football · motivational · winner

A Winner is…

‘Winners never give up’. I think this is a slightly wrong statement to make. The correction I would make to this would be, ‘winners keep trying’. It isn’t giving up that makes one a loser. A true winner knows his strengths and weaknesses well, if he knows he needs improvement, he might admit defeat stoically. But he will definitely work hard towards getting better to overcome challenges he was previously unable to complete.

‘I, and only I am solely responsible for my actions’ this is a statement I often say in my head throughout the day, because I believe that a winner never has any excuses or doesn’t blame anyone or anything.

‘You can, if you believe you can’, people often completely quit thinking they are incapable of achieving their dreams. It is very important to have the right mentality and to believe that you can. My coach often reminds my team that football is played with the brain, the feet are just the tools to play it. You should never doubt yourself, you might not be able to do it now, but by doing it regularly you can surely do it soon.


“Hard work always beats talent, when talent does not work hard”, I have always agreed with this statement along with many other great personalities. You might be born to do something but if you do not practice it regularly, you can never master it, whereas if you practice the skill regularly and with discipline then nothing can ever stop you from mastering it. You must prioritize your goal above the rest of your activities, if it is just an option for you, you might not be able to achieve it just as you want to. So it is very important to put your goal above anything else.

Therefore I believe I will achieve my dreams solely through hard work, dedication and passion.


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A Fan’s passion for the Team’s glory!

I never really had to choose which club I would support when I started loving football. Real Madrid, the name just resonated with my heart. I love each and everything about the club, its name, its jersey, its players, its home stadium, everything! My favourite player Cristiano Ronaldo also plays for the club which just makes it better for me. The club has dominated all European tournaments since it was founded. Many football legends have played for the club including the Brazilian Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Raul Gonzalez, Roberto Carlos, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Luis Figo, Iker Casillas etc.


2006: Madrid’s legends squad


I became a fan of the club in 2014 and since then have tried my best to watch all the matches of the club. Since 2014 the club has dominated the world of football giving no other club a chance to prove itself better than Real Madrid.

The club was originally founded as Madrid Football Club in 1902. The club has been one of the best since it was founded. A Spanish king in 1920 bestowed the word Real in the name of the club meaning Royal in Spanish along with the royal crown in the emblem. The club hosts its home matches at the Santiago Bernabau which can hold an audience of 81,044.


Real Madrid holds many longstanding rivalries, the most famous being the El Clasico with FC Barcelona and El Derbi with Athletico Madrid. Madrid has won both these local rivalries more than their opponents.


Karim Benzema scores an acrobatic equaliser against Barcelona


Ronaldo scores against Athletico Madrid directly from a freekick

I being a die-hard fan of real Madrid try my best to always watch their matches live, even if they are against weaker teams and everyone knows Madrid is going to win. I don’t go to parties whose timings coincide with the match timings. Even if I am at a sleepover, I make sure I warn everyone that I am going to watch Madrid’s match. I am glad to have friends who are Madrid fans too and watch the match with me! The few friends that I have who are Barcelona fans are heavily outnumbered by us and have no option but to watch the match.

Recently I joined a football hostel where we have to submit our Phones and go to sleep at 9:30 and 10:30 respectively has restricted me from watching the late night matches as I have to get up early morning everyday so I cannot stay awake till the match starts and I don’t have my phone to put an alarm so I often have to miss Madrid’s matches. Since I started missing the matches, Madrid has lost its form and is not winning as many matches as before, so now to support Real Madrid I sleep wearing my favourite Madrid home jersey just to support my team.

My roommate in the hostel is also a Madrid fan, he is like a teammate when I am arguing with my friends over which is the best club in the world. Once the El Clasico  (Madrid vs Barcelona) was to be played at midnight and me and my friend had training the next day and we also had to submit our phones, so me and him planned not to submit my phone so we could watch the match on my phone. We didn’t tell anyone about this plan as everyone would have told us to wake them up too and watch the match with them. As planned, we woke up at 12.00 am, 15 minutes before the match, I wore my Madrid jersey and watched the whole match. In the end Madrid completely destroyed Barcelona. The next day me and my roommate were boasting about Madrid’s win or rather ‘our’ win!


