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  1. Ahmed Hossam Hussein Abdelhamid, commonly known as Mido, is not a name that would immediately ring a bell amongst football fans. But, the 6-feet-2-inch tall striker has played for Ajax, Roma, Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United. And, it was with Spurs that Mido managed to establish himself as a cult hero. During a loan spell from Roma, Mido became an instant hot favourite amongst Tottenham fans as he bagged 13 goals in 36 matches. His clinical performances in crunch matches saw him securing a permanent move with Spurs in 2016. At the international level, Mido scored 20 goals in 51 appearances for Egypt before calling time on his career in 2013. View this post on Instagram ððð A post shared by Ahmed Hossam (@ahmedhossammido) on Mar 16, 2018 at 8:36pm PDT But, despite all that, the Egyptian striker gained popularity as the "overweight" footballer after he shared a shirtless picture on Instagram last year. While some compared him to the late drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, others called him a water balloon on social media. The body-shaming, then, instigated Mido to answer back in the way he knows best - like a true champion. View this post on Instagram باخد تا٠Ù٠اÙإعÙاÙ!!!!! ððð A post shared by Ahmed Hossam (@ahmedhossammido) on Apr 16, 2018 at 4:40am PDT Drawing inspiration from the jokes, Mido worked relentlessly in the gym, working with his trainer Aly Mazhar, for countless hours during a day. And, believe it or not, the Egyptian football star lost a staggering 50kg to attain a toned physique. View this post on Instagram #workhardplayhard ÙÙعزت٠ÙجÙاÙ٠ا٠رضÙت بÙا ÙسÙت٠ÙÙ Ùأرحت ÙÙب٠ÙبدÙÙ ÙÙÙت عÙد٠ÙØ­ÙÙدا Ùا٠اÙت Ù٠ترض٠بÙا ÙسÙت٠ÙÙ ÙÙعزت٠ÙجÙاÙÙ ÙأسÙط٠عÙÙ٠اÙدÙÙا ترÙض ÙÙÙا رÙض اÙÙØ­ÙØ´ Ù٠اÙبرÙÙ Ø«Ù Ùا ÙÙÙÙ ÙÙ ÙÙÙا اÙا Ùا ÙسÙت٠ÙÙ A post shared by Ahmed Hossam (@ahmedhossammido) on Mar 7, 2019 at 10:30pm PST “Hitting rock bottom after being recognised as an Egyptian football star and starting your coaching career, getting through surgery, changing your lifestyle and deciding to fully commit to it. Set your goal, have a plan, follow it and results will just be a matter of time," Mido's trainer was quoted as saying by The Sun. View this post on Instagram #workout ðªð½ðªð½ðªð½ @newbalance A post shared by Ahmed Hossam (@ahmedhossammido) on Feb 27, 2019 at 3:22am PST "Most importantly BELIEVE in yourself, get the right support system around you and don't listen to all the negative crap around us every single day. That's willpower and full dedication right there. This is the MIDO we all know. Hats off,” Aly Mazhar added. View this post on Instagram ðªð½ðªð½ðªð½ A post shared by Ahmed Hossam (@ahmedhossammido) on Feb 2, 2019 at 5:47am PST Following his retirement, Mido was seen analysing Premier League games as a football pundit. More recently, he took over the managerial role at Saudi Arabian side Al Wehda where he has won six out of his opening 12 matches in charge. And, as he continues to contribute to the sport, Mido has undoubtedly become an inspiration for all those who're struggling to overcome their problems in life.
  2. Nothing in football is as beautiful as watching/playing the game under the floodlights. The intensity, enthusiasm and passion that fans and players showcase in a midweek fixture are second to none. Either it is the Champions League, league fixtures or cup competitions, midweek fixtures always deliver. And last night was no different. With the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham all in action, it was a perfect setup to stay awake and miss the office the next morning. Here is your roundup of all the key moments from last night. 1. One-Sided El Clasico Since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid have been nothing but a shadow of the side that won three Champions League titles in a row. In an already disastrous season, this was Los Blancos' chance to register a win against their arch-rivals Barcelona and save their season. After being sounded out of the race of La Liga title and deemed not good enough to go all the way in Champions league, this was Madrid's chance to at least win one trophy this season, but Luis Suarez had different plans. i love Real Madrid but this Suarez penalty thoughð¥ð¥ð¥ð¥ pic.twitter.com/Vjpz7DG8Vw — Napoleon Bonaparte (@VusiLesego) February 28, 2019 It was all going well for Real Madrid. They were ahead in the tie with an away goal and just needed to keep calm. But it was Suarez who turned into a 'Super Saiyan', scoring two of the three Barcelona goals and turning the scores of El Clasico's win to 95 each. 11 - Luis Suarez has scored 11 goals against Real Madrid in all competitions, his favourite opponent for @FCBarcelona. Nightmare. pic.twitter.com/m7QxGp6ILb — OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 27, 2019 2) Chelsea's Revival After some torrid weeks, Chelsea vs Tottenham is not the exact match that any Chelsea fan would've wanted to get their team back on track. Losing 6-0 to Manchester City, 2-0 to Manchester United, 4-3 on penalties in the League Cup final plus the whole Kepa fiasco, this London Derby seemed like a walk in the park for Spurs. Pedro Rodriguez He may be inconsistent, old, and frustrating at times But you cannot deny this guy will put 120% effort and determination into every game he plays for this club. Not to mention still pop up with classy and important goals. Class act pic.twitter.com/h37OGaMi3K — Chief TJ (@Cxlteck) February 28, 2019 However, Spurs being Spurs, bottled it. With scores at 0-0, Pedro decided to get on his bike and slotted a beautifully lofted pass by Azpilicueta past Lloris. If that was not enough, Kieran Trippier stepped up and did the most Spurs thing ever. We still cannot wrap our heads around it. Trippier's own goal with his World Cup goal commentary! ð­ðpic.twitter.com/jyeVONn4Sd — Talha (@talhaj04) February 28, 2019 3) Gunning For North London Derby In a routine 5-1 victory over Bournemouth, Arsenal's quality was on point. With Mesut Ozil finally getting his chance in the first team it was a fun ride for the Gunners. What stole the show was Ozil's chip over Bournemouth keeper, Artur Boruc. Play. Repeat. Play. Repeat. Godzil done The Ozil finish again! #TheOzil #Ozil #Signaturefinish pic.twitter.com/a6q9rXj8FQ — Dee (@Deee213) February 28, 2019 4) Liverpool Smelling The Title After a stalemate at Old Trafford, Liverpool was back to its real self when they faced Watford. Beating the Hornets 5-0, it was Liverpool's defenders who enjoyed the evening the most. 2 assists each from Alexander Arnold and Robertson, a brace from Van Dijk plus a clean sheet, made for a perfect evening at Anfield. However, it was Sadio Mane's backheel which stole the thunder with his amazing back heel. Get yourself defenders that do both ðªpic.twitter.com/UgvLA9SGez — B/R Football (@brfootball) February 27, 2019 The Senegalese striker has already matched his best return for Liverpool and is hitting the form at the right time. Mane with a filthy backheel pic.twitter.com/JT0rp9I16x — Damian (@AIisson13) February 27, 2019 5) Lukaku's Reminder Manchester United seldom have it easy at Palace and this was another South London slog, thanks to a brace from Romelu Lukaku and a late strike from winger turned right-back, Ashley Young. This game marked a comeback for Lukaku on the scoring sheet, as the 'Big Belgian' scored for the first time in nine appearances, reminding haters that he still has a career at United.
