Stories about winning

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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How these four managers changed modern day football

Joachim Leow managed to win Coach of the Year Award in this year’s Ballon d’Or awards. He guided the Germans to their historical World Cup win, which easily tells us the importance of managers in modern football. Therefore, let’s have a look at the four best managers of modern era, who were selected on the basis of managing successful clubs in different leagues, the resources they had, and their achievements in Europe and internationally. 1. Sir Alex Ferguson Sir Alex is regarded as one of the most successful, admired and respected managers in the history of the game. A disciplinary and a dictator, he was famous for playing mind games ...

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Four ways Pakistani cricket is like Argentinian football

I was barely six-years-old when Diego Maradona’s individual brilliance almost singlehandedly won the World Cup for Argentina in Mexico. For a boy watching the event with his sports crazy family, the event was electric, with the iconic images of Maradona dancing through the opposition, and eventually lifting the trophy, forever imprinted in my brain. Equally iconic were the images of Maradona crying four years later, after his side was cruelly penalised by the referee in the final against West Germany. Even later, when Maradona shed tears after struggling with substance abuse, I shared his pain, and supported my hero, ignoring the fact that he ...

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The charming Manuel Pellegrini knows how to deliver gold!

The Barclays Premier League has finally concluded with Manchester City FC being crowned as the Champions of England. They faced West Ham in their final match of the season and required a draw or win to bag the trophy. And they bagged it! They did it with a mature and professional performance beating West Ham two goals to nil, thus finishing the season on top of the Premier League table. Over the next few weeks praise will be showered upon all the players and the management but, the one person who really was at the focal point of this successful ...

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Pakistan’s winning hockey team forgotten, losing cricket team adored?

There is no free lunch when it comes to coverage of sports in Pakistan. Pakistan’s hockey team has just won the second Asian Champions Trophy by beating Japan in the finals and with this victory, Pakistan has retained the title for the second time. Interestingly, while our hockey squad was on stage in Japan reveling with their gold medals, Pakistan’s cricket team was getting hammered at the hands of the South Africans in the UAE. Even more interesting was the stark contrast in the nation’s response to these two international sporting events. Even though Pakistan lost the ODI series, the audience was glued to ...

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Is Roger Federer truly the ‘Greatest of All Time’?

It has been the year of comebacks so far; Justin Timberlake and our own prime minister would attest to that. There are fewer sights more exhilarating than a stirring rise of someone written off. Such a sight was found at Flushing Meadows in the last US Open final, as Rafael Nadal wrote another winning chapter in what is becoming a saga of the finest kind.  Nadal, while battling weak knees and a congenital foot condition, added another US Open crown to his collection, bringing his tally to 13 grand slams. He now stands just one behind Pete ‘Pistol’ Sampras and ...

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Misbah is not responsible for our loss in the Champions Trophy

Too long has Misbahul Haq been made fun of, criticised, and blamed for Pakistan’s losses. When Pakistan loses, it’s Misbah’s fault. When Pakistan wins, an individual performance by a more ‘exciting’ player is credited. Enough is enough! When Misbah replaced the infamous Salman Butt (former captain), the team and the country was at its worse in terms of its reputation, morale and performance.  Since then, Pakistan has been re-moulded into a force to be reckoned with – not by Afridi, or any other individual, but by Misbah. His mature and calculated approach to the game has not won him fans. Instead, it ...

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Cricketers are to blame too…

Cricket in Pakistan, as a rule, is never far from controversy. Be it the captaincy musical chairs game that surfaces after every other series, the lashing out of players against the PCB and its officials and the subsequent retorts from the game’s governing body, or the Board’s decision to ban or fine players and then nullify its own decision after token investigations – normalcy just does not seem to be a part of the game. Amid the chaos, fans and casual observers usually tend to side with their heroes, the players, and renounce everything that the PCB has to say ...

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Afridi out, rhythm broken

Shahid Afridi might be a heartthrob who stars in fancy Pepsi commercials, and flaunts his hair in a shampoo ad campaign, but he is much more than that. Our nation loves him because he is bold. He violates conformity, embraces flamboyance and transmits synergy characteristics found in successful leaders. He led Pakistan to a laudable campaign in the 2011 World Cup, given the instability and chaos that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was in. We lost to archrivals India in the semi-finals in Mohali. We hated it. But we forgot that it was just not Afridi’s fall to take. Yesterday the ...

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Asian Games 2010: A bright day for Pakistan

Pakistan brought gold home at the Asian Games on Thursday.  Many believe that it is Pakistan’s right to be the holder of so many medals since, traditionally, Pakistan has been good at hockey and squash and has been world champion in the past. Pakistan is considered to be the greatest ever squash-playing nation of all time, and credit for this goes to the Khan dynasty. It all started with Hashim Khan, who, at the age of 36, opened Pakistan’s participation in the international arena at the British Open in 1951. Hashim went on to dominate the squash arena by winning ...

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