It was quite a year in football. Greats like Sir Alex Ferguson and David Beckham called it a day while Bayern Munich completed a historic treble by beating arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final. Messi and Ronaldo continued to defy logic as they scored an insane amount of goals while the Special One returned to Chelsea. Here are our top 10 European football moments of the year:
Bayern Munich’s Treble triumph
Bayern Munich won the German Cup, the German Bundesliga and the UEFA Champions League to complete historic treble. The season actually saw the rise of German football with Bayern beating fellow German team in the final. En route to the final Bayern thrashed favourites Barcelona 7-0 in two legs and are now the dominant team in European football. The treble has only been done seven times before and it was a historic moment in football. The team would also go on to win the Club World Cup later on to actually make it a quadruple.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement
One of the greatest managers of all time called it a day this year with Sir Alex Ferguson retiring from management after 26 monumental years at Manchester United. He oversaw the return of Manchester United as an elite of European football, overcame bitter rivals Liverpool in the league title count and forged a club that would continue to challenge for titles year after year. He also wrote another book documenting his journey which became quite a best seller.
Gareth Bale joins Real Madrid
Chaffing at Neymar’s rejection to join arch-rivals Barcelona, Real Madrid broke the world transfer record fee paying an estimated £85.3million (Rs 8,70,99,59,798.40) to sign Welsh forward Gareth Bale from Tottenham Hotspur. The record fee eclipsed the £80 million they paid for Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo when they signed him from Manchester United.
The Messi and Ronaldo phenomenon
For the last couple of years, Messi and Ronaldo have been rewriting the goal-scoring charts, scoring a ridiculous number of goals every years. These two footballers have completely defied logic with their proclivity to find the net and . In this calendar year, Messi has 45 out of 46 goals for club and country while Ronaldo has 69 from 60 appearances for club and country. Both of them are also in contention for the Ballon D’or along with Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery.
Jose Mourinho returns to Chelsea
Ever since Jose left Chelsea in 2004 citing differences with Roman Abrahamovic, Chelsea have struggled to piece together the consistency of the Mourinho era. High profile managers like Luis Felipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelloti, Villa Boas and Rafa Benitez couldn’t please the impatient oligarch nor the fans and Jose Mourinho finally returned to Chelsea after nine years away.
The redemption of Luiz Suarez
Luiz Suarez had a very interesting year. Earlier, he was suspended for eight matches for biting Chelsea defender Ivanovic and then tried to wiggle a move out of Liverpool and that too for Premier League rivals Arsenal. However, things didn’t happen according to plan and the sulking forward had to remain at Liverpool. Remarkably, the Uruguayan seemed to shrug off all the baggage the moment he came out of suspension, scoring remarkable goal after goal and terrorising defences. He has already scored a remarkable 19 goals. The striker’s form was rewarded with a new contract keeping him at Liverpool which has a release clause of £100 million pounds and this valuation goes up to £130 if a Premier League club wants to sign him!
No more Goldenballs
Football’s most famous face finally called it a day as former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder called time on his football career. Beckham was the most well-known footballer in the world thanks to his drop dead gorgeous looks and marriage to former Victoria. Beckham’s career saw him ply his trade in England, Spain, US, Italy and France – he called it a day after a last loan spell at PSG.
Match-fixing stink back in Italy
The match-fixing allegations returned to Italy again. . Big names like former AC Milan player Gennaro Gattuso and former Lazio player Cristian Brocchi were believed to be part of the a fixing ring. However Gattuso vehemently defended his honour.‘Never have I ever had the slightest thought about possibly fixing a game. If something was proven I would be willing to go out into the street and, I know this is a strong thing to say, I would kill myself. Anyone who knows me knows that I can’t stand to lose even a practice game, not even a game of cards with my friends. I’m angry and offended. I want to clear everything up so I don’t have a stain on my career. I have never gambled in my life.’
PSG’s rise to the top
The Qatar Investment Authority became the sole shareholder of the club in 2012 and it has been pumping in money ala Manchester City to build a team that can compete in Europe. They signed the likes of Zlatan Ibrahamaovic, Thiago Silva and Edison Cavani and actually spent 97.5 million pounds on transfers in 2013/14.
Wigan gives us a David-and-Goliath moment in the FA Cup final
The FA Cup, the world’s oldest professional football tournament, has lost its appeal in the last decade thanks to the rise of the Premier League and UEFA Champions League . However, Wigan Athletic brought back some of the romance back to the cup by beating moneybags Man City in extra-time. It was a huge upset as the small club lifted the first trophy in their history. Sadly, they were relegated at the end of the season but that just added to the magnitude of their giant-killing act.
Do you agree with our top 10 moments of the year? Did we miss any massive moment? Tell us in our Comments section!