  3. One of the well-known and respected managers in club football, Brendan Rodgers shot to fame after an impactful stint with Swansea City. His two-season stint from 2010 to 2012 also earned him the high-profile managerial job with Liverpool - one of the biggest and most popular football clubs in the world. But, after spending four years with the Reds, Rodgers departed for a different challenge in the Scottish Premiership with champions Celtic. Over a course of three seasons, the 46-year-old won seven successive trophies including the first ever 'Double Treble' (a treble in two consecutive seasons) in the history of Scottish football history. #WelcomeBrendan𦠗 Leicester City (@LCFC) February 26, 2019 However, despite leading the Scottish club to the Premiership title this season, Rodgers couldn't really refuse the call of 2015-16 Premier League champions Leicester City. On 26th February, the Foxes unveiled Rodgers as their new manager following the sacking of Claude Puel who was earlier in charge for 16 months. Marking a return to the Premier League, the Northern Irishman said: "I'll give my life to make the supporters proud of their club. Together, we'll be stronger and I'm looking forward to working with the players, staff and supporters to make the right steps forward". "I'm joining a fantastic club." ðµ Hear from our new First Team Manager as we say #WelcomeBrendanð — Leicester City (@LCFC) February 26, 2019 "I'm absolutely delighted to bring a manager of Brendan's calibre to Leicester City. I look forward to seeing what he, our talented, young squad and our dedicated, skilled team of staff can achieve together," club vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said. © Reuters Rodgers will be Leicester's fourth permanent manager in 23 months after Puel, Craig Shakespeare and 2015-16 Premier League-winning manager Claudio Ranieri were all sacked. Whether Rodgers will be able to change the fortunes for Leicester or not, it remains to be seen. But, the football fans expressed their views over Rodgers' appointment on social media. If he'd been any quicker, he'd have met Claude Puel on his way out... — Ian Donnelly (@iansdonnelly) February 27, 2019 Yet you could've waited till the summer? No point trying to justify it now. Your relationship with your own set of fans is over. Your legacy is tarnished. — A Club Open To All. (@celticcommunit1) February 27, 2019 Could of wrote a new chapter but chose to be a foot note, good riddance half a job Brendan ð — Jonathan ð¹ (@JonathanEFC1982) February 27, 2019 He will be sacked at the end of the season — QuickRunX (@QuickRunX) February 27, 2019 1st place in a one horse race. Great effort. Now onto a proper job. — Lee Bulman (@bully8337) February 27, 2019 Strangely, it seems like you could barely have left any quicker! — Gareth McCarter (@g2mcc) February 27, 2019 Celtic are massive but that league isn't great and he's done all that he can up there. Leicester are a good club with good players and it's a bigger challenge for him in a much better league so why wouldn't he go?! — Aide Dews (@AidyDews) February 27, 2019
  4. Ever since its global launch at the World Cup, VAR still divides opinions. Most of it is because of the time it takes to arrive at a decision and a fear of machinery failure. Wednesday's Champions League tie between Schalke and Manchester City had both. It took VAR three minutes and a technical failure before coming to a decision. According to some, VAR marks the 'Americanization' of the sport. Whereas some claim that it slows the game down thus killing the atmosphere. This 'killing the atmosphere' thing can be considered when thinking about lower leagues or some grounds where huge TV screens are not available. Old Trafford to name one. Also, football is all about uncertainty. Every single element of football is hard, stressful and miserable. The only release you have is the pure unadulterated joy of seeing your team score which VAR takes away. © Digital Trends But looking at the other side, what VAR gives is a fair result which is 'probably' the most important thing. The question at this point of time is not 'if VAR should be used or not?' It is 'how VAR should be used?' Since four of Europe's top five leagues are already using it with English Premier League in contention to introduce it from next season, it's quite certain that VAR is here to stay. This seems to be a tricky question whose answer we'll get only in future. What we can't stop thinking about is what major footballing errors could've been avoided had VAR been introduced earlier. Here are five of dubious mistakes where VAR could've come in handy: Three Cards Too Much © Sporting News Whether you're a player or a referee it is always a big thing when you're called up for the World Cup. Some handle it like a walk in the park while for others it turns out to be a mammoth task. For English Referee, Graham Poll it proved to be the latter. It was Croatia vs Australia, Poll booked Croatia's Josip Simunic in the second half and then again in the 90th minute, but for some strange reason failed to brand out a red card. He booked him again for the third time and finally handed over him marching orders. Though Australia went on to qualify but FIFA admitted that they could've asked for a replay if the result would've been different. Poll meanwhile was sent home and retired from the game a year later. You had one job, Graham. 2. Stephen Kiessling's Ghost Goal © ESPN Stephen Kiessling has had a decent if not spectacular career in the German topflight. Scoring 146 goals for Nurenberg and Bayer Leverkusen. But his name came into the headlines when he scored a truly remarkable goal against Hoffenheim back in 2013. 1-0 up, Leverkusen won a corner and ball found the big German, who could only direct his header into the side netting. Disappointed, the former Germany international put his head in his hands, but unfortunately for Hoffenheim, there was a hole in the net and ball went through it into the goal. Referee Felix Brych, simply seeing the keeper picking the ball out of the onion bag assumed it had gone in and Leverkusen led 2-0. After the match, Leverkusen's sporting director, Rudi Voller said,” Hoffenheim's owner has spent so much money on such a beautiful stadium, you think he would be able to spend a few more Euro's on a decent net.” Ouch! 3. German Tragedy vs English Karma © Vimeo If there is one word to describe England's major tournament performances since the World Cup 1966 it has to be 'tragic' (exclude 2018). It was the final of that World Cup that started it all. With the score locked at 2-2 after 90 minutes, the match went into extra time. A pass from Alan Ball set up Geoff Hurst. His fierce strike struck the bar and bounced on the line. The English celebrated and Germans protested. But after consulting his linesman, Swiss Referee Gottfried Dienst gave the goal. Germany pressed up in search of an equaliser and skipper Bobby Moore sprang Hurst once again, who netted England's fourth. This time putting the result beyond doubt. © The National It was World Cup 2010 and England and Germany met again, this time in the second round. Germans with their young but immensely talented squad were 2-0 up when England grabbed one back through Matthew Upson. With the halftime fast approaching, Frank Lampard struck a dipping volley from the edge of the box which left Manuel Neuer rooted to his spot. The ball struck the bar and bounced down into the goal before spinning and coming back onto the field. Uruguayan referee, Jorge Larrionda waved play on and Germany went on to dominate the second half, winning the game 4-1. Karma proved to be a b**ch even after 44 years. 4. Ram - Shayam Syndrome © Sky Sports Arsene Wenger's 1000th game as Arsenal boss came against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, it ended in a 6-0 defeat after his side was reduced to 10 men in the first 20 minutes. After going 2-0 up and having Arsenal on ropes, there was no stopping Chelsea and Eden Hazard. When the Belgian curled a shot around Wojciech SzczÄsny, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain was covering before he turned the ball wide using his hands. Clear red card offense. Cut to referee Andre Mariner, who sent off Kieran Gibbs. Bizzare scenes followed in which the Ox tried to get himself sent off but Mariner stuck to his guns. To add insult to injury, replay showed that Hazard's shot was going wide. 5. Hand Of Fraud © AS No list of 'football's biggest blunders' will ever be complete without this. Again it was England, again it was World Cup, with Diego Maradona being the beneficiary of some dodgy refereeing. At 0-0 an English defender spooned the ball into his own box and the world's greatest player ran through on goal. Realising his 5′2″ frame was not enough to beat keeper Peter Shilton, Maradona leapt into the air, lifting his head to nudge the ball past English keeper, and into the net. England went mad as the referee gave the goal. Four minutes later, Maradona went on to score one of the greatest solo goals the game has ever seen and Argentina went through. After the game, the little man claimed that his first goal had been scored a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the 'Hand Of God'.