Madrid’s Home jersey

It is my dream to play for Real Madrid in the magnificent white home jersey and score a fabulous goal in the El Clasico and lead Madrid to the win.

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The Perfect Guide to Football Trials

I recently attended the selections for DSK Shivajians football team in Pune which has the best training facilities in India. I knew I had not given my best and considered myself lucky when I got to know that I was selected to be a part of their academy. When I look back at how I had given my trials, I realize that I hadn’t performed so badly. Today, I will be sharing some tips on how to impress the selectors or coaches and stand-out from the rest of the people.

The Attitude you should carry on the ground

Firstly, you should not have even a drop of fear in yourself. You should be confident of what you have learnt and what you know. Your passion for the sport and self-confidence should be seen by the way you walk and talk. Interact with players who look better than you so you have an idea of where you stand. Chest out, back straight, shoulder stiff and you overall posture firm. This is the first impression on your selectors.

Things to do a day before and on the day of the selections

Rest is important. The trials normally start early morning and might continue for at least two hours. No parties, no sleepovers, no playing a day before. You can only give your best if you wake up fresh the next day. Eating a heavy breakfast before the trials gives you ample energy to give your best; I suggest having two eggs, a glass of milk and one or two chapattis. Always reach early. Reaching the venue at least half an hour early is good. You don’t want to be the only one panting and running up to the coach while others have already lined up!

At the venue of the selections

First thing you do on the ground is greet any official or coach you see who is part of the selection team in a formal manner. You will initially be asked to fill out a registration form which will probably ask you to write what position you play in. Be clear of what position you play in, you will also be asked this question before a match. Do not ever say ‘any position’ or ‘I don’t know’, these statements show your arrogance or lack of confidence. You will be given some time to kit up, wear your stockings, shin guards and studs. Always carry the full football kit and you own kit. Don’t borrow stuff from others. As soon as you are ready inspect the ground, find out whether its natural grass or artificial turf. The ball bounces a lot and much higher on natural grass and is harder to control while it is easier to control and the bounce is lower on the latter.

The Trials/ Selections

The participants will be divided into groups and will be asked to line up. The trials will mostly take place in groups. The trials that I got selected in included four stations for four drills. We had to do each drill for about 5 minutes. The coaches will either help you warm-up or give you some time to. The drills will be simple but will expose your strong points and weak points. You have to do these drills perfectly. Always listen to the coaches explaining the drills. First listen, and then clear your doubts if any. The drills will test your passing and receiving technique, your vision, your agility, concentration, speed and your attacking and defending abilities in 1v1 and 2v2 situations. It’s ok if you initially make minor mistakes in the drills but don’t let these mistakes affect your confidence and morale. One of the best ways to have the coaches notice you is calling out to the ones with whom your performing the drills; you will observe that very few people are actually doing this.

The Match

After all the drills are complete you will be asked to play a match, probably 9 to 11-a-side. This is your chance to shine, this is where most good players falter and are unable to give their best, you must always be confident and believe in yourself. You don’t need to show-off skills or freestyle tricks to grab the attention of the selectors; use only those skills that you have mastered. If you make passes which are progressive for your team, you are halfway done. Remember to stick to your position, don’t run all over the field without being needed; conserve your stamina and use it when needed. Scoring is not the only way you get selected, even if temporary you need to play for your team. If you feel someone is playing better than you or is just scoring goals, don’t try to play like him, stick with your natural playing style and try to show your strong points.

After the Match

After you have finished your trials don’t go and ask the selectors if you’re selected, this really irritates them; there are going to be hundreds of other people giving the trials after you, so be patient. They will let you know if your selected through an email or SMS whether you are selected or not. Do not forget to cool down after the match and change into relaxing slippers or floaters. Very less players cool down after the trials; the ones who do, catch the eyes of the selectors.

