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Jun 26, 2014

  • Lionel Messi scored the opening two goals for Argentina against Nigeria.
  • Messi has now equalled Maradona's feat of scoring four consecutive goals for his country.
Sensational Lionel Messi helps Argentina Top the Group
A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way John C. Maxwell

They said he is crap as he can't score at the international stage with his country. Once he started doing that, they said he still is crap, since he has only scored once in the World Cup. I am not sure what will be their excuse this time around. But trust me they will find some odd statistics to say he still is crap. "He has not yet scored with his head in a World Cup" could be the ideal line for defense of Lionel Messi haters; don't worry you will most probably here it soon. For those who followed him closely, which most the entire world does; this is not any surprise. He always has done one thing - score goals and tons of them. So Argentina has scored 5 goals in the tournament so far, not surprisingly four of them came from one player - Lionel Messi. The likes of Lavezzi, Aguero, Higuain, Di Maria all are yet to find the net, but no one is worried about that. Messi is scoring for all of them for the time being. Like Barca may Argentina is also realising slowly that you can't escape Messidependencia, not that they are complaining!

Jun 25, 2014

Lionel Messi once again proved the decisive factor scoring two goals. This second of his night was an absolute gem.

Futbol Club Barcelona has made an official announcement about reaching an agreement with Real Sociedad to sign Chilean Goal Keeper, Claudio Bravo. It is speculated that the deal will cost FC Barcelona 12 Million Euros, even though it is not yet clear whether it would be a one time payment or would be linked to incentives. Claudio Bravo, who is currently Captaining the Chilean National team at the World Cup's in Brazil was considered an ideal choice due to his experience in Spain. He has already spend eight seasons in Spain. His performance for Chile in the World cup also shows that he is currently playing at the top of his game. For many Barca fans, this signing sounds like music to ears especially considering he will be replacing Jose Pinto. For all his brave heart performances, Pinto never was able to instill any confidence into the side and fans.

Jun 22, 2014

Lionel Messi wonder goal secured a last gasp victory for Argentina and secured their place in pre-quarters. It took this brilliance from Messi to overcome an almighty Iranian performance. All Iranians should be proud of the efforts from their team. Funny enough with Bosnia losing to Nigeria, both Iran and Nigeria both still can have hopes to qualify.

Jun 21, 2014

Logic! Good gracious! What rubbish! E. M. Forster

Can we call this a Miracle? May be not! Calling this one could be equivalent to demeaning the Costa Ricans. For them this wasn't any miracle; they simply won two matches in which they clearly were the better team. The only problem was that the two sides which lost to them were Italy and Uruguay. And they were made to look pretty ordinary by a Costa Rican team whom many know nothing about. I swear to myself that the only player I knew in the squad was Navas, the Keeper. He has been the best Goal Keeper in La Liga last season. But then having a very good Goalkeeper counts for nothing especially when you are paired with three former Champions - England, Italy and Uruguay; in a group which everyone considered as the "Group of Death". In my preview for both Uruguay, Italy and England I have mentioned how all those teams could murder Costa Rica as in the end everything could come to goal difference. How much more Wrong can I be?

Jun 19, 2014

  • Spain lost 2-0 to Chile ending any World Cup hopes.
  • Both Chile and Netherlands have qualified from Group B.
Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it Thomas Paine

For a second time in running, the defending Champion in a World Cup has said good-bye before the tournament has kicked into his third gear. Last World Cup Italy suffered the indignity of exiting in the Group stages, this time Spain continued that tradition. This is the third time in a row this is happening with a European side. In 2002, France ended at the bottom of the Group, 2010 Italy maintained that tradition by securing the bottom place and now it Spain looks to be on course. By current playing form Australia looks more dangerous that Spain. So a bottom place finish is beckoning, will the Spaniards Oblige? May be this is the in-trend with the European World Champions.

Jun 17, 2014

The two images which went viral following Argentina's victory over Bosnia were Messi's Goal and the images of Messi refusing to shake hands with a little kid coming out of the dressing room. The incident happened when Argentina team were lining up for the start of the match with mascots, when one of the youngest one bravely came forward offering his hand to Messi. To his despair, Messi chose to ignore the kid and went ahead shaking hands with the officials. One look at his face will tell you how heart broken he was following that rejection. Watch the video below which will leave you with a heavy heart.

