There’s an absolutely iconic photo of Lionel Messi doing the rounds after Real Betis game

In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. On the fifth day, God created every living creature of the seas and every winged bird to fill the skies. On the sixth day, God created Messi and the world of football.

A prophecy had been written that day. One day, a messiah will be born with a ball at his feet. He will then grow up to conquer the world of football.

Lionel Messi is a name that has struck terror in the hearts of defenders all over Europe. Ever since the Argentinian made his debut with FC Barcelona, the talismanic striker has been nothing short of excellent. As such, fans of the pint-sized Argentinian have long taken to Twitter to express their admiration for Barcelona’s #10.

All bets are off when the ball is at the feet of Lionel Messi. As such, opposition managers have long adopted the Indian local train methods, when it comes to shutting out the striker. Left short of choices, opposition managers have often relied on crowding out the Argentinian, with hopes of success. A classic example was on show during their recent outing against Real Betis –

The thing is that trying to pacify a player who was born with the ball at his feet and was blessed by the god of football himself is like trying to placate a saint with two guns. Does it work? The jury’s still out.

It may very well seem that Lionel Messi was not made for football. But football was made for Lionel Messi. Such is the gravity of the skill of the player that opposition managers have to rely on over four people to mark the Argentinian.

All we can say to the four people earmarked to crowd him out in the future is this – good luck.

American soccer expert answers Ronaldo v Messi GOAT question

I have so many questions. If pizzas are round in shape, why do they come in a square box? Why aren’t toasters called ‘tanning breads’? Who is the greatest football player in the world at the moment?

We may not realize it, but we are a fortunate lot. For we are living in a time when arguably the most gifted football player of all time and the most efficient footballing machine coexist today.

Future generations will one day ask their parents about the greatest sportsperson of all time. A ton of answers will crop up. But I think we can all agree that the list will hold the names the two people who have set the footballing world on fire for the last couple of decades.

The question, however, still persists. Who is the Greatest Of All Time? Is it the man, the myth, the legend – Cristiano Ronaldo? Or is it the man who was born with a ball at his feet, the footballing magician – Lionel Messi?

Sid Seixero, an American soccer expert thinks he has the answer.

Watch it here –

Sid Seixeiro has chosen a clear side in the GOAT debate, a question that has gone unanswered ever since Messi and Ronaldo have been vying for the award most prestigious, the Ballon d’Or.

While Messi and Ronaldo have both been plundering goals for their respective clubs all over Europe, fans have always been divided over who gets to be seated on the throne of the GOAT.

Ronaldo is the clear winner, says Seixeiro. In the video, Seixeiro goes on to state that Ronaldo has performed at arguably the same, if not a higher level than Messi while playing with teammates like Carrick and Fletcher. Messi, meanwhile, could count on the services of one of the silkiest central midfield duo of all time – Xavi and Iniesta.

Ballon d’Ors will come and go. Generations of players will come and go. But the GOAT debate will rage on. While Ronaldo will continue to conquer on the international stage and “prove” himself with clubs all over Europe, Messi will continue to do what he does best. Mesmerize.

Unless and until toasters are rechristened as tanning breads, the question of the GOAT will remain unanswered.

Liverpool fans set Twitter ablaze after talkSPORT journo claims club “lucky” in the Champions League.

It’s the 25th of May 2005. Istanbul is about to stand witness to one of the craziest roller coaster rides in the history of European football. By the end of the first half, Liverpool find themselves 3-0 down. They thought it was all over. But it wasn’t. If there’s one thing Liverpool are known for, it’s hope.

Courtesy of a man of the match performance by Liverpool’s Man Friday, Steven Gerrard, Liverpool clawed their way back into the game. A fifth European title, which seemed like a distant possibility in the first half now seems anything but.

The match went into extra time, then penalties. Liverpool and AC Milan had both won their last European cups after winning penalty shoot-outs. It’s anyone’s game now. But as Andriy Shevchenko squares up to Jerzy Dudek, there is a sparkle in the eyes of the Polish keeper. Shevchenko shoots straight down the middle, Dudek dives down to his right. Everything stops. Time slows down. Shevchenko thinks he’s won it. But Dudek saves with his left hand. Liverpool have now won their fifth European Cup.

