Football in 2012: An year in review




Football in 2012: An year in review

Football in 2012: An year in review

2012 was the year of turnarounds, Chelsea winning UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid winning La Liga, Manchester City emerging as English Premier League winners, Lionel  Messi breaking Gerd Muller’s record, this is just a bite of the mouth-watering cuisine that the football pitch cooked for us. Here are some of the standout dishes:

Match of the year: Arsenal 7 – 5 Reading, Capital One Cup
One of the best comebacks ever witnessed on a football pitch. Though none of the teams played with their best starting eleven, this match was a treat to watch. Reading made an amazing start scoring 3 goals in the first 20 minutes and making it 4-0 at the end of first half. Arsenal made a tremendous comeback by scoring 4 goals in the second half, 2 of which came in stoppage time. This was not all, at the end of 120 minutes of play the score was 5-5, Arsenal added 2 more to the tally in the added time, Theo Walcott scoring a hat-trick for his team.

Highlight of the year: Messi breaks Gerd Muller’s Record
A year which did not turn out Barcelona’s way, Lionel Messi still found a way to mark himself out as a brilliant player. He broke Gerd Muller’s 40 year old record of scoring most number of goals in a calendar year set back in 1972 when he scored a double against Real Betis in a league game. Muller scored 85 goals in 60 matches of which 72 came for Bayern Munich and rest 13 for West Germany whereas 79 of Messi’s 91 goals came for the Catalan side and 12 for his national team. It’s amazing to see Messi play.

Player of the year: Lionel Messi
In a year when Cristiano Ronaldo finally beat him to the Spanish title, and scored a lot of wonderful, thrilling, important goals, Lionel Messi still is the player of the year. If player of the year was to be chosen at the end of July, it would definitely have been Ronaldo. But Messi’s incredible run in La Liga and Champions League this season kept him a step ahead of his immediate rival Christiano Ronaldo, he breaking Gerd Muller’s record serves as icing to the cake.

Goalkeeper of the year: Iker Casillas
When it comes to select the best goalkeeper, the first name that strikes is Iker Casillas who has been a consistent performer for his national as well as club side. Leading his club to league title as well as his national side to their consecutive Euro win. The only upset for him will be losing the UEFA Champions league semifinal against Bayern Munich on penalty shootout. If not for the performance of his strikers during the shootout, he would have got another jewel in his crown. Being the captain of both the sides adds to his responsibility which he shoulders well.

Goal of the year: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The match in which he scored all 4 goals for his team in a 4-2 victory over English side, will be better remembered for his amazing overhead bicycle kick goal. The goal came in a friendly and when the side was cruising towards a comfortable win, so the importance of goal can never be measured against some other great ones. But, the goal itself was a treat to watch and will always make it to the list of best goals ever. An overhead kick from 25 yards when the ball is 6 feet in the air to score a goal requires a perfect balance of technique and execution and Zlatan’s goal had it all.

Glorious moment of the year: Chelsea winning Champions League
After losing in Moscow in 07-08 and the controversy in semifinals of 08-09, it was on 19th May 2012 in Allianz Arena, Munich that Chelsea won their first UEFA Champions league title. Topping the table in group stage, Chelsea went on defeating Napoli in round of 16, two time winner Benfica in Quarterfinals, four time winner Barcelona in Semifinals and stage was set for the finals. Bayern took the lead in 82nd minute dominating the game against high-class Chelsea defence, Drogba who was playing in the Blue Jersey for the last time equalized 2 minutes before the full time and then went on to score the winning penalty to win the trophy for his Club.

Surprise of the year: Celtic defeating Barcelona
There cannot be a better way to celebrate 125th anniversary than defeating the best in the business. The Scottish side defeated the Catalan giants 2-1 in a match dominated by Barcelona. Barcelona had 84% of the ball possession and attempted 955 passes to Celtic’s 166. Celtic had very few chances during the match but they delivered whenever they got a chance and it is what counts. Celtic got the lead in the 21st minute when Victor Wanyama headed the ball past Valdes, a breakaway goal from Tony Watt made it 2-0 late on in the game before Messi pulled one back for the visitors.Fraser Forster, the Celtic goalkeeper was the outstanding performer of the match.

Upset of the year: Holland getting eliminated in the first round of Euro
In the group of death, someone has to die. In Euro 2012, it was Holland. Before the start of the tournament the Dutch were considered as title contenders, but everything went horribly wrong for them and they lost all 3 of their group stage games to Denmark, Germany and Portugal. It was for the first time in last two decades that the orange lost 3 consecutive games. Nothing went good for them, their strikers misfired, their defence was disastrous and nothing coming from the coach and it all resulted in their doom, the group of death worked as the last nail in the coffin.

Also Read: Cricket in 2012 – A year in review

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