Barcelona futbol Club has made an official announcement about the agreement reached between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC for the signing of central midfielder Ivan Rakitic. Ivan Rakitic, who will officially pen his deal with Barca after he returns from World Cup, will sign a 5 year long deal. As expected and widely speculated, the agreement also sees Barcelona B striker Dennis Saurez joining Sevilla FC for a two year loan. As per the agreement, FC Barcelona will be paying 18 Million Euros for the play maker and another 3 Million in pipeline as incentive. Considering that we managed to sell Cesc Fabregas for 33 Million and sign Rakitic for half the amount, this is an excellent deal. At 18 Million he would be one of the cheapest player available this season.

Jun 16, 2014

  • Brilliant Lionel Messi strike secures Argentina match victory.
  • Despite victory, Tactical formation becomes a head ache for Sabella.
It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem. Gilbert K. Chesterton

It's the same story all again. Lionel Messi mesmerised the world once again scoring one of the best goals in the tournament to give Argentina the victory; but that wasn't without the usual criticism. Despite the victory, Argentina struggled to impose their will on the game. They struggled to control the game for long and was pretty lucky to have the lead going in to the break. They didn't deserve the lead at that point of time. As expected many of the criticism were directed at Lionel Messi without much sense. For those who watched the first half properly, it was so easy to identify the problem with the formation. The 5-3-2 formation never suited Argentina's attacking talent and the two forwards , Aguerro and Messi were getting isolated so often. This forced Lionel Messi to drop deep and deep in to the midfield; for some reason people question that also? One has to ask the question What was he supposed to do? He simply had no choice as their was no midfield in the game.

Brilliant goal scored by Lionel Messi in their opening match against Bosnia. This is only his second World cup goal and coming after almost eight years. It was worth the wait!

Jun 14, 2014

  • Spain's alternative playing style fail big time against Netherlands
  • Spain needs to win their rest of two match and hope other results go their way to qualify

No one expected such a result; forget the thrashing. The worst many of us was expected was a a tight defeat which could have been the result of the Dutch seizing the important moments. But this was hiding in every way. It was so surprising to see a team which looked pretty assuring in the first half to just wilt down completely in the second half. Had it not be for some late saves by Casillas, the scoreline would have looked even worse. The line-up looked brilliant for the Spanish but it never combined from the beginning. And it all went down hill once David Silva failed to increase the lead to 2-0 after an exquisite through ball from Iniesta put him through. Dutch equalised soon and that momentum they multiplied and carried in to the second half big time.

Jun 13, 2014

Neymar started his World Cup campaign in some style scoring two goals and securing Brazil a vital three points. In the match between two teams which everyone expect to come through the Group, the Barca striker's actions were decisive. In his first World Cup match, Neymar secured himself the first yellow card of 2014 World Cup and then helped Brazil comeback from behind. Along with Oscar, he was the best player wearing the reverred yellow jersey on the field. Usually the opening match of a World Cup will see a conservative match. But this one was different, it was thoroughly entertaining, made by both team's deficiencies.

Chelsea today made the official announcement of signing Cesc Fabregas as expected. This deal was in the pipeline for sometime, only to be delayed after Manchester United showed some interest. But finally Cesc decided to join Chelsea, which will grant his European football action. The total proce of the deal will be 33 Million, in which 3 Million is in form of performance bonuses. After it emerged that Barca is going to sign Rakitic soon, it was expected that Cesc fabregas will be allowed to leave. Once the Croatian arrives, the Spaniard will fall down the pecking order. That forced Barac to find another destination for Cesc Fabregas and Mourinho grabbed the player. I have to admit that Mourinho signing Cesc fabregas is somewhat a surprise to me, as he is not in the mould of midfielders the Portuguese like.

Jun 12, 2014

World Cup 2014 will kick off tonight with a mouth-watering match between host Brazil and Croatia. With that a month long festival of football will officially begin. New heroes will emerge along with some greats who will consolidate their place in history books. This promises to be one of the most exciting Football World Cup with so many teams featuring excellent attacking talents. The top contenders Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, Uruguay, Italy, Belgium etc. all have an exciting attacking line-up. That could make this World Cup one of the most entertaining in living memory. Last World Cup in South Africa had its fair share of criticism especially about being negative, but this one at least on paper looks more promising. I don't think many team will try playing a defensive style especially considering where the World Cup is taking place. For all the entertainment Brazilian players have provided us, this World Cup is obligated to return in kind.