  5. If there is something sweeter than scoring an extra time winner, it has to be reunions and rivalries. The better part of rivalries turns into controversies whereas reunions are celebrated and cherished. Since exceptions are always there, Luis Figo's hostile welcome at Camp Nou and the boos Angel Di Maria received at Old Trafford, are some of the few examples of the fact that reunions are not always a bed of roses. If you're still not over the 'Pogbrilliance' from last night, here are some thrilling reunions and rivalries to look forward to this week. 1. Tuesday - Liverpool vs Bayern Munich © Bavarian Football Works It cannot get bigger and better than this. Two European giants with 10 Champions League titles between them. Liverpool vs Bayern Munich at Anfield promises to be one of the games of the season. This match will see the reunion between a master and two of his apprentices - Jurgen Klopp and Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski. The German coach was responsible for bringing Lewandowski to Bundesliga and Mats Hummels to Borussia Dortmund. After the initial struggle, Klopp turned the Polish hitman into a phenom. He has now scored 193 Bundesliga goals and is just 2 behind the former Bayern Player Claudio Pizarro in terms of 'Most Goals Scored By A Non-German Player.' The former Mainz manager also transformed Hummels into one of the best defenders in the world, forcing Bayern Munich to buy him back from Dortmund. Lewandowski has come back to hurt Klopp on many occasions during latter's time at Die Borussen. It'll be amazing to see Klopp deal with the monsters he created. This match will also see Bayern come face to face with one of their treble winners in Xherdan Shaqiri, who has had an impressive start to the career at Anfield. 2. Wednesday - Atletico Madrid vs Juventus © therahnuma Atletico Madrid versus Juventus will see Cristiano Ronaldo meet his old foes. Currently the second best player in the world, Cristiano will meet Atletico for the first time since his move to Turin. It'll definitely prove to be a 'Clash Of The Titans' when the likes of Ronaldo, Dybala and Douglas Costa will take on Griezmann, Diego Costa and Thomas Lemar. For four years in a row, Ronaldo's Real Madrid ended Atletico's dreams of winning a UEFA Champions League title. Twice, those defeats came in the final of the competition in heartbreaking fashion. Just thinking about the reception he'll receive at Wanda Metropolitano sends chills down our spine. This match will also see Mario Mandzukic come up against his former employers. The Croatian who spent a season in the Spanish capital left after falling out with coach Diego Simeone. In other fixture, Manchester City will see golden boy, Leroy Sane, come up against his boyhood club, FC Schalke 04. Making it a night charged with emotions. 3. Thursday - Arsenal vs BATE Borisov © BBC Thursday will see Arsenal face BATE Borisov in the second leg of UEFA Europa League. To everybody's surprise, the Belarusian club came out on top in the first leg and will have a lead to defend during travel to North-London. What makes this match special is the return of former Arsenal player Alexander Hleb. His name might be the one that comes to mind when you think of the 2006 North-London outfit which came so close to winning the first Champions League trophy in club's history. But it was in Arsenal where the Belarusian played the best football of his career that eventually earned him a £12 million move to Pep Guardiola's Barcelona in the summer of 2008. It'll mark the return of a cult hero. 4. Saturday - Sevilla vs Barcelona © Inquirer In the race to La Liga title, Barcelona will face Sevilla in a tricky away fixture. Tricky because the last time Barca played Sevilla at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium, the home side ran out 2-0 winners in Copa Del Rey, only to be hammered away 6-1 by the Catalan club a week later. Though Barca leads Sevilla by 17 points in the points table, any slip-ups here will allow direct rivals Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid to cut short the lead and pile the pressure on Barcelona. 5. Sunday - Manchester United vs Liverpool © BBC Super Sunday! The final day of this exhausting week full of football will see four of the top six Premier League sides in action. Firstly, it'll be the North-West Derby. With Liverpool coming to Old Trafford and aiming to go on top of the Premier League table, Manchester United will do whatever they can in order to not let that happen. This derby can prove to be the biggest of them all in recent years, with United having a say in Liverpool's title bid. Any result of helping the neighbours Manchester City will be favoured by United faithful in order to disrupt Scousers' title dream. 6. Sunday - Manchester City vs Chelsea © Ronaldo Secondly, after 6-0 drubbing last week, Chelsea will face Manchester City in the English League Cup final at Wembley. After a dismal run of form, Chelsea has slipped to fifth in the Premier League Table. A win here will prove to be a morale booster for London club in an otherwise shambolic season. Manchester City is definite favourites for the final and this could prove to be the first step towards the unprecedented quadruple. Other Fixtures: . Lyon vs Barcelona . Chelsea vs Malmo
  6. If football matches are capable of enticing fans, the players' transfers dictate the fate of clubs who're in contention to secure the signatures of their valued assets. At the same time, the transfer windows can turn out to be a heartbreak for some fans, while it can excite others with new joinees. But, amidst all the hullabaloo, a lot of money is splurged by the football clubs to attract their potential targets which further equates to top wages and big-buck signings. While the summer transfer window has come to an end, there is no stopping the high-profile moves in club football. After luring Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid last summer, Serie A giants Juventus have now managed to steal dynamic midfielder Aaron Ramsey from Arsenal. Massimiliano Allegri's side will now be bolstered with the presence of the Gunners star at the Turin-based club. © Reuters The 28-year-old signed a four-year deal with Serie A champions for a staggering 7.8 million dollars per season. In the process, he became the highest paid British Footballer of all time (in terms of basic salary). The Zebras tried really hard to make Ramsey their prey in the January window, but couldn't succeed then. Fortunately, all their hard-work to didn't go to waste as they finally caught hold of him by the end. As per the pre-contract signed by former Arsenal player, he would be joining Juventus in July, after the completion of his contract with The Gunners. The British international hasn't cost Juventus anything because his contract with Arsenal finishes in June. But still, 'as a result of the registration of the player, Juventus will have to pay a wholesome amount of 3.7 million euros ($4.1 million) by July 10.' © Reuters Though the English midfielder was found nowhere near his game this season, he managed to provide mere 3 assists and could find the net just twice in his 22 appearances for the club. Despite all the stats, Ramsey is still considered one of the best midfielders in the PL. And joining forces with Miralem Pjanic, Paulo Dybala and Sami Khedira, could certainly produce some majestic performances for The White-Blacks. Looking at the current situation of the Unai Emery's Arsenal, Ramsey's move to the Serie A club seems like the best option for the three-time FA Cup winner. Let's hope that signing proves to be an asset for the star-studded Juventus line-up and helps them bag more trophies.
  7. For a man who initially started as a translator for foreign coaches, Jose Mourinho undeniably came a long way to establish himself as one of the best football managers in the world. Owing to his shrewd tactics and understanding of the game, the Portuguese won two UEFA Champions League and three Premier League titles amongst other notable tournament wins with multiple football clubs across the globe. In fact, it was his coaching success that saw him being roped in by Manchester United as their new manager in 2016. But, a series of dismal seasons, comprised of disappointing results, and deteriorating relations with players that eventually got him sacked at Old Trafford last December. © Reuters Since then, Mourinho, amid all the criticism and backlash from fans, has gone about enjoying life away from the dug-out. He carried out some media work and was seen spending time with his family in the warmer climes of his homeland. More recently, he has appeared as a special guest for Avangard Omsk's ice hockey match against SKA St. Petersburg in Siberia. But, just like his stint with United, it was an outing to forget. Jose Mourinho was a special guest at the SKA - Avangard game. Something went really wrong at the opening face-off. Pavel Datsyuk saved The Special One pic.twitter.com/I6SBRpobxi — Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) February 4, 2019 After dropping the puck between Avangard's Evgeny Medvedev and SKA's Pavel Datsyuk, Mourinho was looking to occupy his space in the crowd to enjoy the match. But, as he turned around to walk back along the red carpet, the former United boss fell on the ice as the carpet slipped beneath his feet. gerrard slip absolutely nailed the impression, is there anything this man can't do? ðpic.twitter.com/gXFba1qD3F — rei josé (@KingMourinho) February 4, 2019 Mourinho was quick to laugh off the incident as Datsyuk helped him back to his feet. The incident pretty much summed up his recent troubles and football fans made full use of the opportunity to take a dig at Mourinho on the social media. @sebastienesciorpic.twitter.com/BESG0cyFKP — JérémyNescior (@JeremyNescior) February 4, 2019 Sums up Mourinho's last season st united — Zed (@danzed_) February 4, 2019 Specialist in fallure. — glueface (@face_glue) February 5, 2019 ððððThe Chosen one!!ððððð.....doing a Gemma Collins on ice!!ðððððit don't get any funnier!ððð — D (@quatermass3) February 5, 2019 The slippy one — Levi Stubbs (@levi_stubbs) February 4, 2019 Gemma Collins in disguise? — TomStLawrence (@tomstlawrence) February 4, 2019 pic.twitter.com/WFSjQ5d2It — Tyler (@SergioKun0) February 4, 2019 Secret lemonade drinker ð¤pic.twitter.com/c7L2Y8uMG9 — Black and White Boy (@Biz_McIntosh) February 4, 2019 Paul Pogba wishes he'd been thereð¤£ð¤£ — Jack Clark (@saddlerjack05) February 4, 2019
  8. In the modern era of football, no footballer has managed to match the heroics of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. In a league of their own, the two phenoms have shattered records, claimed almost every honour there is to be won in the sport and continue to enjoy the spotlight for their unmatched skills. But, while the duo has enticed fans with their exploits, there is another man who, time and again, has proved he's not far behind. Brazil's prized possession, Neymar is probably the closest any footballer has come to Ronaldo and Messi. Third highest goal-scorer for his national team (only behind Pele and Ronaldo), the 27-year-old has won over fans with his dribbling, finishing, skill, pace and ability to play with both feet. © Reuters Currently plying his trade in France, Neymar has been a vital cog in Paris Saint-Germain's setup in Ligue 1. But, the recent times have neither been kind to the Brazilian, nor his fans. The PSG forward has been prone to injuries in the last couple of years, and his latest was the second to his fifth metatarsal in the right foot. With the initial threat of being ruled out for the rest of the season, Neymar has been recuperating well with a potential UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg a likely target for his return. While his injury has restricted his movements, Neymar remains determined to mark a return as soon as possible. And, his commitment was in full display at his 27th birthday party in Paris. Staying true to the party theme, Neymar was seen sporting a red blazer and even had red crutches to go with it. But, if his attire had people talking about his fashion sense, Neymar's tearful speech and birthday wish had football fans lauding his commitment to the game. "What I wanted the most as a birthday present today is a new metatarsal. So, I could be on the field fighting and doing what I love the most, which is playing soccer," Neymar said as emotions got the better of him. During his speech, Neymar revealed that he had thought about cancelling the celebration due to his injury, but after talking with friends he decided that it would be best to share a good time with his guests. "It's been very hard to be on crutches all this time. Every athlete knows how hard that is. They are giving me all the strength possible to help me return as soon as possible," said Neymar, who also thanked his PSG teammates for their support. While the PSG forward was slammed and laughed at for his antics at the Russia World Cup, his tearful speech would surely have people respecting his commitment to football.
