international football

Watch: If you thought Zlatan Ibrahimovic's hat-trick was lucky, check some of these out

Manchester United have been involved in quite a few lucky hat-tricks, but not always on the scoring end.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted his first hat-trick for Manchester United in their 3-0 win against Saint-Etienne in the first leg of their round-of-32 clash at Old Trafford on Thursday. With this, Ibrahimovic took his season goal tally to 22, with more than three months left. Ibra now has as many hat-tricks for United as a certain Cristiano Ronaldo. Not bad for a 35-year-old who came on a free transfer, right? In his typical style, Zlatan also went on to call himself “Indiana Jones” after the match.

However, in spite of the hat-trick, Ibrahimovic was far from being United’s best player of the evening. It was Anthony Martial who deserved at least one, if not three goals to his name. In fact, Ibrahimovic probably scored the luckiest hat-trick in the club’s history. His three goals came via a deflection, a tap-in and a penalty.

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Hard as it is to believe, Zlatan is not the first player to get lucky to score three times in the same match. Here are some other contenders for the luckiest hat-trick in professional football.

Dirk Kuyt, Liverpool vs Manchester United, 2011

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It was March 2011 and table toppers Manchester United were visiting Anfield following a defeat at Chelsea. Title rivals Arsenal had failed to get three points against Sunderland that weekend and it was a great chance for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team to stretch their lead at the top to six points.

However, what transpired was a second successive defeat as Dirk Kuyt scored the first hat-trick by a Liverpool player against Manchester United since Peter Beardsley in 1990. While that is a nice piece of trivia, Kuyt’s effort was by no means the stuff of legend. A certain Uruguayan named Luis Suarez was the chief architect of that 3-1 win.

Samuel Eto’o, Chelsea vs Manchester United, 2014

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Samuel Eto’o hammered in the final nail to the coffin that was Manchester United’s title defence as early as January when he produced a triplet at Stamford Bridge for Chelsea in a 3-1 thrashing. David Moyes’s United, who were struggling to cope up with life after Ferguson, were hapless in the match, which saw captain Nemanja Vidic being sent off as well.

Eto’o’s first strike looked like a wonderful left-footed curler from outside the box, but replays showed the ball had taken a deflection off Michael Carrick’s lunging foot before beating goalkeeper David De Gea. The Cameroonian striker’s second goal came via a side-footed tap-in, albeit well-placed one to beat De Gea, following a great low cross from Gary Cahill. The English defender should have had his name on the scoresheet in the second half when he headed the ball goalwards off a corner, but De Gea saved it, only for Eto’o to tap in the rebound.

Andrei Kanchelskis, Manchester United vs Manchester City, 1994

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Scoring a hat-trick in a derby match is the stuff of dreams and Manchester United winger Andrei Kanchelskis lived it in a memorable night for the Reds at Old Trafford in the 1994-’95 season. Kanchelskis scored a treble in United’s 5-0 win over their neighbours and arch-rivals on what Niall Quinn, the stand-in City captain, described as his “worst night in football”.

Kanchelskis’s first goal was a low left-footed shot into the net, but replays showed the ball took a massive deflection off a City defender, which wrong-footed the ‘keeper, Simon Tracey. The Russian’s second goal of the night was a tap-in into an empty goal after Tracey had come forward to try and grab the ball off Kanchelskis’s feet. The United winger skipped past the lunging ’keeper before gently tapping the ball in. Okay, it wasn’t that lucky.

Kanchelskis’s third also came in almost similar fashion after he received the ball from Eric Cantona on the flank and shot, only for it to be blocked by Tracey. However, Kanchelskis collected the rebound and lobbed it over the ’keeper into an empty net to complete his treble. Cantona and Mark Hughes were the other two scorers in the game.

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From catching Goan dances in Lisbon to sampling langar in Munich

A guide to the surprising Indian connect in Lisbon and Munich.

For several decades, a trip to Europe simply meant a visit to London, Paris and the Alps of Switzerland. Indians today, though, are looking beyond the tried and tested destinations and making an attempt to explore the rest of Europe as well. A more integrated global economy, moreover, has resulted in a more widespread Indian diaspora. Indeed, if you know where to look, you’ll find traces of Indian culture even in some unlikely cities. Lisbon and Munich are good cities to include in your European sojourn as they both offer compelling reasons to visit, thanks to a vibrant cultural life. Here’s a guide to everything Indian at Lisbon and Munich, when you wish to take a break from all the sight-seeing and bar crawling you’re likely to indulge in.