Jun 11, 2014

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. Jim Rohn

A look through the odds set by the leading betting houses would give a picture of the front runners at this World cup. It does not surprise anyone to see Brazil placed on the top, with an odd of 3/1. Argentina surprisingly (at least for me!) is placed second at 4/1 ahead of Germany at 6/1 and Spain at 13/2. One may argue about placing Argentina ahead of Germany and Spain (may be the location being in South America mattered) but there is no argument about Brazil being favourites. They have been the favourites from the time they thrashed Spain at last year's confederation cup. Many pundits believe that they have got the most balanced squad in the competition and some even believe that they will just annihilate every opposition in the path.

Jun 10, 2014

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth. Marcus Aurelius

The rumours are buzzing around about a deal between Sevilla and Barca for the potential signing of Ivan Rakitic. Catalan radio station, RAC1 has broke this story and what we are made to belive is that only few details are left to close this deal. Ivan Rakitic, who have a 40 Million buyout clause would join Barca for 15 Million + another 5 Million in bonus deal. This is made possible due to a clause in Rakitic current deal with Sevilla, which lowers his buyout clause if FC Barcelona or Real Madrid comes caling for his service. Both of them had arrived, and it is reported that the midfielder chose the Catalan giants ahead of the current UEFA Champions League winner. If the reported price is correct, then it's one hell of a grab for FC Barcelona and a huge loss for Sevilla.

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. Winston Churchill

Again those damn lies! It's just don't stop wouldn't it? Then this is transfer window is all about, at least for Sport and MundoDeportivo. Yesterday they were at it again; the front page was full of stories about Marco Reus arrival to Barca. This was supposed to complete in a matter of days, or so did they say. The way it was put forward, especially the ferocity made it a believable one to many. But all those dreams have just thrashed by a clear cut statement from Borussia Dortmund. One has to question whether the way the Spanish media was building up this story forced the German club to make an official statement. Dortmund's Sporting Director Michael Zorc made it crystal clear what he thought about these rumours when popped the question :

Firstly, Marco Reus has himself said he will play next season at Dortmund. And secondly, it would be of no use to make an offer because we have no intention of letting Marco go.Michael Zorc, Borussia Dortmund Director

Jun 9, 2014

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement. C. S. Lewis

It's safe to say that everything that could have gone wrong have all went wrong in case of Bojan Krkić. From dubbed as the "Next Wonder Kid" out of La Masia, he has been relegated to the "Boy who lost his Way" quickly; and rightly so. His career so far resembles a Hollywood tragedy movie in full flow. Everything he has done to correct the course of his career has ended in bigger failures. But then fate alone is not to be blamed! Every coach he has worked with apart from Frank Rijkaard, have complained about his lack of intensity in training. It's the same story over and over again. Pep Guardiola questioned his intensity and attitude, it was the same at Roma and Milan and now with De Boer making it clear, he needs to take a good look at himself.

There is no substitute for hard work. Thomas .A. Edison

Jun 8, 2014

Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer. Rick Pitino

Germany lands in Brazil as one of the clear favourites to win the 2014 World Cup. They did suffer a set back in the form of Marco Reus injury. Any team will miss a player like Reus, that's a fact without any question. But with the kind of depth Germany has, his injury may not matter much at all. The squad strength of the current German World cup squad will give shivers to opponent coaches. They have so many options and quality players in every position other than the forward. It's puzzled many who have followed the German youth set up. Germany is struggling to find quality strikers to fill in the squad. Out of the all squad in World Cup, they could be the only one with proper center forward, an ageing Miraslav Klose. The personal feud between Stefan Kießling and coach Joachim Löw is not helping either. Will this deficiency hurt German at the World Cup?

Lionel Messi goal against Slovenia in a friendly in the build up towards the World Cup. It's always nice to see Messi getting in to scoresheet especially for Argentina's fans. The goal in itself was superb team play with a brilliant over the top ball from Angel di Maria.