  9. The seventeenth edition of the Asian Cup has been full of surprises. There were thrilling goals, exciting contests and shocking results. Favourites South Korea were handed an early exit after losing 1-0 to dark horses in the last eight. Australia lost their chance to defend their crown when they were eliminated from the quarterfinals at the hands of underdogs United Arab Emirates (UAE). But, while scintillating plays and unexpected results surely enticed the fans, the tournament, sadly, also witnessed a disgraceful episode which is now being touted as a new low in Asian football. The spirits of the home side - UAE - were high as they went past one opponent after another to eventually set up a date with their bitter Gulf rivals Qatar in the semifinals. But, this was more than just a game. It was the 'Blockade Derby' as dubbed by many ahead of the fixture. © AP A regional political dispute in 2017 saw Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cutting all political, diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar. The quartet continues to accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism and destabilising the region - the charges Doha has consistently denied. A land, air and sea blockade on Qatar also meant that the private jet carrying the 25-player Qatari squad took a longer route and had to fly to the UAE via Kuwait. On the other hand, Qatari fans were also unable to attend the games and support their national team from the stands in the UAE, where showing sympathy for Qatar remains punishable with up to 15 years in jail. However, despite all the political drama and hindrances, the Qatari travelled to the UAE to participate in a tournament - that holds a rich legacy in Asia - and play a sport - which unites people across the globe. And, it was probably the political problems in the Middle East that saw a charged-up Qatari side stealing UAE's thunder in their own backyard and securing a spot in the final. Fans throwing shoes at the Qatari players after they score their 2nd goal ð² pic.twitter.com/zCxyhZeWOc — Jordan Gardner (@mrjordangardner) January 29, 2019 The home fans at the Mohammed Bin Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi had made their feelings clear when they booed the Qatar players and their national anthem before the game began. But, Boualem Khoukhi's strike in the 22nd minute didn't just shut the home fans, but probably got them agitated. And, as soon as Almoez Ali scored the second goal for Qatar 15 minutes later, the UAE fans began throwing shoes from the stands to interrupt the Qatari forward's celebration. They don't deserve to host the asian cup if that's how they behave !! No manners and no sport spirit — M (@Mazaaaj) January 29, 2019 From there on, every player that went to take corners for Qatar had to regularly deal with projectiles of shoes and bottles being thrown from the stands. And, things got worse for the hosts in the 80th minute when Hassan al-Haydos added a third in the 80th minute with a chip over the UAE goalkeeper. © AP Insult was added to indignity in stoppage time when UAE defender Ismail Ahmed was sent off following a VAR intervention for an elbow to the face of Salem Al-Hajri before Hamid Ismail's goal sealed the game for his side. This is bullsh*t, if this was fifa, they'd place a ban..and Fifa is trash! This is unacceptable, I can't count the number of times I have cursed at Messi #Russia2018 but I'll never throw shoes, it only ruins the game for everyone — Celeste/Celeste™ï¸ (@CelesteIsAnArmy) January 29, 2019 Following the fourth goal and a certain defeat of their team, the UAE fans erupted in anger, throwing more shoes and water bottles at the Qatari players who were celebrating their progress to the tournament's final where they'll take on four-time champions Japan on 1st February. Bad attitude reflects their behavior ,no wonder this is UAE — Fatima Al-Abdulla (@fmalabdulla) January 30, 2019 The demeanor of the UAE fans was not only unacceptable, but also disrespectful for the sport. Even if there are allegations against Qatar for supporting terrorism, the footballers playing on the pitch should be treated with respect. The Qatari players were just representing their country like the UAE side. And, most importantly, the political drama should not devour the spirit of the game.
  10. This father has become quite popular on social media in the last week. If you haven't already seen, this father danced to the 'Frozen' soundtrack with his son in a gown and see how adorable they look. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ørjan Burøe (@orjanburoe) on Jan 20, 2019 at 3:19am PST A man who is comfortable with his masculinity even while wearing a gown is a man we adore and respect because this man wouldn't let society dictate how he should father his son. However, some people have negative reactions to it as well. For example, Piers Morgan would refuse to give him the tag 'Best Dad Ever' and why should a dad only be called great if he dances to Frozen, good point. However, you have to see the father's comeback to that. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ørjan Burøe (@orjanburoe) on Jan 24, 2019 at 9:18am PST This proves that he in fact is a great dad who doesn't believe in toxic gender norms. This is indeed something that we should all learn from him.
  11. The love for football is only second to the pure, unconditional, and strong bond between a mother and her child. But what happens when these two come together? It's something that we recently found out in Brazil. The video of a mother narrating the story of a local football match to her visually-impaired son, from September last year, is doing the rounds of the internet right now. Silvia Grecco and her son Nickollas, 12, have become minor celebrities in the Sao Paulo team Palmeiras after the mother was spotted on TV narrating one of their matches from the stands. Sempre muita emoção. ðð·ð pic.twitter.com/Nzl0qAcpLK — silvia grecco (@pringrecco) September 10, 2018 During a recent game between Palmeiras and Botafogo Futebol Clube, Grecco explained to AFP, “I describe details: this player is wearing short sleeves, the color of their football boots, hair color.” The most heartwarming sight was to see the young Nickollas, jumping up and down with his friends at the right moments during the match, and surprisingly in unison with the thousands of other fans, who were wearing the club's dark green jersey. ðððððððð — Danilo Charlds (@CharldsDanilo) September 11, 2018 Salute to the mother ððð — ManishSingh72 (@Singh72Manish) January 29, 2019 Tmj Nicolasðð — Temisâðð 1ï¸â£7ï¸â£ð§ð· (@TemisSSilva) September 10, 2018 Silvia further added that this activity is more about the emotions than the technicalities of football. Despite not being a professional, she gives her own spin to the events on the field, sometimes even including the curses sent down the referee's way. This is surely not the first time a disabled fan has become a social media sensation by following the sports they love, but this duo of mother and son would certainly be remembered for a long, long time to come.
