Why Wayne Rooney Will Always Be Special To Me

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Thirteen years. Sixteen trophies. One Wayne Rooney. (Source – @manutd)

“Wayne Rooney is leaving #MUFC to return to Everton”, read a tweet from Manchester United last evening, ending months of speculation and confirming the inevitable. The tributes poured in from fans and footballers alike, my Facebook feed was filled with people sharing videos of Rooney’s top goals in a United shirt, and debates were on about whether Wayne Rooney deserved to be dubbed a Manchester United legend, or whether he was merely another great goalscorer who stayed on at the club because it was the best option he had.

None of it mattered to me. Fact is, Wayne Rooney has been a big part of whatever I have known and loved about Manchester United. This is not because I believed he was, or is, the greatest player in the world. It is also not just because Rooney has been the one constant while his strike partners have come and gone. It is not because Wayne Rooney leaves the club as its highest goalscorer in history, finding the net a whopping 253 times in his 13 year stay. Wayne Rooney has been a big part of my interest in football because he was not like the rest of them. He was different. He had a different attitude, and a different way of doing things, which struck me as the most distinctive feature I would like to inculcate.
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The Leicester City Fairytale

Vardy, Mahrez, Leicester, Premier League, Champions, England
Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have had outstanding seasons for Leicester. Photograph – In-Cyprus

“It is Leicester.”

“Lei-chester?”

“Leicester. Pronounced Lester.”

A large section of football followers I know had to go through this exercise with me two years back when Leicester City broke into the Premier League. Not a lot had heard of them before, the only reason I had heard of them was because of Peter Schmeichel’s son, to be honest. Leicester’s best performance in English top flight came in 1928-29 when they finished second. Gone were those glory days, and the team had slumped to the third division as recently as 2009. As they went through the 2014-15 season struggling to stay up, nobody gave them a chance. Having narrowly escaped relegation in their first season back, they were favourites to face the drop this season.
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Mohun Bagan Win the League

Champions of India. Mohun Bagan celebrates its league victory. Photograph – NDTV Sports 
Mohun Bagan has always loved the big stage.

The National Club of India, the first Indian club ever to beat a European team back in 1911, the club that has united generations of football lovers, the club that shares almost the entirety of Bengali football glory with its great rivals East Bengal, is back in the limelight. As Mohun Bagan lifted the I-League trophy for the first time in thirteen long years, thus becoming the best club in the nation once again, a million hearts erupted in joy. 

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All The World’s a Cup

It’s here, it’s here! Speeding towards our collective brains like The Flash on steroids, the FIFA World Cup is here to unleash some glorious fanaticism, thus making it okay for a straight man to say stuff like “Cristiano’s ball-control is sexy.”
This is also the time you get to see the true colours of India – i.e. whether you unfurl the flag of Spain or Germany or Brazil or some other country whose only memory of India is a study in mismanagement. But enough about the Parliament.

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Let it Rain

“Into each life some rain must fall” – H.W. Longfellow.
Rain, Calcutta, Kolkata, Monsoon, Showers, Thunder, Storm
Through the looking glass | www.anirbansaha.com
There is just something about the sight, sounds and smell of raindrops falling from the sky that appeals to the senses more than any other natural phenomenon ever can. Rains make you realize the wealth of emotions that you carry. Rains make you introspect and retrospect, and bring you closer to understanding yourself. Put very simply, rains make you happy.
After braving the tumultuous heat of the Great Indian Summer, the rains come with a cathartic appeal – helping you transcend your dilapidated state both physically and mentally. The rains are nature’s way of asking you to let go. Let go of the soggy grimness that accompanied your summer. Let go of the exhaustion in your mind and in your limbs. Let go of your inhibitions and rise again, for the rains have washed away the sorrows of yesterday.
Rain, Calcutta, Kolkata, Monsoon, Showers, Thunder, Storm
Feel the tingling beauty of a raindrop on your eye. Picture : Saikat Bhadra

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