The match will forever be referred to as the “Miracle of Istanbul”. Was it really a miracle, though? Adrian Durham certainly seems to think so –

“Liverpool are always, always lucky”, he says. “In Istanbul, it was all about pure luck”, he says. He even goes so far as to say that Liverpool were riding their luck against European giants Bayern Munich in the previous round this year.

The moment he said this, there were tongues of fire emanating from the eyes of every Liverpool fan on the planet. In his two minute rant, Durham went on to say that Liverpool were “lucky” in last year’s run up to the Champions League final and were once again lucky to draw Porto in the quarter-finals.

Liverpool fans are not known for shying away from critics. Twitter was abuzz with criticism against the talkSPORT journo, with Liverpool fans labeling the rant as “disrespectful” towards both clubs, especially Porto.

One thing is for certain. Adrian Durham will forever have to tread lightly in the city of Liverpool. But maybe Lady Luck will come around and save him. After all, Liverpool are known to have a string of luck, don’t they, Mr. Durham?

 

Man United assistant manager commits a ‘Phelany’ after Liverpool’s win against Bayern Munich

Four English teams in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. What a time to be English! Liverpool’s victory over Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena coupled with Chelsea’s and Arsenal’s wins in the Europa League has ensured that for the first time since 1971 six English sides have progressed into the next round of European competition.

Bayern Munich are nothing less than European royalty and Liverpool’s victory over the Germans have caught the eye of one particular Red Devil. It seems that United’s assistant manager Mike Phelan has had his pick of the lot.

Now, before United fans pelt their desktops with stones, let me tell you this. These are Mike Phelan’s words, not mine.

Have a look –

Via Twitter/@Mike_Phelan_1

While it may seem that Liverpool have gone off the boil in recent weeks, those fears have been put to rest, courtesy of a moment of magic at the Allianz Arena from Liverpool’s main man, Sadio Mane. The Senegalese, who is in the form of his life now has 10 goals in his last ten.

Liverpool fans will be hoping that Mike Phelan does them a favor when table-toppers Manchester City visit Old Trafford in gameweek 35. Of late, United fans have been caught in between somewhat of a rock and a hard place, with the 1st place in the PL frequently exchanging hands between bitter rivals Liverpool and Pep Guardiola’s Citizens.

Man United, meanwhile, have their own worries. The arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the interim boss has breathed new life into Pogba and co, with United sitting within shouting distance of a Champions League spot, two points behind the Gunners. The Red Devils do have Chelsea breathing down their neck, and with United yet to face Man City and Chelsea at home, it may seem like United’s baby-faced assassin has his work cut out for him.

Liverpool, who trail leaders City by a solitary point can only sit and hope that the Red Devils huff and puff and blow down City’s house.

Fortune cookies, Drake and Dalai Lama – Liverpool’s title bid is getting all the help it needs

Liverpool Fans Are Seducing Lady Luck Like There’s No Tomorrow

28 may seem like a random number to you. A number of little to no significance. In the red half of the city of Liverpool, however, the number has a certain gravity associated with it.

28 is the number of years Liverpool fans have had to wait for the title of Premier League champions. The number may well go up to 29 come May 12th. But if there is one thing that Liverpool fans are known for, it is their ability to cling on to hope like dear life itself. “Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart. And you will never walk alone”, they sing each night at Anfield; a song which gains an automatic bass boost during European nights.

With 8 games to go, Liverpool sit a point behind leaders Man City. But Liverpool fans are well versed with the concept of fine margins, having lost out on the title in 2013-14. This season, however, Liverpool fans are leaving nothing to luck.

  • Exhibit A – Blessings of the Dalai Lama

A Liverpool fan from Thailand carried his Liverpool scarf while seeking the blessings of the Dalai Lama. That’s one way of seeking divine intervention.

Via Time.com
  • Exhibit B – Confucius says, “Paint the Premier League red”

Call it a coincidence, or call it sheer luck. But one Liverpool fan’s fortune cookie read, and I quote, “Your sports team will be very successful this year”. With Liverpool contesting on two fronts, aiming for both, domestic and European glory, the Merseysiders could use all the luck the Reds can muster.