  12. The title of this article might have stumped you and got you thinking like 'who does that?' but trust us, it did actually happen! Now, how far are you willing to go to ensure that when your team calls you, your presence is ensured? Turns out Ridvan a player of FIFA Manjeri, which is a team in Kerala's Malappuram 7s league, was ready to give it all and probably thought he could get Hermione Granger's time turner when he decided to get married and play football for his team on the same day! © talksport So, when duty called and Ridvan had to choose between getting married and playing for FIFA Manjeri, he decided to take a short 5-minute break, excused himself from the ceremony and went ahead to play for his team and even won the match. Well, not much is known about the consequences that he had to endure once he returned to his fuming bride and in-laws but his action has won him some love on social media at least. Ridvan asked 5 minutes from his bride on his wedding day to play football! What passion! I want to meet him! #5MinuteAur #KheloIndiahttps://t.co/BLLvpPr715 — Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) January 25, 2019 Proud of himð. Keep the spirit and let the passion growð»ð¤ — Amer Akbar Antony (@araf06) January 25, 2019 A true sportsperson... — Umesh (@Umesh89053246) January 26, 2019 Let's just hope his call of duty was answered with love and his wedding went on smoothly! That is some insane dedication there.
  13. One of the greatest sportspersons of all time, Usain Bolt will always be remembered for his astronomical achievements in the world of athletics. The Jamaican sprint king won multiple Olympic gold medals in London, Beijing and Rio to etch his name in the history books and create a legacy that is unlikely to be overhauled anytime soon. Thus, when Bolt announced his retirement as a sprinter, his fans, in every corner of the world, were undoubtedly overwhelmed by emotions as one of the greatest ever quietly walked into the shadows. But, then came a surprise. More of a joke, at first, which eventually turned out be more of a gimmick. But, Bolt thought otherwise. In fact, he began training with German club Borussia Dortmund before moving to Norwegian side Stromsgodset. But, his best opportunity came with the Central Coast Mariners of Australia's A-League. Appearing in friendlies with the club, Bolt scored a brace in a match in October last year which also earned him an opportunity to sign a contract with the team. After Usain Bolt announced his 'sports life is over', a look back at his first ever goal in football pic.twitter.com/kgKEXXFsf8 — Indy Football (@IndyFootball) January 23, 2019 However, the two parties couldn't come to an agreement on compensation as the club failed to find commercial backing to finance Bolt's desired wages. As a result, the Mariners and the 32-year-old star agreed to mutually terminate the trial in early November last year. An offer came from Maltese side Valletta last October, but they couldn't convince the sprint king to join them. Ultimately, unable to find suitors, Bolt has now decided to end his dream of becoming a professional footballer, calling time on his, supposedly, football career. "It was a good experience. I really enjoyed just being in a team and it was different from track and field and it was fun while it lasted,” Bolt said. But, with all due respect to the star athlete, did Bolt's football career ever really begin? Well, that was the question everyone was asking on the social media following his latest announcement. Career???? I done 1 day's work in a bank, never called it a career in banking on my Cv.... get back to stupid commercials — VintageEmery (@TheNormalGooner) January 22, 2019 No surprise that the fastest man in the world had the fastest soccer career — JasonA (@jasonA82189455) January 22, 2019 Only ended because no one wanted to pay his over inflated wages. One club that wanted to sign him just couldn't afford his image rights. Nothing to do with Bolt wanting to pay football, it was all down to money ð¤ð¤ð¤ — spamfiend1970 (@spamfiend1970) January 22, 2019 That was quick. pic.twitter.com/R7N9fv4vWq — The FPL Guy (@TheFPLGuy) January 23, 2019 Not what I wanted to hear about Usain's football — Inopportunesses (@bandraidoir) January 22, 2019 Gets asked to do one drug test and suddenly he quits football? Hmmm..... — arsesicky (@chaqadaqa) January 22, 2019 “Career.” ððððððð — Lord William Snootsworth (@Snootsworth) January 22, 2019 He was never a footballer. — Kev-G (@KevinG24004771) January 22, 2019
  14. Arguably one of the greatest players of all time, Lionel Messi has probably won everything there is in the world of football. From smashing goal-scoring records to winning coveted trophies, the Argentine has become one of the highly sought after players in club football. And, the fact that he has won the prestigious Ballon d'Or on a record-tying five occasions goes on to show how good he has been in the past decade. But, despite shattering one record after another in club football, Messi's prolific career is often marred with his inability to win a prominent trophy with Argentina. The Barcelona talisman has often come close to bagging a trophy for his country, but somehow he has always found himself on the losing side - something that continues to dent his reputation as the GOAT. The latest criticism for Messi came from his fellow countryman and footballing great Diego Maradona. The former Argentina footballer, who has shared a good rapport with Messi, hit out at the Barca forward while claiming that he is not a leader on the pitch and should not be considered a footballing God. © Reuters Highlighting Messi's contrasting fortunes with Barcelona and Argentina, Maradona claimed: "We shouldn't deify Messi any longer," Maradona said in an interview with Fox Sports. "He's Messi when he plays for Barcelona. Messi is Messi when he wears that shirt and he's another Messi with Argentina. He's a great player but he's not a leader. It's useless trying to make a leader out of a man who goes to the toilet 20 times before a game, he added." Maradona said in an interview with Fox Sports. Messi has spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, where he has won 33 trophies, including nine La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League titles, and six Copa del Reys. A prolific goalscorer and a creative playmaker, the 31-year-old holds the records for most official goals scored in La Liga (388), a La Liga season (50), a club football season in Europe (73), a calendar year (91), El Clasico (26), as well as those for most assists in La Liga (151) and the Copa América (11). © Reuters But, when compared with his stint with Argentina, Messi has struggled to replicate his club success with his national team. He has been on the losing side in all four of his finals with Argentina - three in Copa America and at the 2014 World Cup. To make matters worse, he has not scored in four World Cup knockout stages, while his outing with Argentina in the recently-concluded World Cup once again left his fans disappointed. Argentina, with a new-look side, have enjoyed a three-match unbeaten run since their early exit in Russia. They recently defeated Iraq 4-0 in an international friendly, but Lionel Scaloni's men will face a sterner test when they take on Brazil sans Messi on 16th October.
  15. Did you know the fastest man on earth is now a footballer? Yeah, me neither, but Usain Bolt is out there taking over another sport because why not? Usain Bolt made his debut as a substitute for A-League outfit Central Coast Mariners a couple of months back and now he's scored not one but two goals for a professional football team. There's only one way we can expect him to celebrate anything – with his trademark lightning pose, of course – and he did not disappoint. Here it is, @usainbolt, the footballer, scores his maiden Mariners goal. What a moment! Don't think limits! â¡ï¸ #SWSvCCM #CCMFC ð¥@FOXFOOTBALL pic.twitter.com/X7zrqmrYCZ — Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) October 12, 2018 So great! He joined the Mariners for an “indefinite training period” and also said, “dreams become reality through hard work”. He also added, “My first start and scoring two goals, it's a good feeling. I'm happy I could come here and show the world I'm improving. I'm keen to be a Mariner, to play my best and get into the team.” People on Twitter were also quite impressed. what a time to be alive — Ben Mc (@McElstuff) October 12, 2018 Yep, all the greats! The Earth is billions of years old, and I'm gladly alive to live in the era of Messi, Ronaldo and Usain Bolt?! ð — adem6 (@crnasrpska) October 12, 2018 Congrats! That's Awesome, congratulations Bolt @usainbolt — Taylor Corry (@TayCorry) October 12, 2018 But, this was just the beginning; not long after the first one, he managed to score his second goal for the night. Well, he really is quick with whatever he does. BOLT HAS HIS BRACE! â¡ï¸ That's two goals tonight for @usainbolt!! What a moment in sport, don't think limits! #CCMFC ð¥ @FOXFOOTBALL pic.twitter.com/0NeIH9i49V — Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) October 12, 2018 Everyone's happy when Bolt's happy. Nice seeing him being happy. A dream come true! — John Wahlborg (@Joaxwa) October 12, 2018 Literally anything can happen 2k18. It's 2018 and @usainbolt is out here scoring â½ï¸ð¤ pic.twitter.com/e79tjUlS1g — B/R Football (@brfootball) October 12, 2018 Terrific is the word. What a finishð®ðð» Usain Bolt scores his FIRST football goal for a professional side. Terrific finish @usainbolt ðð¿ pic.twitter.com/PHTtRlIYB1 — Oluwashina Okeleji (@oluwashina) October 12, 2018 What a way to celebrate! Usain Bolt taps in a second and follows it up with a #Fortnite celebration! ðª ð¥ @FOXFOOTBALL pic.twitter.com/mcPg42xMDy — Goal (@goal) October 12, 2018 So, it's safe to say that Usain Bolt, the footballer is happy and thriving!
