Stories about UEFA Champions League

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

Best FIFA Men’s Player: The Messi vs Ronaldo debate should be put to rest now, as we now know who the ‘best’ really is

It might seem like an eternity, and rightly so, because it has now been a whole decade since the juggernaut that is the duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi over football awards, started devouring any sort of competition that dared to cross its path. The last time that anyone else other than the pair managed to win a major individual honour was 2007 when Brazilian star Kaká claimed the Ballon d’Or. But even then, the duo succeeded to bag the second and third spot respectively. So it didn’t really come as a major surprise when on Monday night, Ronaldo yet again managed ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

Islamabad has what it takes to set football standards for Pakistan, do you?

Football and Pakistan  don’t usually go together, especially Islamabad and football. However, despite Islamabad’s unwanted perception of going to sleep early, the capital is home to a thriving football scene and an ever-growing entrepreneurial ecosystem of football facilities. Though the concept had been introduced a decade ago with the advent of the F-6 multi-purpose facility, things really took off after 2014 when Total Football ventured into the market. Photo: Facebook “I was enamoured by the concept during my days as a student in London,” said Hamza Kayani, who launched Total Football in late 2014. Born and bred in Islamabad, Kayani claimed that the city lacked in the entertainment department, leaving eating out or ...

Read Full Post

Is FC Barcelona out of this year’s Champions League?

February 14, 2017, will be a lasting memory in the mind of every Paris Saint Germain (PSG) fan for years to come. In a historic night at the Parc des Princes in Paris, PSG completely blew away Spanish giants FC Barcelona and more or less confirmed their place in the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) 2016-17. Paris St Germain coach Unai Emery attends a news conference on February 13, 2017.Photo: Reuters. Although the odds were stacked against Unai Emery’s PSG, the France Ligue 1 champions for once, showed that they are a force to reckon with and cannot be taken for ...

Read Full Post

Champions League Matchday 1: Aye, it’s going to be a roller coaster ride

Even with a summer full of riveting international soccer contests with the Euro and the Olympics, being a Liverpool fan, nothing beats the good old start to the English Premier League (EPL). And if EPL is the cake then UEFA Champions League is surely the cherry atop this delicious offering. Unfortunately for me, this year is yet another in the long list of seasons this past decade that I would have to do without this particular footballing condiment. But hey, counting your blessings and all that shizz, I still get to cheer on former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez and his band of merry men at Barca. And ...

Read Full Post

La Liga’s seesaw: Can Real Madrid take home the title this year?

The new La Liga season kicked off this week with an extremely competitive title race set to take place. The English Premier League trumps it financially, but La Liga’s top five teams are inarguably better than their English counterparts, evident from the fact that they have won both UEFA Champions League (toughest European club competition) and Europa League (secondary European club football tournament) for the last two years. Moreover, five Spanish teams will probably feature in this year’s UCL, the most by any league in Europe. Competition in La Liga boils down to three main teams – Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. The likes of Sevilla, Valencia and ...

Read Full Post

Does Manchester City even need a player like Raheem Sterling?

Since the Abu Dhabi group has taken over the Blues, Manchester City invested heavily on transfers this season, estimated to be more than £500 million. This heavy investment, unfortunately, continuously inflicted loss on the club’s balance sheet and brought the wart of UEFA, who imposed a fine of £50 million  and reduced the number of squad players from 25 to 21 in all European competitions. Although invested heavily in the transfer market, the Blues haven’t performed well in the European Champions League and has managed to win only two UEFA titles since the takeover of oil-rich owner Khaldoon al- Mubarak in 2008. ...

Read Full Post

2019 World Cup qualifiers: Is India better than Pakistan?

Football has never been able to achieve much recognition as a professional sport in Pakistan, even though there are many Pakistani football fans present. This is perhaps because most of our attention is reserved for cricket exclusively and hence, like all other sports, football too has suffered. The game has never been invested upon with the aim of building a professional team. Pakistan’s history of football is marked by its underachievement on both national and international levels and the country is perceived as minnow in this sport. Photo: AFP However, there have been surprising instances, where our team ...

Read Full Post