Soccer never disappoints when it comes to news. 2014 was a long year of joy and heartbreak for fans and players of the game. This was the year of the Brazil World Cup. It was also the year in which David Moyes supervised one of Manchester United’s most embarrasing points in club history. That same year, while Lionel Messi made a name for himself as a living legend, Luiz Suarez bit his place into the football hall of shame.
Let’s begin with records broken over the course of the year by two big names of our generation- one a player and the other a manager!
1 MEET DAVID MOYES, THE RECORD BREAKER
- United fail to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1995
- United’s worst home league form for over a decade
- Suffered three defeats in a row for the first time since 2001 this season
- First ever home defeat to Swansea this term
- First home defeat to Newcastle and West Brom since 1972 and 1978 respectively
- First league defeat to Stoke since 1984
- First time United conceded a first-minute goal in the Premier League – Dzeko for City
- First time Everton, Man City & Liverpool have beaten United home & away
- Most defeats in a premier league season 10
- Most home league defeats for 12 years. 6
- A win in 13 games against the top9
- Beaten home and away by Manchester City, Everton and Liverpool for the first time in one season since Premier League’s inception
2 AND LIONEL MESSI, THE LIVING LEGEND
- Most goals in the champion’s league
- Most braces in the UCL history
- First left-footed player to score 3 goals with right foot in a single game
- Most goals scored in Spanish history
3 FINALLY SOMEBODY CHALLENGES REAL MADRID AND BARCELONA
Critics of the Spanish La Liga have long complained about only two teams winning the league year after year. Well, this year, Spanish soccer has a new champion and it is neither Real Madrid nor Barcelona.
Athletico Madrid put up an impressive form to win the league this year. They also went all the way to the finals of the Champions league where they lost out to Real Madrid, the giants of Champions League football. Their exploits this year won them more fans for both their game and their dramatic coach.
4 AND ARSENAL WINS A CUP AFTER 9 YEARS
Arsenal finally ended their 9 year trophyless run with a win in the FA Cup final against Hull City, and it was a spirited performance. After Hull City took a two goal lead, Arsenal came back from behind to level the score line at full time. It was Aaron Ramsey’s brilliance that won the match in second half of extra time. I could imagine if they hadn’t won that match, they would have gone 10 years without a trophy looking at how the 2014/15 season is turning out for them. It was so important that they won something last year.
5 BRAZIL WORLD CUP 2014
It was meant to be a host and win affair but it turned out to be a disastrous world cup for the host. Brazil received the most brutal defeat of the semifinals for any team in history. Brazil 1 – 7 Germany! Even if Paul the Octopus were alive, he wouldn’t have seen that coming.
Sometimes he gets so frustrated that he just bites opponents. Suarez was banned from taking part in any kind of football-related activity (administrative, sports or any other) for a period of four (4) months, and fined for biting Chiellini during the Uruguay- Italy game in the World Cup.
Suarez did not only bite Chiellini but England as well. The Uruguayan single-handedly knocked England out of the World Cup and never returned to English Football because he signed for Barcelona.
THE WORLDCUP TALKING POINTS
Never in my short life have I seen a world Cup game as boring as Belgium vs Russia, when fans were seen sleeping during the match.
Spain was also knocked out of the world Cup, a shocker to many fans who thought the highly rated Spanish squad will go far.
‘English Pele’ Wayne Rooney finally scored a world cup goal and his celebration tells us how long he waited for that goal. Though Rooney has played in a lot of World Cup games, he has never scored till this year. In the end, England did not go far in the competition, but Rooney will remember 2014 fondly.
GHANA BLACK STARS
Ghana’s Black Stars disgraced themselves and their fans all over the world when they embarrassingly fought over money. They wrote a script for a sad Hollywood movie when they forced authorities in their country to charter a plane loaded with their appearance fees in cash to Brazil. They demanded this money before their last group game and they did not go past that game.
Just a month after breaking the all-time World Cup scoring record, Klose retired from international soccer.“Lifting the trophy in Brazil was the fulfillment of a childhood dream for me,” he said.
In Klose’s home country of Germany, Borussia Dortmund are currently in the relegation zone. Given their impressive performance just last season, their current position on the league table is surprising to Bundesliga watchers.
However, Klose is not the only player to have retired from the national team. Philip Lahm, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole, David Villa and Xavi have all followed suit.
6 SIGNINGS OF THE YEAR
Throughout the transfer market, Vidal was meant to switch from Juventus to Manchester United but that didn’t happen. He seems to be enjoying his football under Allegri. Also in the news this year was the transfer of Angel Di Maria to Manchester United, sale of Lewandowski to Bayern Munich, Fabregas and Diego Costa transfer to Chelsea, Suarez to Barcelona, Alexis Sanchez to Arsenal, and Loic Remy’s controversial Liverpool transfer where he failed his medicals and soon after signed for Chelsea.
Frank Lampard finally bowed out of Chelsea in a way he wouldn’t have opted for. The world thought he will be plying his trade in the MLS but he found himself playing for Manchester City. Like a true professional, he came off the bench for Man City to deny Chelsea a crucial win at the Etihad Stadium.
Bonus: BUKOM BANKU vs AYITTEY POWERS
Although this is a soccer compilation, we just have to mention the boxing game between Bukom Banku and Ayittey Powers. An energetic Banku overpowered a powerless Powers in what is easily the most talked about boxing match to be held in Ghana in recent times.
Happy new year!