  16. After beginning the season with two losses in their first three English Premier League (EPL) games, Manchester United turned their campaign around and repaid the faith of their fans with a much-improved showing against Burnley and Watford in their next games. But, on 22nd September, the EPL giants once again stuttered and ended up losing points against Wolverhampton Wanderers at home. Going into the game having won three successive away games, the Red devils took the lead against the EPL newcomers Wolves through Fred who made full use of Paul Pogba's assist. However, spirited Wolves somehow managed to earn a point when Joao Moutinho equalised after Pogba lost possession. © Reuters The result was definitely not what Jose Mourinho's men and their fans expected as the 13-time champions (in Premier League era) slumped to the seventh spot - eight points behind leaders Liverpool - in the points table this season. If losing points wasn't enough, the fact that Mourinho slammed his players by saying they weren't "motivated" as their opponents further left their fans feeling low. But, amidst all that, there was one silver lining for Man Utd and their fans. The 1-1 draw between United and Wolves saw Sir Alex Ferguson in attendance at the Old Trafford after his tense brain surgery. Arguably one of the greatest football managers of all time, Sir Alex was given a standing ovation and a rousing welcome on his return to the hallowed stands. A special moment at Old Trafford. #MUFC pic.twitter.com/vU8YWstnk1 — Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 22, 2018 The Scot waved at the fans and smiled amid a roaring Old Trafford crowd which stood in applause as he arrived to take his seat in the Director's box. Earlier this year, Sir Alex underwent a surgery for brain haemorrhage and was later spent several days in the intensive care unit. The news of his emergency operation had sent shockwaves across the footballing world with both players and fans wishing him a speedy recovery. Despite a mediocre show from Man Utd, the football fans across the globe expressed their excitement after watching the 76-year-old enjoy football again. Apart from a deserving welcome at Old Trafford, Sir Alex also got heartfelt messages on the social media. Welcome back boss ðð» https://t.co/VGMLO39Fw7 — Peter Schmeichel (@Pschmeichel1) September 22, 2018 From a @ManCity fan, welcome back to football Sir Alex — Mick Wildman (@mickey_blue_66) September 22, 2018 Rivalry put to one side for the return of a legend and a true champion! ðð¼ — Mick Wildman (@mickey_blue_66) September 22, 2018 I'm a rugby fan but even this made me well up! No matter your team or sport... respect is respect and a legend is always a legend — Bumbling&Bemused (@RaufR) September 23, 2018 Doesn't matter what team you support, you've gotta appreciate this manðð» — Sam Hadwen (@sam_hadwen) September 22, 2018 I was gonna say I'm not crying but i would be lying. Welcome Back Sir Alex â¤ï¸â¤ï¸â¤ï¸ — Taylor W. (@_TaylorMonet) September 22, 2018 As a lifetime Gooner I must admit it's great to c the great man back and looking well — gooner topcat (@topcatgooner) September 22, 2018
  17. Watching their city rivals clinch the Premier League title last season, missing out on key players in the transfer window and a tumultuous relationship between their manager and chief executive officer; Manchester United and their fans have almost faced it all in recent times. But, their troubles are far from over. The Red Devils finished at 81 points last season (19 points behind rampant Manchester City) and the ongoing edition of the Premier League is proving a bit tough early on for Jose Mourinho's men. While the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea have made it four wins in as many games, United has already lost two- including the shock loss against Brighton- and are currently placed 10th in the points table. To make matters worse, their glorified manager - who has already attracted a lot of criticism for his theatrics - has now accepted a one-year prison sentence in a bid to settle a tax evasion case in Spain. According to reports, the prosecutors had accused Mourinho of a 2.9-million-pound tax fraud. © Reuters A report in El Mundo - a Spanish daily - claimed that the Portuguese has accepted two six-month jail sentences for defrauding the Spanish Tax Office off 2.9 million pounds in 2011 and 2012 relating to image rights. But, the big question is: will he serve time in jail? Sadly, the answer is no. The Spanish law states that a sentence of under two years for a first offense can be served on probation. Moreover, the report suggested that the 55-year-old has agreed to pay a fine of 1.78 million pounds amounting to 6 per cent of the alleged amount defrauded. And, with Mourinho pleading guilty, the investigating court in Madrid is likely to suspend his one-year jail term. Mourinho will also accept to "render opaque the benefits derived from his image rights" and the data which he produced "does not correspond to reality with the aim of obtaining illicit profits". However, this isn't the first such case in Spain as earlier this year, former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, too, settled with the Spanish tax authorities to serve two years in prison and pay an 18.8 million euro fine in a tax evasion case. © Reuters While Man Utd and their fans might have taken a sigh of relief over Mourinho's case, the football fans made full use of the opportunity to poke fun at the Portuguese and his current club. So here we have a criminal managing an English football institution. Guilty of tax fraud and Gaol time. That must be good for the image of football. "There you go son strive to cheat the people out of their tax benefits when you grow up like your hero" — 001harry (@001harry) September 5, 2018 bit like his team GOING DOWN — MrKevin (@kevin_mrkevin) September 5, 2018 At least he can't blame anybody here. — Vito Andolini (@OQuadruple) September 5, 2018 Tax cheat given jail sentence but still appears on TV every week https://t.co/omUhY9PfvB — Paul Lewis (@paullewismoney) September 5, 2018 Says an Arsenal fan. pic.twitter.com/Mi1sLh8O1D — Abdulsamad Umar (@justabdulsamad) September 4, 2018 Gets away with it because of who he is — Emily â¤ï¸ð NUFC (@NaughtyEmilyB) September 4, 2018 Maybe Jose will cheer up now Tom, now he's avoided a custodial sentence for tax evasion in Spain!? ð — Maurice Kilbride (@MauriceKilbride) September 4, 2018 Does that mean he now has a criminal record, and couldn't enter the US for future Utd tours? — Duncan Lightfoot (@duncancfcfan) September 4, 2018 Deary me if that were you or i we would be locked up money talks — Paula m (@PaulaRossi47) September 4, 2018 Hope he will get 'respect' as a criminal. — Sidharth (@Sidart61_ssd) September 4, 2018 I think he would be happier in prison — Michael Darmody (@MichaelDarmody) September 4, 2018
  18. In the ever-competitive era of modern-day sports, every athlete is hell-bent on edging past their respective opponents to register a win. But, sports is not just about winning. No matter, whether you play for your society's shitty team or represent your country on the global stage, the one thing your coach must have (read: should have) stressed on more than winning is respecting your opponent. Without respect, we all might just be the bots, going about our business without any conscience, emotions and feelings. That's exactly why one of the world's most popular football clubs - FC Barcelona - has been seen instilling their motto 'more than a club' in the players over generations. Barca's philosophy runs right through the club from the first team down to the academy comprised of newbies. While their playing style is known across the globe, their strong belief in a way of living was in full display during an under-14 tournament recently. Plying their trade in the Junior Soccer World Challenge, Barcelona's U-14 stars locked horns with Japan's FC Persimmon in the quarterfinals. After the two sides failed to break the deadlock at 0-0 in normal time, the game progressed into penalties. With some hits and misses from both sides, the match was eventually decided by Adrian Gill's winning penalty that paved way for Barca's 11-10 win over the Japanese. Respect Effort Ambition Teamwork HUMILITY ð U14B @FCBmasia ðµð´ #Values #MoreThanAClub pic.twitter.com/pGI65r0LjK — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 25, 2018 It was understandably a heartbreaking result for the team from the city of Kawasaki. But, while many would generally unveil wild and animated celebrations after their win, the U-14 crop of Barcelona, despite their tender age, produced a heartfelt gesture - one that will surely make Lionel Messi and his boys feel proud. Barca's match-winner Gill immediately consoled the opposition goalkeeper, grabbing and helping him towards the centre circle. On the other hands, other Barcelona players were seen hugging and offering their congratulations to the members of the losing side. Their effort was lauded by FC Persimmon's technical staff and the spectators who were overwhelmed with emotions. The Spanish club shared the touching video on Twitter while lauding their U-14s for their respect, effort, ambition, teamwork and humility - all virtues of a successful team. And, the football fans across the globe took notice of the exploits of the budding footballers and showered praise on the microblogging website. We need more of that.This young stars should be taught how to love each other â — Khani prosperity (@Khaniprosperity) August 25, 2018 Senior team should learn from them — Veipunii Lana (@VeipuniiL) August 26, 2018 aww I've watched it like 6 times...More Than A Club indeed #Humility — Fatwi k3k3 ð¬ð­ (@yelvis_corni) August 25, 2018 This is very sweet.