Stories about win

5 reasons Manuel Neuer deserves the Ballon d’Or

Finally, after much anticipation, the list is out. And it’s out with a bang. Three players have been shortlisted for the prestigious award and it is no surprise that this year’s trio of the planet’s best players yet again includes the giants of the football world, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. What is enthralling about this year’s award, however, is that this time it is not Xavi or Andrés Iniesta or Franck Ribery who will compete with Ronaldo and Messi – this time, it is a goalkeeper. This time it is the ‘SuperManu’, the ‘sweeper-keeper’, the legendary German and Bayern Munich goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, who ...

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Defeating our demons

On January 6, 2010, I sat with my head in my hands as I tried to make sense of what had just happened. Some brilliant (read: not) captaincy and some strange fielding – attributed largely to Mazher Majeed’s influence on the team – meant that Pakistan squandered a 206-run lead and, with it, the chance to beat Australia on home-ground. For Pakistani fans, this was a hard pill to digest and that can largely be put down to Australia’s complete dominance of Pakistan over a number of years – basically our entire cricket-following age. At Hobart in 1999, Australia chased down 369 against a ...

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The reluctant Louis van Gaal

For over two decades, Manchester United ruled over English football. We have seen them win titles with both extraordinary and, at times, the most ordinary of squads, all under Sir Alex Ferguson. But now, things at Old Trafford have changed rather dramatically. The stories of a late Manchester United comeback and the myth of ‘Fergie time’ are all well and truly preserved in the past. The question here is what was the secret behind Manchester United’s ultimate dominance for so long? It sure had nothing to do with the transfer market; the reason, in fact, is way too simple to guess. The Manchester ...

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Roger Federer will win the US Open 2014

Around this time last year, Roger Federer had entered the US Open 2013 as an ailing old man (32 years) and had found it hard to battle against the young blood during the tournaments. Fast forward to 2014 and Roger has already bagged 49 wins, four more than the whole of 2013. With his back fully recovered, a wider racket and some insightful coaching tips from Stefan Edberg, Roger now reminds us of the glory days of 2006. Roger Federer of Switzerland (L) speaks with his coach Stefan Edberg during a practice session at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in ...

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In Messi I believe!

It has been a long time coming. Since Euro 2008, the Germans have been hovering around the edges of supremacy. Their only crime being that Spain, forever the underachievers had been pegged by fate as its darling. What Jürgen Klinsman started at World Cup 2006 resulted in a finals defeat to the Spanish in Euro 2008, a semi-final defeat to the same opposition at South Africa 2010 and the Italians in the semi-finals of Euro 2012. This time, however, the Spanish have been vanquished by their own doing. The once-famed Brazilians have been annihilated in an absurd seven minute stretch of play that will linger on as a scar ...

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Here’s why Pakistan may not win this fight against the militants

After many rumours and false starts, and after years of requests from US officials, Pakistan has finally launched a major military offensive in North Waziristan, ground zero for militancy in that country. Extremist organisations use North Waziristan as a base for attacks on US forces in Afghanistan and to mount assaults on targets in Pakistan. The remnants of al Qaeda central, including perhaps supreme leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, have a presence there, as do Uzbek extremist groups, one of which claimed responsibility for the recent Karachi airport attack. Even Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-American who attempted to blow up Times Square in 2010, received training in North Waziristan. ...

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Is Modi trying to win the election or buy it?

A few days ago, the Indian English daily DNA published a piece on Narendra Modi giving details of what happened in 2002 after the train burning incident in Godhra. The write-up presented nine documented truths in an attempt to nail the prime ministerial candidate of the right-wing Hindu party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But the article, titled ‘Mamata Banerjee Calls Narendra Modi ‘butcher of Gujarat’: Here are Nine Myth busters on 2002 post-Godhra Riots’, was deleted from the web page of the newspaper within a few hours of its publication, without giving any reason. However, Modi’s team and his followers forgot that once something is published on the ...

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U-19 World Cup: Is inconsistency part of Pakistani culture?

There are times when certain characteristics become symbolic of a particular country. That is, these characteristics are exhibited by the general masses as well as their leaders and institutions; hence it makes them part of a particular culture. For Pakistanis, I believe, that one characteristic is their utter lack of consistency. Albeit our politics, our economy, our policy-making or our sports, consistency has largely been absent for a greater period of time. In sports, our teams are widely known for being painfully inconsistent and this has become our reputation in the global arena. In the recently concluded Under-19 (U-19) World Cup, our young ...

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Indian elections 2014: Who will win?

There couldn’t have been a worse run-up to the 2014 general elections in India. As soon as dates for the polling schedule were announced, the world’s largest democracy witnessed many street clashes and stone pelting between members of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in various cities.  Violence broke out after the police detained AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal during his campaign in Narendra Modi’s territory, Gujarat. The clashes of wooden sticks with jharoos (brooms) were symbolically evident. In New Delhi, the police had to use water cannons on the protesters. The situation went from bad to worse in no time. The Indian National Congress (INC) The ruling INC, ...

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Ronaldo is the best footballer in the world, he deserves the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award!

Last year, when the Portugal football team played their 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Sweden, the whole world expected the match to be a do or die for both the teams. And none other than the superstar Cristiano Ronaldo single-handedly took the Portuguese team to Brazil by scoring a blistering hat-trick. Ronaldo’s exploits on the pitch in 2013, where he scored 68 goals for both his country (Portugal) and his club (Real Madrid), saw him walk away with the most coveted trophy in Football – the Ballon D’Or 2013 (FIFA Best Player of the Year) for the second time in his career. [caption id="" align="alignnone" ...

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