Hamza Choudhury, the Bengali starlet of Leicester City

Bangladesh is home to a huge number of football lovers. Football mania goes into full swing during the world cup season. And we all know how crazy the supporters can get.

There’s a huge portion of football fanatics who follow the clubs of their choice week-in-week-out. The English Premier League is arguably the best league for any professional footballer to play. And it is here we find a certain young English-Bengali starlet by the name of Hamza Choudhury. 

This is the story of Hamza Dewan Choudhury’s.

Origin and profile

Hamza Chowdhury, the Bengali starlet of Leicester City

Hamza Dewan Choudhury is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Leicester City. He was born on the 1st of October 1997, to a Grenadian father and a Bengali mother.

“Both my parents are Bangladeshi and I have been brought up in an Asian family. But I have Caribbean blood in me as my dad is from Grenada”.

Hamza stated regarding is ethnicity

Hamza began his career at the Leicester City Academy and was reportedly monitored by a number of European clubs. After a two-season loan spell with Burton Albion, he has broken into the Leicester City team in the 2018-19 seasons.

Read more: The story of one Jamal Bhuyan of Bangladesh

Next-Gen English talent?

Hamza Chowdhury, the Bengali starlet of Leicester City

Apart from his iconic hairdo and distinct ethnicity; he stands out amongst his Leicester teammates as part of England’s crop of exciting young footballers.

Only 21, he is part England’s new generation of footballing superstars; alongside Dortmund superstar Jaden Sancho, Chelsea’s Cullum Hudson Odoi and Manchester United recent summer signing Aaron Wan-Basaka.

Although currently playing for Leicester, he is constantly in the sight of premier league heavy-weights Chelsea and Man United.

If Hamza hones his skills and continues to improve his fitness and performance, it is likely he will be appearing for a top-flight club. He is currently playing for England U-21 team and hasn’t made his international debut yet.

Role model for the subcontinental diaspora in England

Hamza Chowdhury, the Bengali starlet of Leicester City

The sub-continental community of England and Greater Britain is one of its biggest, in term of both population and diversity.

Immigrants from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka among other communities have gradually seeped into most aspects of British life. Professional football is one of the few aspects British citizen originating from the Sub-Continent have failed to break through significantly. Some players of subcontinental origin have featured in the lower leagues and even Premier League; although the numbers are still far and few in between.

Though it is too early to predict the future of young Hamza Chowdhury’s football career, he’s certainly on the right track in representing the Sub-continent, especially Bangladesh in arguably the most competitive league in the world. 

So as the new season of the English Premier League is waiting to explode onto the footballing landscape, do keep an eye on the prodigious talent of our very own Hamza Chowdhury and his exploits with Leicester City.

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Mo Salah – breaker of the Ballon d’Or duopoly?

Kaka. That explosive Brazilian was the last person to win the Ballon d’Or. The last person to pose a significant threat to a still-developing Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Since winning football’s most prestigious award in 2007, the man became the most expensive signing in world football, had his career decimated by injuries and retired. During the 10 years when all that was transpiring and after his career concluded, nobody else has won the Ballon d’Or although some have come close.

Andres Iniesta — who recently received an apology from France Football, the organisation responsible for handing out the Ballon d’Or, for never having one bestowed on him — had perhaps one of the best shouts in 2010; scoring the winning goal in the World Cup, where he put on one virtuoso performance after another. He was also one of the lynchpins of Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Barcelona side of years past and had La Liga and a Champions league semifinal to his name to boot.

The closest contender to him at that point was thought to be Wesley Sneijder, a World Cup finalist and some would say the only creative outlet in Jose Mourinho’s Catenaccio-inspired Inter Milan side which went on the win the famed treble that year.

Yet, it was none other than Messi who won it for the 47 goals and 11 assists that he had picked up over 53 appearances. The biggest cog in the Barcelona machine despite not having scored a single goal as Argentina crashed out of the World Cup.

Fair or unfair, the reality that he won the 2010 Ballon d’Or reiterated the grim fact that performances alone were simply not going to be enough to win the award. In fact, many of the Ballon D’or’s critics would argue there has never been a consistent criterion to the award- which makes it all the harder to win.

It is then a testament to Ronaldo and Messi that there have not been any obvious choices aside from them — barring Franck Ribery in 2012.

Despite years of waiting there has not been a name who can contend with two of football’s greatest based not only on impact, but also on the jaw-dropping numbers that those two have put up on a yearly basis.

Enter Mohamed Salah.

His 43 goals in 47 appearances put him above both Ronaldo (42 goals in 40 apps) and Lionel Messi (40 goals in 50 apps) but, more importantly, the Egyptian has been doing it all for a Liverpool side punching well above their weight in Europe and, what’s more, he has been doing it from the start of the season.