⺠— S-L-I-M-E a slime (@TeeManCool_AF) August 25, 2018 This is very touchingð­ ð¥ððâ¤â½ — CalvinfutureTau (@calvinfuture) August 26, 2018 That's one of the big reason "why I love BARCA" — Amar sharma (@Amar_sharma0410) August 26, 2018 More than a club ♥ï¸ð pic.twitter.com/k44TnH0suK — Dee (@I_am_debor) August 25, 2018
  19. The 2018 FIFA World Cup is over, but I am sure most of us are still reeling from the shock that this football tournament left us with. In the beginning, the battles of the fans were clear and our biases were more or less figured out - Ronaldo vs Messi. But, after the unexpected exit of Portugal and Argentina in the round of 16, all our hopes and cheers got divided between the remaining teams. © Instagram Post the World Cup exit, Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Juventus and Lionel Messi is currently busy spending some quality time practicing football with Hulk, his giant Dogue de Bordeaux. People say a dog is a man's best friend, but if you have one of the greatest footballers in the world by your side, chances are that the dog will be better in the sport than most of us. And this 30-second video, right here, is proof of the same. © Insatgram While you feel proud and enroll yourself for the post of President of the 'Dogs' BFF' society when your dog fetches the ball; Messi isn't your regular dog owner, so clearly, Hulk has to go through this kind of training. ð¦â½ï¸ A post shared by AntoRoccuzzo88 (@antoroccuzzo88) on Jul 30, 2018 at 4:29am PDT In fact, Hulk even found a fan in one of Messi's kids (Mateo and Thiago). While one was heard saying, "He (Hulk) is very good at playing football"; the other one said, "Yeah, but dad is better." This video was shared by Messi's wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, on her Instagram.
  20. After proving their mettle in the Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is), the Indian cricket team suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of a rejuvenated England in the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series. Despite taking a 1-0 lead in the ODIs, Virat Kohli and his men lost the next two games on the trot that saw England staging a comeback in the much-anticipated tour. Amongst some misfiring Indian cricketers, MS Dhoni was heavily criticised for his inability to score freely and aid his side in the hostile conditions. So much so, that it even fuelled rumours that the former Indian captain might end up retiring from international cricket. But, those rumours quickly subsided and normalcy resumed - both for Dhoni and Indian cricket fans. © Reuters Now, as the Indian team gears up for the highly-awaited five-match Test series, all eyes are on Kohli & Co, who will have to be at their prolific best if they intend to avenge the 3-1 loss they endured against England in 2014. But, while the Indian fans get ready to cheer for their side in Tests, Dhoni elated them with his football skills. Retired from the longest version of the game, Dhoni returned to India and was seen spending time with his family. The Jharkhand cricketer recently attended the wedding of Poorna Patel - daughter of former Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel - in Mumbai with his wife Sakshi and daughter Ziva. A post shared by Sakshi Singh Dhoni (@sakshisingh_r) on Jul 25, 2018 at 10:45am PDT And, more recently, our 'Captain Cool' was seen taking a break from cricket and flaunting his football skills in what looked like a low-key charity game in Mumbai. The 37-year-old played football with Bollywood actor and 'Dhadak' movie star Ishaan Khatter. Despite playing against each other, Dhoni was seen giving tips to Shahid Kapoor's younger brother. Ranbir Kapoor, who recently impressed everyone with his acting skills in Bollywood flick 'Sanju', was also seen playing alongside Dhoni in his team. Ishaan Khatter and MS Dhoni play football pic.twitter.com/0HxJmSt5k4 — vicky koire (@vickykoire2012) July 25, 2018 Dhoni spotted playing football in Mumbai.!! â½ pic.twitter.com/E5BYHOq1FI — DHONIsm™ ð (@DHONIism) July 23, 2018 Click from yesterdays football match. pic.twitter.com/D1azlvR9Vv — #MSDhoniFC (@i_mMSDhoni) July 24, 2018 While it was his football skills that wowed the fans, Dhoni also notched a personal milestone in international cricket recently. During the recently-concluded ODI series against England, the right-hander added another feather to his cap, after becoming the fourth Indian and 12th overall to reach 10,000 runs in the history of ODI cricket. He achieved the unique feat in the second ODI against England at Lord's. In the process, he has now joined the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Kumar Sangakkara, Brian Lara and Sanath Jayasuriya on the elite list.
  21. On 23rd June, 12 young Thai boys and their 25-year-old coach headed into a cave and didn't think twice about it, after all, this was something they had done plenty of times before. They probably didn't plan on staying there for more than an hour or so but as we all know, they emerged from there about two weeks later. 10th July is the day no one will ever forget, especially not them. After the whole ordeal, all of them were safely rescued and everyone celebrated the happy ending. It was truly a miracle that all 13 of them were safe and sound after two weeks in that cave. Reuters Now, it's been a week or so and all of them have recovered enough for their first public outing. Everyone was waiting to see them and here they are, happy to have survived something like that. They were all smiles as they waved at everyone and offered traditional 'wai' greetings during a national broadcast in the northern province of Chiang Rai. https://twitter.com/hashtag/WATCH?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WATCH: All 12 Boys of the Wild Boars soccer team who spent more than 2 weeks trapped in Tham Luang cave showcase their football skills before the press briefing https://twitter.com/hashtag/Thailand?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Thailand https://t.co/VVWXhlmW1R">pic.twitter.com/VVWXhlmW1R — ANI (@ANI) https://twitter.com/ANI/status/1019551346440179713?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 18, 2018 All of them showed up in T-shirts emblazoned with a red graphic of a wild boar – the name of their team – and carried footballs. Talking about their experience, one of the boys described being found as a 'miracle'. During the press conference, 14-year-old Adul Sam-on said, “It is a miracle.” Coach Ekkapol Chantawong said, “We tried to dig out as we thought we cannot only wait for authorities to get us.” Reuters One of the members also told everyone they drank water that fell from the rocks to survive before all of them were found by the British divers. They also talked about how much they actually learned from this horrific ordeal. One promised to be “more careful and live my life the fullest”. Another said, “This experience taught me to be more patient and strong.” Reuters The boys have gained roughly 3kgs of weight each since the rescue and had been going through confidence building exercises before today's event. Justice Ministry official Tawatchai Thaikaew also asked for everyone to respect the boys' privacy during this tough time because media attention could affect their mental health. He said, “We don't know what wounds the kids are carrying in their hearts. The media know the children are in a difficult situation, they have overcome peril and if you ask risky questions then it could break the law.” Reuters
  22. Russia's President Vladimir Putin gives a football to US President Donald Trump. Photo: AFPHELSINKI: Russia's President Vladimir Putin tried to lighten the mood at a post-summit news conference with US President Donald Trump on Monday by giving...