Some important things to keep in mind. Never play with the ball unless instructed to do so. Always listen to the instructors when they are speaking, if you have any doubts clear them after they finish. Talk respectfully and formally with the coaches and the ones around you. Do not fight with anyone on the field, always keep your calm.



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A ‘Beautiful’ coffee kick with Sunder Iyer

I recently had an opportunity to interact with Mr. Sunder Iyer, a sports mentor and tennis coach who has had many students under him who have been selected for national tennis trials. My mother had purposely asked Mr Sunder to generally talk to me about the world of sports and also share his experiences and tips.IMG_20170627_134244247_HDR

We had some great coffee while chatting. He started by telling me about himself and his journey as a tennis coach at PYC, Pune. Then he talked about the passion and hardwork one needs to have to become a great sportsman.

He told me about his son and how his son changed schools because he wanted to focus on cricket and academics wouldn’t allow him to do that. But then he surprised me by saying that his son does nothing even related to cricket now. He said that now that I had decided to be a footballer and  that I have a lot of reasons to do so, but it might happen that later I don’t feel like continuing football, so at that moment I have to search my mind and think of the reasons that made me forget everything else and only focus on football. This will help me to stay motivated and energized for football throughout my life.

He later gave me examples of Cristiano Ronaldo’s knuckleball, Djokovic’s backhand, MS Dhoni’s helicopter shot, and asked me if I thought if they had mastered all these in just a day. He said that to master a technique you need to practice it over and over again until you get it right every time you try it. Bruce Lee also said the same thing in his own words, “I don’t fear a man who has practised 1000 kicks once, but I fear a man who has practised 1 kick a thousand times.”

Later he emphasized on the passion required to become a popular sportsman. He asked me was whether my parents were forcing me into this football camp or was it my own decision. He was happy after my mother told him that it was completely my decision and that I have been trying to get into a residential football school since 7th. The passion, the hunger, the desire, the obsession for perfection is what makes a great sportsman. I have no doubt that I will never fall short of interest in football, I am always ready to work hard for football, and this is something I have learnt after reading Cristiano Ronaldo’s biography by Luca Caioli.

He also talked about importance of luck in the sports world. There are many players of the same skill level but ones who are lucky get through and the others stay there. He said that I might face dejection lots of times in my life, but then I have to be strong and never give up even if I am left back while others go ahead. He said that luck can be a deciding factor for success but hardwork is the most important and deciding factor in ones future. A hardworking player will always be better and more successful than a lucky player.

The last thing he said was that life is all about give and take, the more I invest in terms of time and energy, the more i will get from life. I cannot expect miracles to happen without doing anything for it. I should always challenge myself and make sure that today I am better than what I was yesterday.

I am very thankful to him for taking out his time for me and I am sure his words will always stay with me.

This coffee meet was highly useful for me and hope that it also proves to be helpful to you. Thank you!



Cristiano Ronaldo: Not only a Golden shoe, but also a GOLDEN HEART.

The four time winner of the ‘Golden Shoe’, formerly known as the ‘Golden Boot’, Cristiano Ronaldo is famous for his dedication and work on the football field, but not many people know about his contributions, charities and donations off the field. Many may criticize his style of playing or his rare arrogance on the field; but his actions for the betterment of the world can be criticised by none.EPA ITALY SOCCER UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL 2016 SPO SOCCER ITA

The Real Madrid striker was criticized for his vigorous celebration after he scored the winning penalty in the Champions League finals in 2016. Cristiano used the prize money he received for a good cause, but people were still trying to expose the conceit in his celebration. This did not stop CR7 from donating 500,000 euros from his prize money to charitable organisations like UNICEF, World Vision and Save The Children. This great act was ignored by his haters because they were busy trying to expose his pride of being the victor and calling it his superiority

Coming from a poor background himself, the four times Ballon D’or winner strives to reduce the number of children suffering due to poverty or terrorism in developing countries. Ronaldo actively makes donations to non-government organisations which culture and help under privileged children in developing countries to get basic amenities and fundamental rights.

