now, in a few days’ time, they will have the chance to officially win the title at home against Jose Mourinho’s men. Manchester City’s David Silva scores their first goal, Manchester United vs Manchester City, December 10, 2017. Photo: Reuters It does not get bigger than this, right? Winning the title ...Read Full Post
With this being the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season, one gets to see a lot of imaginative mocking by rival fans over social media. Yet, all the banter somehow feels hollow; a tad too forced if you ask me. It’s as if the warring factions have just recently discovered what an actual sporting conflict is, and are teasing each other just for the heck of it. Oh wait, that’s precisely what is wrong with this manufactured faux rivalry. With the PSL being in existence for just three short years, there is no way that these local opposing sets of ...Read Full Post
There are times when I actually wonder what is it that football fans truly consider as the most essential facet of the game they oh so fervently claim to love. Is it really the sport itself that fuels their passion? There was a time when an actual football match was the real deal while player transfers were just a very tiny part of the whole equation. But now it seems like the exact opposite is true. The current generation might find this a little hard to believe, but having a fixed period of time every year for players to transfer ...Read Full Post
In November, Lionel Messi renewed his contract with FC Barcelona. Apart from the same old, same old, in which he had his salary raised, surprisingly or rather unsurprisingly, he had a get-out clause added in his contract as well. This clause would allow him to leave for free if Barcelona fails to play in a “competitive” league. Catalonia, in which Barcelona is situated, risks getting thrown out of the Spanish La Liga should it become independent from Spain. FC Barcelona, whose slogan is “Més que un club” which translates into “more than a club”, portrays itself as the defender of Catalan value ...Read Full Post
“It was the best of times; it was the worst of times… It was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”- Charles Dickens (A Tale of Two Cities, 1859) Nothing describes the mood better in Manchester than Dickens’s most famous quote. The followers of Manchester United enter the New Year burying any hope of a title challenge, while their neighbour seems destined to clinch another Premier League title, in a style reminiscent of Arsenal’s Invincibles – unbeaten. United have been replaced by their city rival, Manchester City, ...Read Full Post
After dominating the Manchester Derby, the Citizens lead the Premier League title race, but who will come second?
The latest edition of the historic Manchester Derby at Old Trafford gave the home side a chance to breathe new life into Premier League’s title race but their City rivals proved unstoppable once again. On Sunday, Manchester United did not just hand over bragging rights to the Blues, but also seemingly lost any chance of regaining the title, which has eluded them since 2012-13. Pep Guardiola once again had the upper hand over his nemesis, Jose Mourinho, despite his side not being at their scintillating best. When I first had a look at Manchester United’s playing XI, I was pleasantly surprised to see the line-up Mourinho ...Read Full Post
Manchester United vs Manchester City, Jose Mourinho vs Pep Guardiola – Are you ready for this Sunday’s Manchester Derby?
Football has seen many fierce rivalries and one such happens to be between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho. The duo has locked horns quite a few times before and one can reasonably expect something out of the ordinary whenever they are up against each other. Manager Jose Mourinho of Manchester United watches from the touchline the EFL Cup Fourth Round match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on October 26, 2016 in Manchester, England. Photo: Getty Mourinho and Guardiola first clashed back in 2009 at San Siro with Inter Milan and FC Barcelona respectively, ...Read Full Post
On Friday, May 12, 2017, upon beating West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns, Chelsea confirmed mathematically that Tottenham Hotspur will not be able to catch up with them, thus confirming their second Premier League title in three years. If I were a Chelsea fan, which I’m not, this win wouldn’t feel right for a number of reasons. Chelsea’s Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi (R) scores the opening goal during their English Premier League match. Photo:AFP This season built a lot of promise; it began with confirmation that six of the best managers in the world would all be plying ...Read Full Post