After all, those are the differences to be considered between Messi and Ronaldo aren’t they?

Where Messi hit the ground running and sealed a potentially undefeated La Liga title for Barca by Christmas, Ronaldo only picked up in January and, in the process of proving that rumours of his decline were greatly exaggerated, scored by the bucket load and led Real Madrid, almost single-handedly, into the Champions League semifinals with a goal in each and every match of the campaign save the first leg at the Allianz Arena, tipping the scales of the Ballon d’Or in his favour.

In the meantime, Salah has done both. Not only has he been a driving force behind Liverpool’s run to the Champions League semifinal, he has also been the centerpiece of Liverpool’s run into the top four of the Premier League.

The only thing that may throw a spanner into the works, of course, is the World Cup. Egypt will have a tough time making it out of a group featuring hosts Russia, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay. If they do, they will have to face either Spain or Portugal, both sides that should, on paper, defeat Egypt.

However, should Salah either make it to the quarterfinals of world football’s showpiece event or if Ronaldo and Messi fail to make it deep into the tournament, the choice should be simplified.

Salah does not deserve to be judged by his team’s failures. He does not play for one of the best sides in club football nor does he represent a country in good standing in world football. He is a one-man show for Egypt and their qualification to the World Cup is a success in itself, bolstered by the fact that he was his nation’s top goal-scorer in qualifying.

His heroics for Liverpool have given them a season no fan could have fathomed at the start of the season. So while the debate rages between Ronaldo and Messi, Salah has every chance to break the duopoly that has gripped world football for a decade and it is possible that despite a potentially disappointing World Cup campaign, he will. And it would be deserved.

The diligent Frenchman: legacy of Arsene Wenger

It all started in the fall of 1996 when a fairly unknown French gentleman took the helm of the football club at Highbury, North London. One newspaper famously wrote the words,”Arsene who?”

Now, 22 years later, as he is about to let go of the reins, there is not a fan of the game who does not know the Arsenal manager. Deserving so, because this is the man who gave English football the Arsenal team of 2003-04 which earned the nickname “The Invincibles”. I was born the same year Wenger took the job so some of my earliest memories of watching football was this season in which Arsenal earned the title by remaining unbeaten for 38 matches in the league. Those were probably the best of the Highbury days.

When Arsene Wenger arrived at Highbury in 1996, he was a man ahead of is time. As fate would have it, he leaves now after 22 years of reign as a man out of step with the game. For Arsenal fans at least, it is a bittersweet moment. Many fans and experts would suggest that the appropriate time to step down was five years ago. Some would say it is a harsh assessment for a man who has given his club so much, but the it is hard to imagine that deep down the 68-year doesn’t know it as well. It’s true that he was the architect of both the bad and the good and was the mastermind behind both 1998 Double winning team and the 2004 “Invincibles” but statistics and trophy tallies don’t quite capture his influence because the qualities which made their beautiful fluid play has been absent from their game for the best part of the past decade. It was barely the shadow of the teams which brought out the flair and steel, determination and the breathtaking brilliance of the likes of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp.

Despite Wenger’s legacy being tarnished in the recent years and despite being someone who supports a rival team, I feel it necessary to profess my respect and admiration for him. The former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been leading the praises by calling the Frenchman “without doubt one of the greatest Premier League managers.” ‘

Indeed that is how many football fans feel as well.

When asked about how he felt about the retiring Frenchman, Bobby, a local Manchester United fan said, “Just like Sir Alex, he was a legend to his club, and deserving of being in the top 5 world’s greatest managers. Personally I’d say he was number 2 to Fergie”. He went on to add, “It was sad the way his fans called for him to go. Very sad”. Wenger himself said that the lack of “unity” among Arsenal supporters was “hurtful” to witness and says fatigue did not motivate his decision to leave. Many Arsenal supporters have been calling him out to resign for years. In recent months, some fans have even opted to boycott the home matches to send a sign of discontent with their club’s lack of success in recent years.

With the whole football community now looking back on his career with all of his achievements and failures, I cannot help reminiscing the days of intense but fantastic rivalry between Sir Alex and Arsene Wenger which are the stuff of legends. Both built fiercely competitive teams, which remain arguably the best the Premier League has ever produced. But while Sir Alex timed his United exit to perfection in 2013 after guiding the club to a 20th league title, Wenger might have stayed on too long. They say you either die a hero or live long enough to become the villain.

Today is the last time Wenger plays at Old Trafford, the last time he walks out of that low tunnel into football’s most magnificent theater. His last trip to Old Trafford, which is the ground where so many of his career defining moments took place apart from Highbury and The Emirates, will certainly offer some emotional triggers. A place of such great battles- and with it, there may come the realization for Wenger that this is the beginning of the end.