On the 9th of March 2021 a football platform was unleashed. All in a bid to create a space for football fans around the world to share their viewpoints on the world’s most beautiful game. “Football Dialogue” has thrived to share football content that is timeless, at the same time keeping its audiences on the loop with the latest trends. As the year draws to a close, we take a look back at the year’s most significant milestones, innovations, and events in the beautiful game throughout the world.
It’s almost time for the World Cup, but there’s enough to reflect on from the previous 12 months in soccer throughout the world before we fully turn the page to 2022.
In the men’s game in Europe, for example, there were familiar league champions (Manchester City, Bayern Munich) as well as a pleasant change of scenery in some of the other big leagues (Atlético Madrid, Inter Milan, Lille).
We’ve seen the next generation of players, lead by Kylian Mbappé and Erling Haaland, continue to develop, while Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, and Karim Benzema continue to score goals as they get older.
But there were even more notable moments, changes, stories, and successes that marked the world’s game in 2021 than some of the headline-grabbing clubs, players, and leagues. On that note, lets unveil to you our top football moments in 2021.
The Super League’s Chaos And Collapse
The world’s wealthiest clubs gave the worst possible launch of a splinter Super League that was supposed to alter the game, and we were all subjected to a few of days of swings, bends, demonstrations, and retreat in the process. The idea that “elite” teams demand a greater piece of the pie didn’t die with the Super League’s dissolution, but the powers that be learned the hard way how badly they misjudged fan backlash to their plan to have their clubs play each other indefinitely.
With 2022 fast approaching, these are the craziest moments and results on 2021 pic.twitter.com/0ziilgXxWB
— Carl Seggie (@6SECONDSREF) December 30, 2021
Nine of the initial teams subsequently withdrew, but Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Juventus remain obstinate and tenacious in their pursuit, and we haven’t heard the last of their efforts, no matter how fruitless (or not!) they may (or may not!) out to be.
The Day Denmark Stood Still
Eriksen tumbling to the ground during Denmark’s Euro 2020 opener against Finland will not be forgotten. Thankfully, Eriksen has recovered completely, has returned to individual training, and may possibly play again—though not in Italy, due to the heart-monitoring device he had installed.
Eriksen’s life was truly saved that day by the heroes—Denmark captain Simon Kjr for his quick response and the medics who raced to help. Denmark, on the other hand, began on an emotional run to the semi-finals (the games in Copenhagen were a short drive from the hospital where Eriksen was recuperating), almost completing a fairytale win.
Regardless, the Danish went on to become the second team to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, and whether Eriksen is in Qatar or not, he’ll be a source of inspiration.
Tuchel Makes Managerial History With Chelsea
Chelsea won the Champions League for the second time in a decade after riding a midseason management change to victory. This time, it was Frank Lampard, the captain of that 2012 squad, who was replaced by Thomas Tuchel, who changed the club’s strategy and turned it into a European champion.
It helped that Chelsea was one of the few teams that could afford transfers during the epidemic, giving Tuchel the right pieces to work with, but the shift at the top was crucial. Christian Pulisic of the United States also made history by being the first American male to play in and win a Champions League final, and he came close to scoring against Man City in Porto after coming on as a substitute.
FIFA’s Biennial World Cup Push
As FIFA seeks to strengthen its grip over the sport it controls, this tale will spill into the World Cup year. But what started as a development plan has morphed into a full-fledged public relations campaign to organize men’s and women’s World Cups every two years, with Arsène Wenger and a cast of ex-players and key figures from the sport tasked with spreading the word.
It has been faced with fierce opposition, particularly from UEFA and CONMEBOL. A World Cup without teams from Europe and South America isn’t much of a World Cup, and it’ll be intriguing to see where things go in the next year, with a FIFA meeting in March the next milestone in this drama that will define the sport’s major events’ destiny.
A Summer Transfer Window Not To Forget
In the summer of 2021, no one was off limits. Barcelona’s incompetence and financial disaster prompted Messi’s departure to PSG, but he was among a series of high-profile signings throughout Europe. Cristiano Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku, Jadon Sancho, Antoine Griezmann, Jack Grealish, and Achraf Hakimi were all sold, with Ronaldo’s surprise reconciliation with Manchester United concluding a window that appeared to include Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappé.
Messi Finally Wins a Major Trophy With Argentina
Argentina and Lionel Messi have had to wait a long time. Argentina won the 2021 Copa América after being without a major title since the 1993 Copa América, defeating Brazil in the Maracan, of all places. Messi was flawless in the lead up to the final, and while he didn’t have his best game against the Seleço, the feat, along with what he was able to achieve with a poor Barcelona team, earned him a record seventh Ballon d’Or.
Italy Claim European Glory
After missing the 2018 World Cup, Italy won the Euros, defeating England in penalty kicks at Wembley Stadium to claim the championship. Roberto Mancini’s balanced and tough squad eluded Austria in extra time, defeated world No. 1 Belgium in penalty kicks, and edged Spain in penalty kicks before overcoming an early England attack in enemy territory. It remains to be seen whether Italy can repeat this performance in the World Cup football next year, but first it must get there.
If it doesn’t finish first in its qualifying group, it’ll have to compete in the UEFA playoffs again, and a devastating draw means it’ll have to get by Portugal simply to qualify. Missing a second World Cup in a row would squander the goodwill built up by a squad of worthy champions last summer. Forza Italia!