Stories about Paul Pogba

FIFA World Cup Final: The mind says France, but the heart wants Croatia

FIFA World Cup in France, way back in 1998, might not be my first recollection of football’s biggest event, but it surely is the most vivid one. Les Bleus came out victorious in the final against Brazil on their home soil, winning their first FIFA World Cup trophy. Majority of the people would remember this particular final because of Zinedine Zidane’s brace in the final against the Canaries at the Stade de France. There is also a small chance that they might remember it for (original) Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima’s bizarre omission and then his subsequent re-instatement 45 minutes before ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

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

Manchester Derby: Will the Red Devils stand in the way of City’s early victory?

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

LiverpoolvsManchesterUnited: The Reds huffed and puffed, but were unable to blow Old Trafford away

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

Who got the better end of the Sanchez-Mkhitaryan swap deal – the Red Devils or the Gunners?

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

Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea – where will Lionel Messi go?

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

A billion dollars and the demise of Manchester United

“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