It was a Super Weekend for all the Sports lovers around the Globe. Indian Cricket fan continued to get their share of cricket by watching the Final of IPL 4. Motorsports fans were treated to a scintillating race on the street circuit of Monaco and Football fans were also in for a treat as Manchester United hosted Barcelona for the final of UEFA Champions League 2011.
First the Indian Cricket Fan. It seems that finally the great Indian Cricket fan has had enough of Cricket in last six months. Indian cricket fans followed their team first against New Zealand at home and then against South Africa as visitors. Then came the mother of all Championship ‘ODI World Cup 2011’ and the Indian cricket fan was glued to the TV / Laptops / Computers / Radio sets / and whatever else they could lay their eyes and ears on to keep themselves updated. The wait of 28 long years of bringing the World cup back home culminated on 2nd Apr. ’11 and the Indian cricket fan erupted in joy and poured on street and the party went on till the day break. Within six days Indian cricket fan was forced to take sides ‘for’ their favourite cricketer and ‘against’ their favourite cricketer when the IPL started. This was too much for the Indian cricket fan and as a result the much anticipated Play offs / eliminators were played in front of empty stands in Wankhede & Chepauk stadium. One man who stood tall amongst all this and could withstand the physical and mental fatigue was MS Dhoni and CSK successfully defended their IPL title. But amongst this entire hoopla one thing which was very clear is that Indian cricket fan has had enough of cricket for the time being and will like to have the break. The bench strength is touring West Indians and facing the much depleted West Indies in their own backyard will be handful for them.
The Motorsport fans are being treated to some fascinating races this year with Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel dominating the first six races. The latest being the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday which was dramatic to say the least. With the safety car being deployed twice and the race was red flagged and restarted with six laps remaining. This ended whatever hopes Fernando Alonso & Jenson Button had while Vettel was trying to hold onto his position on shredded tyres. The restart allowed Vettel to change the tyres without losing any time n pit stop and it then became very easy for Vettelto hold on to his position till chequered flag on a tough circuit like Monaco where overtaking is very difficult. Defending World Champion Vettel had won 5 races last year and this year he has already won 5 in first 6 races. He has a 58 point lead over McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton who seems to be a having a very busy week with the Race Stewards for his conduct and statements on and off the race track. Red Bull is a top team and they are confident of supporting Vettel to finish on top of many more races this year. Last year 4 drivers went into the final race with a mathematical chance of winning the World Championship but with 13 races still to go in the current season it looks almost certain that it will not be anywhere close as last year. Sebastian Vettel looks assured on the race track and controlled off it and looks to be safe bet for defending his World Title and with Mark Webber alongside him help Red Bull to win 2nd World Constructors’ Championship.
Now coming to the Football fans around the globe that transcend the Time difference to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars in action once again witnessed a classic on Saturday at Wembley. Barcelona did what they do the best, annihilate the opposition and don’t give them any ball, and as they popularly say without having any balls you cannot do much damage in a football match and went on to win the UEFA Championship League by beating Manchester United 3-1 at their own home. The brilliance of Barcelona meant Manchester United had only 33% of ball possession and only 1 shot at the target in full time as against 12 shots on target by Barcelona. To top the brilliance of all the other players, Barcelona also had a footballer called ‘MESSI’ in their ranks. After the match some football greats gave answer in affirmative when asked that is Messi the greatest ever Argentinean footballer…? Even greater then Maradona…..? Manchester United started the match brightly and tried to pin Barcelona in their own half, bypassing the strong Barca midfield by long passes. The only thing Man U could not achieve in those first 10-15 minutes was a goal, an early could have meant a huge crowd support for Man U and Barca under great pressure but this was not to be. The same tactics were used by Man U against Barca 2 years back at Rome and Barca’s manager Per Guardiola was ready for this and had his own plans against any tactic to be employed by Sir Alex Ferguson and he did so remarkably. Barcelona is currently considered the best team in the world and they once again showed the whole world why it is so.
It was a Super Weekend for the Sports lovers, now the cricket action moves to Caribbean and Formula 1 action to Canada & Europe where Motorsports fans will look forward to some challenge for Vettel from Hamilton’s & Alonso’s & Button’s to dominance of Vettel and make the 2011 Championship a little more interesting. Let’s watch out.
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