Lisbon

Lisbon is known as one of the most vibrant cities in Western Europe. On its streets, the ancient and the modern co-exist in effortless harmony. This shows in the fact that the patron saint day festivities every June make way for a summer that celebrates the arts with rock, jazz and fado concerts, theatre performances and art exhibitions taking place around the city. Every two years, Lisbon also hosts the largest Rock festival in the world, Rock in Rio Lisboa, that sees a staggering footfall.

The cultural life of the city has seen a revival of sorts under the current Prime Minister, Antonio Costa. Costa is of Indian origin, and like many other Indian-origin citizens prominent in Portugal’s political, business and entertainment scenes, he exemplifies Lisbon’s deep Indian connect. Starting from Vasco Da Gama’s voyage to India, Lisbon’s historic connection to Goa is well-documented. Its traces can be still be seen on the streets of both to this day.

While the Indian population in Lisbon is largely integrated with the local population, a few diaspora groups are trying to keep their cultural roots alive. Casa de Goa, formed in the ‘90s, is an association of people of Goans, Damanese and Diuese origins residing in Lisbon. Ekvat (literally meaning ‘roots’ in Konkani) is their art and culture arm that aims to preserve Goan heritage in Portugal. Through all of its almost 30-year-long existence, Ekvat has been presenting traditional Goan dance and music performances in Portugal and internationally.

Be sure to visit the Champlimaud Centre for the Unknown, hailed a masterpiece of contemporary architecture, which was designed by the critically-acclaimed Goan architect Charles Correa. If you pay attention, you can find ancient Indian influences, like cut-out windows and stand-alone pillars. The National Museum of Ancient Art also has on display a collection of intricately-crafted traditional Goan jewellery. At LOSTIn - Esplanada Bar, half of the people can be found lounging about in kurtas and Indian shawls. There’s also a mural of Bal Krishna and a traditional Rajasthani-style door to complete the desi picture. But it’s not just the cultural landmarks that reflect this connection. The integration of Goans in Lisbon is so deep that most households tend to have Goa-inspired textiles and furniture as a part of their home decor, and most families have adapted Goan curries in their cuisine. In the past two decades, the city has seen a surge in the number of non-Goan Indians as well. North Indian delicacies, for example, are readily available and can be found on Zomato, which has a presence in the city.

If you wish to avoid the crowds of the peak tourist season, you can even consider a visit to Lisbon during winter. To plan your trip, check out your travel options here.

Munich

Munich’s biggest draw remains the Oktoberfest – the world’s largest beer festival for which millions of people from around the world converge in this historic city. Apart from the flowing Oktoberfest beer, it also offers a great way to get acquainted with the Bavarian folk culture and sample their traditional foods such as Sauerkraut (red cabbage) and Weißwurst (a white sausage).

If you plan to make the most of the Oktoberfest, along with the Bavarian hospitality you also have access to the services of the Indian diaspora settled in Munich. Though the Indian community in Munich is smaller than in other major European destinations, it does offer enough of a desi connect to satisfy your needs. The ISKCON temple at Munich observes all major rituals and welcomes everyone to their Sunday feasts. It’s not unusual to find Germans, dressed in saris and dhotis, engrossed in the bhajans. The Art of Living centre offers yoga and meditation programmes and discourses on various spiritual topics. The atmosphere at the Gurdwara Sri Guru Nanak Sabha is similarly said to be peaceful and accommodating of people of all faiths. They even organise guided tours for the benefit of the non-Sikhs who are curious to learn more about the religion. Their langar is not to be missed.

There are more options that’ll help make your stay more comfortable. Some Indian grocery stores in the city stock all kinds of Indian spices and condiments. In some, like Asien Bazar, you can even bargain in Hindi! Once or twice a month, Indian film screenings do take place in the cinema halls, but the best way to catch up on developments in Indian cinema is to rent video cassettes and VCDs. Kohinoor sells a wide range of Bollywood VCDs, whereas Kumaras Asean Trades sells Tamil cassettes. The local population of Munich, and indeed most Germans too, are largely enamoured by Bollywood. Workshops on Bollywood dance are quite popular, as are Bollywood-themed events like DJ nights and dance parties.

The most attractive time to visit is during the Oktoberfest, but if you can brave the weather, Munich during Christmas is also a sight to behold. You can book your tickets here.

Thanks to the efforts of the Indian diaspora abroad, even lesser-known European destinations offer a satisfying desi connect to the proud Indian traveller. Lufthansa, which offers connectivity to Lisbon and Munich, caters to its Indian flyers’ priorities and understands how proud they are of their culture. In all its India-bound flights and flights departing from India, flyers can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options, making the airline More Indian than You Think. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalised by Lufthansa to the extent that they now offer a definitive Indian flying experience.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.