Via Reddit
  • Exhibit C – The cursed hotline bling

You wouldn’t associate bad luck with an artist as accomplished as Drake. However, in sports scenarios that definitely seems to be the case. Conor McGregor’s loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov was preceded by a visit from the one and only Champagne Papi. Liverpool’s 2013-14 slip up was preceded by the meet up between Daniel Sturridge and the one and only Drake. Recently, Drake was spotted with City’s Argentinian hitman, Sergio Aguero. If the stars are to be believed, Liverpool fans will be salivating.

City have scored the most goals this season, while Liverpool have conceded the least goals this season. What happens when an unstoppable force and an immovable object wrestle for the PL title? Guess we’ll find out during gameweek 38. Stay tuned, folks.

(Image) Proof that Kieran Tierney really joined the live stream when Rangers went 2-0 down v Aberdeen

As Steven Gerrard’s men hosted the Dons in the Scottish Cup quarter-final replay, Ibrox was brimming with spectators. Some carrying crossed fingers and some carrying their lucky charms. One spectator, albeit virtual, caught everyone by surprise, though.

Celtic’s flying left-back, Kieran Tierney was caught watching the Rangers go 2-0 down to Aberdeen in a live stream.

Here’s the proof –

Image via Twitter/@mcnxlly_

The 21-year-old left-back has been attracting a lot of attention since last summer on the back of an impressive season with the Hoops. The Scottish prodigy attracted even more attention as he tuned in to the live stream of the quarter-final replay between Rangers and Aberdeen.

Celtic supporters took to Twitter, licking their lips in light of KT joining the live stream, with some supporters even going so far as to brand it an act of class.

Perhaps Mr. Tierney was tuning in to have a cheeky look at Celtic’s opponents in the semi-finals. No prizes for guessing whom they face in the next round of the Scottish Cup. Interestingly, Celtic also host Rangers after a trip to Dundee FC.

The Scottish Cup was Rangers’ best chance of silverware this season, with Celtic having opened up a comfortable gap at the top of the table in the SPFL, effectively ending their hopes of the title.

Aberdeen’s victory over the Gers not only meant that the win extended Steven Gerrard’s wait for a taste of silverware, but it also meant that Celtic now face Aberdeen in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup, which further elucidates the impression that the Scot was on a wee little scouting mission.

(Video) Arsenal fans’ dislike for all things Tottenham was on full display after Aaron Ramsey’s goal

When it comes to dispute, there are two ways to go about it – All or Nothing.

Take the example of Hans Island, which is basically a large rock located in a wide channel of water separating Canada and Denmark. The island is contested over in a manner never seen before in terms of disputed territories. It all started when Canada left a bottle of Canadian Whiskey on the island and declared the territory. Denmark, in turn, responded by leaving a bottle a Peach Schnapps on the island and declaring the territory Danish. This is an example of the “Nothing” approach.

Exhibit B: The North London Derby – the hotly contested derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. The North London Derby has an almost Dennis-the-Menace kind of notoriety associated with it. The fixture has never been known to roll the Hans Island way, though.

Here is an example of the “All” approach –

As Aaron Ramsey scored his final derby goal for Arsenal in Saturday’s North London Derby at Wembley, the crowd erupted in a furor.

Arsenal fans went completely berserk as the Welshman breezed through the Spurs defense and rounded off Hugo Lloris to put the Gunners up in the 16th minute.

It was a moment that seemed to reverberate through the crowd of Arsenal fans. Pick any person from the sea of Arsenal supporters at that moment and anyone watching the derby for the first time would be forgiven if they thought that the place looked less like Wembley stadium and more like a warzone.

Arsenal fans’ disdain for the Lilywhites was evident as the sea of supporters rose with an adrenaline rush to jeer and throw jibes at the Spurs supporters.

The drama didn’t end there, however. Hugo Lloris turned savior in the dying minutes of the game as he saved a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty.

The draw left Tottenham in 3rd place, effectively ending their hopes of a title challenge, but did provide some respite to Mauricio Pochettino’s men following two successive away defeats at Burnley and Chelsea.