  23. Football, being the wonderful sport that it is, remains a contact sport despite a few denying this fact. With all the adrenaline rush that goes on, tempers often soar high and lead to unsavory incidents on the pitch. While this World Cup may not have had too many such incidents, footballers do not always manage to keep their composure. Teammates, coaches, opponents and even referees have gotten involved in such untoward instances, which have etched their name in infamy. Here are some of the most heated fights that have taken place on the football pitch: 1. Arsenal Vs Chelsea (2007) © Twitter Let's be honest, nobody cares about the League Cup anymore. However, in 2007, it was a significant moment as Arsenal came up against Chelsea. The two teams had had quite a few feisty encounters at the time, and their managers Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho constantly had a go at each other. Chelsea scored a late goal and led 2-1, and with the match deep into injury time, the ball broke free in midfield and Jon Obi Mikel and Kolo Toure both tore into each other to get the possession. Before we knew it, Toure and Mikel were at each other's collars. Players from both teams got involved and it soon became a street fight, resulting in both the alarmed managers invading the pitch in an effort to calm things down. The match ended with Mikel, Toure, and Adebayor being sent off. The FA wasn't going to let this slide and handed out massive punishments to both the clubs. All the suspensions were held, with Adebayor and Eboue being suspended for four instead of three games. The clubs were fined GBP 100,000 for failing to control their players and both the managers were reprimanded for their ungraceful remarks about the officials. Overall, it was a total shit-show. 2. Kieron Dyer Vs Lee Bowyer (2005) © Twitter This one is actually quite funny. It was 2005 and Newcastle's glory days were few and far in between. In a regular Premier League match against Aston Villa, Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer, who were both midfielders for Newcastle at the time, decided to revisit their school days. The pair got into an argument about passing the ball to each other and in a split second, they were at each other's collars. Punches rained from both sides as they had to be separated by the opposition players and their own teammates. In the fracas, Bowyer had his shirt ripped and didn't look like he was done with Dyer. Consequently, Newcastle lost the match 3-0 and ended the game with 8 men, as Steven Taylor had been sent off before the incident. Both players were handed out massive fines and suspensions by the club and the Premier League. This was as hilarious as it was shocking! 3. Portugal Vs Netherlands (2006) © Twitter It's not really a football match when the entire match is a brawl. In the Round of 16 match between Portugal and Netherlands at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, 16 yellow cards and 4 red cards were handed out, as both sides ended the match with 9 men. Cristiano Ronaldo was kung-fu kicked by Khalid Boulahrouz and was forced off through injury. Luis Figo headbutted an opponent and was elbowed in the face sometime later. Even the benches of both the teams got involved. Portugal, eventually, did emerge as winners at the end of what seemed more like a Royal Rumble. 4. Sergio Ramos Vs Barcelona (2010) © Twitter How could we leave Sergio Ramos and El Classico out of this? In 2010, Barcelona were 5-0 up against Real Madrid. With Messi going on one of his trademark runs deep into injury time, frustration got the better of Ramos as he kicked Messi to knock him down. As Messi's Barcelona teammates aggressively surrounded Ramos, he shoved Carles Puyol, his national team captain in the face, exchanged a few words with Gerard Pique, kicked off a brawl which involved all players and supporting staff and on his way to the dugout, shoved Xavi Hernandez along the way as he nonchalantly entered the tunnel, leaving others to clean up his mess. Yes, he's always been a moron. 5. Manchester United Vs Arsenal (2003) © Twitter Matches between Arsenal and Manchester United have always paved the way for exciting duels. But, in 2003, the football madness - generally offered by these two sides - was shockingly complemented by some absolute shithoussery from the likes of Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira, Paul Scholes and Martin Keown. In one such match at Old Trafford, Ruud van Nistelrooy acted to perfection and got Patrick Vieira sent off. With the tempers flaring, Manchester United were awarded a penalty which van Nistelrooy missed. As the final whistle blew, five Arsenal players surrounded Van Nistelrooy and pushing, shoving and verbal tirades followed. The match ended in a draw and Arsenal went on a 49-game unbeaten run. A year later, Manchester United ended that run and a sour Cesc Fabregas threw a pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson for it. Those were the days!
  24. Despite their superhuman strength, unbelievable goals and breathtaking display on the field, the much-decorated footballers are just as human as the rest of us. While most professional footballers die years after leaving the sport, some aren't deemed lucky enough in that regard. In fact, there have been various accidents and scenarios that have led to players dying on the pitch itself, or a few days later due to injuries suffered in those incidents. And, that's not all. Football has also witnessed some stars losing their life to gruesome murders and other bone-chilling incidents. Here's a list of footballers who tragically died and left the game too early: 1. Piermario Morosini © Reuters Italian midfield man Piermario Morosini died after suffering a cardiac arrest during a match between his club Livorno and Pescara in 2010. Morosini collapsed in the 31st minute of the encounter, made an effort to get up, but fell right back on the ground. He was rushed to the hospital but was declared dead upon arrival. Right after the death of the 25-year-old, it was being reported that if the ambulance had reached a minute earlier, the case could've been different. Although, later it was confirmed that it wouldn't have made any difference. Astonishingly, the three doctors who tended to Morosini were found guilty of manslaughter years later. All three of them were handed suspended prison time for failing to abide by the laid down medical protocol. It is also questioned as to why a defibrillator wasn't used despite the stadium having two of them. Many reputed medical experts believe that the player's life could've been saved if a defibrillator was used. 2. Daniel Jarque © Reuters The famous Andres Iniesta celebration in the World Cup of 2010 always brings back the memory of the late Espanyol defender Daniel 'Dani' Jarque. Jarque spent his entire senior career at the Catalan club after joining them in 2001. Aged 26 at the time, he was named the club's captain in 2009, but one month later, Jarque tragically passed away at the team's training base in Coverciano during Espanyol's pre-season tour in Italy. The news stunned all of Spain, and Iniesta, in particular, who was left emotionally traumatized after his close friend's passing. One year later, the ex-Barcelona man scored the only goal in the World Cup final against the Dutch. An emotionally gratified Iniesta dedicated the most important goal of his career to Jarque when he demonstrated his undershirt which said: "Dani Jarque siempre con nosotros" (Dani Jarque, always with us) written on the front side. 3. Andres Escobar © Reuters The darkest hour in Colombian football surfaced when Andres Escobar was shot dead upon his return from the 1994 World Cup. Escobar played for Atletico Nacional and Young Boys in domestic football, and also represented the Colombian national team on 51 occasions. His rise to the global stage provided a glimmer of hope to the poverty-stricken people of his hometown Medellin. He was the nation's heart and soul, but things took an unexpected turn in the 1994 FIFA World Cup. In a match against USA, the defender scored an own goal after getting his slide to cut off a pass horribly wrong. The host nation went on to win the game 2-1 and Escobar was being scapegoated unlike any other player in the past. After returning from the World Cup, Escobar, despite several warnings, stepped out to meet with friends on the bone-chilling evening of 1st July 1994 and visited two pubs in town. Later that night, he was surrounded by three men and a woman in the parking lot of El Indio bar. Pretty soon an argument ensued, and Escobar pleaded for his innocence, claiming that the own goal was a mistake. But despite his protests, two of the men pulled out their guns and shot him six times. After the incident, reports claimed that one of the killers had clamored "Gol!” after every single shot. Escobar's legacy though, still lived on as his funeral was attended by over 120,000 people. The shooting took a heavy toll on many of his teammates, as some quit the national team while many hung up their boots altogether. 4. Marc-Vivien Foe © Reuters Cameroon midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe died after suffering a heart attack during the Confederation Cup final of 2003 against Columbia in Lyon, France. Foe, who was 28-years-old at the time, collapsed in the 72nd minute of the match and was stretchered off after various failed attempts to revive him on the pitch. The medical staff tried both CPR and oxygen, yet all efforts were in vain. He was taken to the medical center in Gerland Stadium, barely alive, but passed away moments later. The cause of his death was not known at the time, but a second autopsy stated that a condition called “hypertrophic cardiomyopathy”, known to substantially increase the chances of death during any intense physical activity, was the reason behind Marc-Vivien Foe's death.
  25. Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, smile as they prepare to meet Ireland's President, Michael Higgins, on their second day of a two-day visit to Dublin, Ireland July 11, 2018. Photo: Reuters DUBLIN: Britain's Prince...