He often posts pictures of him spending time with some of the children from the organisations. He is seen to be very humble while interacting with them without any feeling of superiority. He has also sponsored many refugee children in Syria through these organisations. A smartphone app features Ronaldo in various poses and outfits so his fans can take pictures with him in the foreground which makes the pictures look as if Ronaldo is actually with them. It is a paid app and all the money it collects helps refugee children in various countries.

The Portuguese captain also uploaded a picture of himself with his son Cristiano Jr. holding a picture of a Syrian refugee child, Ayman who loves playing football. Ayman’s father is a huge fan of Ronaldo and his son after witnessing horrid war moments was unable to talk for few months. As Ayman joined a school in Jordan still being a part of a refugee camp he started speaking and interacting with others. Football largely helped in his recovery from trauma. His father would show him videos of Ronaldo and now Ayman knows Ronaldo very well.c71

Abbott, an American health care company and Cristiano Ronaldo partnered to promote blood donations. The Real Madrid forward was the first ambassador of the BE THE 1 movement. He encourages young people to donate blood. “We can all make a difference by donating blood. Each donation can benefit up to three people in emergency situations and for long-term medical treatments,” said CR7 “That’s why I am enthusiastic to be partnering with Abbott to bring awareness to the importance of blood donation and to encourage people around the world to become lifelong blood donors and help save lives.” Ronaldo himself is a regular blood donor and avoids any activities which might prevent him from donating blood, even if temporarily.Blood-Donor

Anyone who dislikes Ronaldo will start liking him for his actions off the pitch after knowing what he gives to the world in return of what it has given to him. Even then if u hate him then, “Haters can keep hating, coz he will keep scoring!



Hi! My name is Samardhana Mane. I’m a teenager who breathes football. Football runs through my blood vessels. Though I haven’t start playing professionally at a very young age, my passion for football has helped me grow in the sport. My family and I had to shift to  Nashik because of my father’s job. I first played football there when I was in the 2nd and 3rd grade in the Don Bosco School. I didn’t study in it but just would go there in the evenings to play as I had very few people who would play living in my colony. Back then I didn’t love football, just used to play it for recreation.

I started taking interest in football only in the 7th grade when I was a first team regular in the school team, before that I was always a substitute and to be honest was a horrible player. Both my best friends were way better than me. Getting better than them was sort of a challenge I took up on myself. Then I couldn’t focus completely on football because academics were a larger priority. But I made sure that I would be practicing regularly and would attend all training sessions in school. Towards the end of 7th grade I started getting better, but I still wasn’t too good, nothing even close to what you could have called a young talent. But still, I never gave up on practicing regularly.

In the 8th I was one of the best in my school team only because of the hardwork I had out into through 7th grade. I started watching skill and freestyle videos over the internet and also started trying them at home. By the end of 8th grade I was the captain of the school team and all the players who were previously better than me now looked up to me. Our school team initially lost few games but then all of us started getting better. Then in a government organised local tournament our school team reached the semi- finals and we lost just by one unfair goal. The side netting of the goal wasn’t stitched properly that’s why the ball entered the goal from outside and the referee allowed the goal.

I continued to be the captain in 9th grade too but our team didn’t participate in many tournaments then. But I still continued training thrice a week and I would play football at least for an hour every day. I improved tremendously in the 9th grade. I could spot gaps better, dribble past defenders, use the skills I saw in videos in actual matches, my confidence had grown. I was now proud of myself on the pitch.

The first trials I ever attended were for a Manchester united tour sponsored by Nissin cup noodles held in Mumbai. I didn’t get selected for those trials and was disappointed a bit. The second trials which I late attended were for the i-league team DSK Shivajians. I wasn’t sure of being selected at these trials as I had seen people who were better than me in the same group. But a few days later I received a formal SMS from them saying that I had been selected. I blew up in excitement and that’s my story until now. I’ll be joining the DSK Shivajians academy soon in august. Wish me luck guys!