Best Soccer Moments Of 2012
No matter who you support, 2012 has been an exciting year in soccer. There's Chelsea winning the UCL, Spain claiming the EURO, Juv going undefeated and Man City's last minute championship, not to mention Lionel Messi breaking the goal record. Let's countdown the top 10 best soccer moments of 2012 and let's hope that 2013 has even more to offer!
#10: Fabrice Muamba Is OK
While it's not a total soccer moment, the news that Fabrice Muamba would be okay after his cardiac arrest vs Tottenham provided relief to fans all over the world. Muamba had been dead for 78 minutes before being "brought back to life" and after about two weeks the news broke that he would be okay. Unfortunately it caused the end of his footballing days, but luckily not his life.
#9: USA Win At The Azteca
On Wednesday, August 15, 2012, the United States beat Mexico on Mexican soil for the first time in 75 years. A tough fought game was won by an 80th minute goal from Michael Orozco Fiscal who plays for San Luis in Mexico. The result was followed by joy from USA fans, and well, throwing of digestive tract from the Mexican fans. The USA deserved the win, and have been using this as momentum for the future, which is bright for American soccer.
#8: The Goal
A over-head bicycle kick? Nice. A over-head bicycle kick from 30 yards out? Even better. Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 30-yarder vs England has already won the FIFA Puskas Award and is better than any goal any day. Not satisfied with this alone, Zlatan performed his bicycle-kick backwards. Simply Unthinkable. Did I mention he did it against England? Soccer at its greatest.
#7: Montpellier Beats The Odds
Montpellier started the 2011-2012 season with the odds of them winning the Ligue 1 at 80/1. With the league's top scorer in Oliver Giroud, Montpellier lost only 6 games in the Ligue 1, 6 less than their total wins in the season before. La Paillade operated on a budget that was only a quarter of PSG's, and brought some much needed excitement back to French soccer.
#6: Juventus Go Undefeated
The Invincibles? Pleh. Juventus did it with a higher goal-differential (+48) and much more ease. Thanks to a strong fan base and great managing, Juv went 25-15-0 allowing only 20 goals and scoring 68. Andrea Pirlo led the assists category, led the league in clean sheets, all while coming in second in fair play and failing to score in just 5 games.
#5: Wondo Ties The MLS Goal Record
While Lionel Messi took all the headlines for breaking the goals in a year record, Chris Wondolowski of the San Jose Earthquakes tied the MLS record for goals in a season with a quality 27. Wondo as he is known started the scoring in the 15th minute in a 1-0 win vs. New England and ended it with a PK vs the Portland Timbers in the 24th minute of a 1-1 draw. He tied Roy Lassiter's record of 27 goals while he played for the DC United.
#4: Messi Breaks The Goal Record
After an injury with just a few games to go, Messi looked like he wouldn't be able to break Müller's milestone of 85 goals scored in a calendar year. Messi proved us all wrong (again) with two goals vs Real Betis, and set the record at 91 goals after scoring vs A. Madrid, Córdoba CF and Real Valladolid. With this amazing feat, Messi has pretty much won the Ballon D'Or again.
#3: City Win The EPL (And gave Mancini a heart attack while doing it)
Four minutes to go, and the title is in United's hands after beating Sunderland 1-0 while City is shockingly trailing QPR 2-1. But wait, two minutes later Dzeko ties it up 2-2 on a header, but the title is still in United's hands. Can City take it back? Sergio Aguero thinks so, and takes it back with a beauty that ends possibly the most exciting 10 minutes in English soccer. Maybe next year United?
#2: Borussia Dortmund Double
Bayern who? Borussia Dortmund continue their regin as the best in Germany, beating Bayern to the title by 8 points while scoring 80 goals and losing just 3 times. To make everything sweeter, Dortmund dominated FC Hollywood (Bayern) 5-2 in the final of the DFB-Pokal thanks to a hat-trick by Lewandowski and goals via Hummels and Kagawa. They also almost won the DFL-Supercup, but lost to Schalke 4-3 on PKs.
#1: Champs League Final Drama
Love or hate Chelsea, you can't argue that the Champions League Final between Bayern Munich and Chelsea provided some of the best drama soccer has seen in a while. It looks all over thanks to a Muller goal, but Chelsea never says die, and strikes back thanks to a Drogba header just minutes later. Extra time comes and Chelsea naturally give up a penalty, because they always have to making things harder for themselves (It's a CFC rule). Thanks to a great read by Petr Cech, Robben's attempt is saved at it goes to PKs. The Blues come away beating the Germans in PKs (England winning a PK shoot-out??!!!?? Germany losing a PK shoot-out??!?!) and winning the UCL for the first time. Pure drama.