Surprise is key in all art. Oscar Niemeyer

Many a times we underestimates people's capability to surprise us, especially in Sports. Greece's 2004 European championship victory is the one event which comes to the mind instantaneously. There was no way they could have won that. No one gave them a chance. No one actually had to! It was illogical to even think about Greece's chances. The best one could hope for them was getting out of that group having Spain, Portugal and Russia. They were not supposed to come out of that group, but still they did and kept on surprising us one by one. And that's what happens when people rise about the reasoning of logic. Not sure whether it was supposed to happen, it just happened. To an extent the hope of Surprise is what keeps England's dream living on in this World Cup. They are in a Group where everything could be decided by the smallest of details.

I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you. Friedrich Nietzsche

Now they say he is not going to join us! For weeks we have been bombarded with stories of how Barca have identified Aymeric Laporte as one of teh defensive reinforcements. Stories were broken about how the player and the FC Barcelona Futball club has reached personal agreement; how it's just a matter of time before we see the player wearing the renowned Barca jersey. Now they have a different take on all this. Why? Because Aymeric Laporte have renewed his contract with Atletic Bilbao, so did the club announced. Now the media pundits are saying that his arrival to Barca is not going to happen. one could ask why i never reported anything about this story. That's precisely because I never thought this will happen.

Neymar's Amazing Goal against Rayo Vallacano GIF

Neymar's amazing Goal GIF against Rayo Vallacano. This one of the best goal yet by Neymar wearing Barca's Jersey.

Jun 7, 2014

Mascherano scoring the goal from a Lionel Messi Free kick that hit the post against Trinidad.

Jun 6, 2014

Big results require big ambitions. Winston Churchill

It's strange isn't it? The one player whose fitness mattered the most for you, whose form concerned you for the whole season, is the one you would be hoping to be injured! That might be how Liverpool fans might be feeling now. At least they are hoping that he miss the England match. Luis Suárez who is recovering from a knee surgery is expected to be fit for their second group match, against England. He is definite to miss the team's opener against Costa Rica, a match in which Uruguay hardly needs him. Their second match against England could define the destiny for both the team. So the "Group of Death" which features three former World Champions may in the end depend on whether a little Uruguayan named Luis Suárez recovers from injury in time.

Jun 5, 2014

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts Winston Churchill

People, especially critics have been too eager to write off Spain's chances in the 2014 World Cup. They argue that the 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Brazil in the Confederations Cup as a sign of the era of Spanish domination coming to end. It is quite strange, they almost said similar things ahead of the Euro 2012! They easily forgot that Spain was similarly poor in the last confederation cup, losing to United Stated 2-0. To read too much in to the poor performance in a single competition would be a folly. After all the players who were the rock behind Spain's success are still there and kicking, the reinforcements have been arriving in quick time too. The quality of the players in the squad is unbelievable, underlined by the fact that in the recently concluded Champions League final had nine Spanish players starting.

Jun 4, 2014

Believe you can and you're halfway there Theodore Roosevelt

The only reason why we should be allowed to call Belgium the "Dark Horses" has to be their lack of pedigree in the World Stage. Or a better reason could be our unending craving for a superlative narrative. Otherwise what's the logic? Ok, agreed they were never considered as the main contender by many pundits. Then that's precisely due to their uncanny ability to overlook hard core facts. These are the same pundits who used to pip "England" as firm favourites every World cup only to be left wondering what went wrong! Belgium currently lies in 12th position in the FIFA Ranking, one below England and two below Greece. Then that count for nothing as there is no other European squad which has quality spread across all the position like Belgium has. At least in terms of squad strength, Belgium is miles ahead of England and Greece. One look into final squad announced by Marc Wilmots, you all will understand I am placing them as a Genuine contender rather than a "Dark Horse".

Jun 3, 2014

A leader is a dealer in hope Napolean

Lionel Messi, the natural heir to the throne of Diego Maradona, had emulated Maradona in more than one occasion. The best of it was that replica of Diego Maradona's goal in 1986 and the worst was the shameful handball goal against Espanyol. Messi had grown tremendously in terms of skill and gamesmanship since that hand ball incident. It's quite rare to see Messi diving to get penalty or foul nowadays. There could be one or two minor incidents at the heat of the moment, regardless of those he has been an excellent ambassador for the beautiful game in all these years. Since the time he has decided to play for Argentina instead of Spain, his countrymen have been waiting for him to deliver the cup. Lionel Messi, without doubt would love to do that and emulate his idol Diego Maradona's feats in 1986 World cup. But to do that he may have to put behind the poor performances of the past, especially in 2010 World Cup.

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