A mind-boggling year of football excellence loaded with unbelievable comebacks, record-breaking feats, and heartbreaking tears. 2017 has been an astounding year in the world of football, giving us unforgettable moments to cherish.
When we glance back at 2017 there are a few moments that are unforgettable that influence us to ponder about the beautiful game, giving us goosebumps each and every time. These were not simply unforgettable moments, but rather unforgettable experiences.
Paris Saint-Germaine Ruin Transfer market
Barcelona insisted Neymar Jr is staying put, neutrals were persuaded that any move would break FIFA Financial Fair Play rule but none of that made a difference when PSG invoked Neymar’s €222m release clause, making the Brazilian international the most expensive footballer in football and has forever ruined the transfer market.
Egypt Qualify For Russia 2018 World Cup Since 1990
Egypt qualified for the FIFA World Cup 2018 for the first time since 1990. An unforgettable moment was written in the history books as star player Mohammed Salah scored a penalty with 60 seconds remaining to secure a 2-1 win over Congo, guaranteeing a berth in Russia 2018 World Cup.
Keeping in mind the hopes of a country riding on him, Salah fires the ball into the net picking up a status of a national legend.
Indeed, even the match commentator couldn’t keep down his tears, such as the impact this moment had on the nation. Mo Salah rejected a gift of an extravagance villa, rather requesting that the funds be diverted to the hometown he grew up. An exemplary character on and off the pitch.
Los Blancos Clinch Twelfth European Cup
Los Blancos’ cleared Juventus to the other side in Cardiff to be named the champions of Europe for the second year running. Having now won their 12th UEFA Champions League Cup title, clinching the European Cup under the leadership of Zinedine Zidane, who has won the Cup both as player and coach, two times consecutively.
Barcelona Epic Come Back ( 6-1)
Every football fans cherish a comeback triumph and the UEFA Champions League may never witness such unimaginable event again. The Catalan giants came back from a 4-0 deficit on an epic night at the Camp Nou, with Sergi Roberto’s goal scripting his name into the football hall of fame.
Kylian Mbappe ( The Young Lion )
Kylian Mbappe declared himself to the footballing world in 2017 with his mix of pace, power, and technicalities that prompted correlations with legendary strikers, for example, Thierry Henry and Ronaldo and Paris Saint-Germaine rushed to pay Monaco €180m to secure the services for the French youngster.
King Leo Silence The Bernabeu
Barcelona star Lionel Messi gave the football world this destined-to-be iconic image subsequent to scoring a late winner to give the visiting Blaugrana a sweet victory over old adversary Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
Azzuris Miss Out On Russia 2018 World Cup
60 years after their last inability to qualify, the second most successful national team in history missed out on a great opportunity to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in the wake of being beaten by Sweden in a two-legged play-off. ‘Azzurri’ legend Gianluigi Buffon was forced to use his gloves to clean tears, as his dream to feature in next summer Mundial was ruin.
Cristiano Ronaldo, The Achiever
Aside from Ronaldo poor run of form and Madrid’s blip this season, 2017 couldn’t have gone much better for the Portuguese forward, with Ronaldo helping Los Blancos to five trophies and also being named FIFA Best Player Of The Year and lifting his fifth Ballon d’Or.
Harry Kane Eclipsed Messi & Ronaldo, Surpass Shearer
For the first since 2009, a player has scored a bigger number of goals in a calendar year than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane was the man to break the mastery of the two best players in world football, as he ravaged 56 goals for both England and Spurs in 2017. He also scored 39 Premier League goals in 36 games in 2017, beating the previous record held by Shearer, who netted 36 in 42 appearances for Blackburn Rovers in 1995.
Pep Guardiola ( The Record Breaker )
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side kept on setting a new record for most Premier League wins in succession – the count is currently at 18.
Yet, a significantly greater record was set when City beats Newcastle. The previous record was also set by a Pep Guardiola side, Bayern Munich in 2013-14 (18 wins, 2 draws), a record he has now broken with his ‘Shark Team’. You need to backpedal to 1987-88 and look outside of the top 5 European League to locate an opening 20 matches keeping pace with City’s, in the form of Guus Hiddink’s PSV Eindhoven.
Plateau United Makes NPFL History
Plateau United Football Club of Jos completed the list as one of the unforgettable moments in the historical backdrop of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) by winning the League title for the first time in the history of the club.
They accomplished this historical feat by beating the defending champions Enugu Rangers football club in Jos to take their points haul to 66 at the Rwang Pam Stadium.
Super League: Respect & Dialogue Needed To Restore Normality
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, disapproving the concept of Super League
President Gianni Infantino has called for respect and dialogue as he expressed FIFA’s strong disapproval of the proposed European Superleague project, and has requested that the concerned parties consider their position in line with respecting the institutions that exist to protect the interest of national, European, and global football.
“FIFA is an organization which is built on values, the true values of sport,” said the FIFA President in his address to the 45th Ordinary UEFA Congress in Montreux, Switzerland.
“It is an organization that is built on our statutes, the statutes that define the institutional framework, with the pyramid, with FIFA, the confederations, the associations, the leagues, the clubs, the players. And at FIFA, we can only strongly disapprove of the creation of a super league which is a closed shop, which is a breakaway from the current institutions, from the leagues, from the associations, from UEFA, and from FIFA, which is outside of the system. There is no doubt whatsoever of FIFA’s disapproval for this.”
The FIFA President emphasized his full support to the European sports model, a successful model of openness and inclusivity, promotion and relegation, and a model that he promoted in his 16 years at UEFA:
“FIFA is here, and I am here today as FIFA President, to bring full support to European football, to UEFA, and the 55 member associations of UEFA and of FIFA, to the leagues, clubs, players, and to fans. To all the fans, all over Europe, and actually all over the world as well.”
“We can see that there is a lot to throw away for the short-term financial gain of some,” the FIFA President added. “People need to think very carefully, they need to reflect, and they need to assume responsibility. They need to think not only of their shareholders, but they need to think about all the people, of all the fans, of all those who have contributed to making European football what it is today. It goes back not only decades, it goes back more than one hundred years. People – with love, with passion, with commitment – have created all this. And we need to protect this. It is our task.”
“FIFA is a democratic organization, an organization that is open,” the FIFA President concluded. “Everyone can bring ideas and proposals, but always with respect for the institutions, leagues, associations, UEFA, and FIFA.
With respect for the history and with the respect for the passion of so many people around the world. I understand as well that on these particular days, emotions are very high, but we need to always keep the line. Football is hope, and it is our responsibility to make hope a reality. So we hope that everything will go back to normal and that everything will be settled, but always with acting responsibly, with respect, with solidarity, and always in the interest of national, European, and global football.”
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere
The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.
The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.
Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues
Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.
Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.
He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.
The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.
In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.
Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.
Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”
- Iago Aspas
Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.
After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.
At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.
In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.
- Diego Forlan
Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.
Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.
In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.
The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.
With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.
Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.
Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.
There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.
These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.