The year 2021 was quite an eventful year in the world of football. We at Apex Football took a look back to see all the major headlines that rocked the world of football and we ranked the TOP 10!
10. Aguero retires from football due to heart problems
Sergio Aguero’s move to La Liga was hit with a snag after he had difficulty breathing in Barca’s game against Alaves. Medical exams showed that Aguero suffered an arrhythmia and although those around him have tried to play down scenarios regarding a potential retirement, the Argentine has decided to call it a day with his football career.
He had made 5 appearances for the Catalans and scored 1 goal against Real Madrid.
9. Inter Milan wins the Serie A for the first time in 11 years
It took a lot for Inter Milan to end Juventus’ 9-year reign in Italy but Antonio Conte’s side did not relent in their pursuit of the title. They clinched their 19th “Scudetto” on the 2nd of May 2021. Romelu Lukaku was named the player of the year for his contribution towards Inter lifting the trophy.
8. Lionel Messi wins a record 7th Ballon D’or trophy
Leaving Barcelona was not the only major headline for Lionel Messi this year, he also won a record 7th Ballon D’or! Messi scored 41 goals and registered 17 assists in 56 appearances in all competitions for club and country and led Argentina to a long-awaited Copa America win in the summer.
He also scored two goals as Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 4-0 in the Copa Del Rey final in April.
7. Argentina wins the Copa America after 28 years!
Prior to the Copa America tournament in Brazil, Argentina had not lifted the trophy for 28 years! There was so much talk about how Lionel Messi had never won an international trophy. Angel Di Maria’s goal was enough to change the course of history when Argentina met the host Brazil in the final.
6. Chelsea wins the Champions League
The 2020/21 season was already looking gloomy for the folks at Stamford Bridge. The Chelsea board were forced to sack club legend, Frank Lampard, after a series of losses that saw the team drop to 10th position on the Premier League table.
Thomas Tuchel was appointed as the new coach for the Blues and he led them all the way to the Champions League final! It looked impossible against a city side under the management of Pep Guardiola, but Chelsea defeated the Citizens thanks to a lone goal by Kai Harvertz.
5. European Super League debacle
This was a major event that rocked world football in 2021. The idea behind forming the Super League was to create a sure-shot big-money competition that would have 15 permanent teams and five additional qualifiers based on their performances in the previous domestic season. Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus and Liverpool were reportedly the four key forces behind the idea of the European Super League. The other teams involved were AC Milan, Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester City.
The idea was met with a lot of criticism which had social media rocking with different debates. Chelsea fans held a protest outside Stamford Bridge preventing the team from going in for their game against Brighton. Similar sentiments were echoed across the fanbase of the so-called ‘top six’.
4. Italy beats England in Wembley to lift Euro 2020 trophy
One of the most dramatic UEFA Euro finals happened this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe during 2020, the tournament was postponed to the summer of 2021, while retaining the name UEFA Euro 2020 and host venues.
The final took place at Wembley Stadium between Gli Azzuri of Italy and the Three Lions of England on the 11th of July 2021. The event was marred with massive hooliganism but that did not deter the Italians from snatching victory from England.
The Italians successfully turned the English chant from ‘It’s coming HOME’ to ‘It’s going ROME’. We are sure many English fans want to forget that day in a hurry.
3. Ronaldo returns to Manchester United
Another fairy tale story in 2021 was the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United. The Portuguese forward signed a 2-year contract on transfer deadline day.
He stated that Manchester United has always had a special place in his heart and he could not wait to get the ground running at Old Trafford. Ronaldo scored a brace against Newcastle United in his triumphant return to the Premier League.
2. Messi leaves Barcelona after 21 years
Football fans around the globe were stunned by an unexpected headline on the 5th of August 2021. Barcelona announced on their website that Lionel Messi would leave the club after 21 years. The club cited that Messi was ready to take a 50% pay cut but regulation by La Liga did not permit his inclusion to the team. He had won 35 trophies for the club and 6 Ballon D’or which cemented his legendary status.
Messi confirmed his exit in an emotional press conference that had fans and lovers of the Argentine forward in tears. The story shook social media to its core with fans debating the next possible club for the Argentine legend.
PSG signed Messi on a 2-year contract and he reunited with his former teammate Neymar in Paris.
1. Eriksen’s near-death experience at UEFA EURO 2020
Christian Eriksen collapsed whilst representing his country at the UEFA EURO 2020 game against Finland. The whole world watch as Eriksen fought for his life on Live television.
His teammates rallied around him whilst the doctors tried to resuscitate him. It was a touching story that had the football world on standstill! The Danish midfielder could not continue the tournament but he has since been out of harm’s way and looking forward to playing football with a heart-starting device.
Lukaku’s return to Chelsea (A record £90 million deal)
The takeover of Newcastle by Saudi Arabia
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