12 Unforgettable Moments of 2018

1. France win the World Cup

Les Blues beat Croatia 4-2 in a high scoring affair filled with drama, VAR controversy, and a dominant second-half performance by the French. Scoring a goal in the World Cup final at 19? Step up monsieur Kylian Mbappé.

2. It’s Coming Home

The (football) song of the summer. It ultimately wasn’t enough to spur England to win it all, but it did manage to make Three Lions fans dream again. The song went #1 in the charts, and #1 in our hearts.

3. Tribute to Appie Nouri

Nouri is currently able to breathe and non-verbally communicate with family members after suffering a cardiac arrhythmia in 2017, whilst playing in a preseason friendly for Ajax. Although he won’t be able to step on the pitch once more, former teammates like Justin Kluivert at Roma and Napoli’s Amin Younes now wear #34 in the back of their jerseys to honor him. Real friends.

4. Barca humiliates Madrid 5-1

The last Clásico of 2018 was the first matchup in over a decade to not include both Messi and Ronaldo. A hat-trick by Luis Suarez and strikes by Coutinho and Vidal ensured Barca got the better of their biggest rivals. No Messi, no problem.

5. Dortmund humble Bayern

Bayern Munich’s monopoly of the Bundesliga just might end this season. Dortmund currently hold a six point lead over the Bavarians, and their last matchup was an enthralling one. BvB twice came from behind to beat Bayern 3-2 at home, as super sub Paco Alcacer’s 73rd minute strike did the job for the hosts. Cometh the hour, cometh the man.

6. Ada Hegerberg achieves history

Hegerberg became the first footballer to be awarded the Ballon D’or Féminin in 2018. Still only 23, she has scored 120+ goals for Olympique Lyonnais and helped her side win THREE straight First Division and Champions League titles. What a talent.

7. Mourinho gets the sack

It happened. It finally happened. Following a topsy-turvy three season helm in Manchester, Jose Mourinho was sacked by Manchester United after 17 league games. A prolonged poor run of results made it clear the Portuguese was not the right man for the job. His replacement Ole Gunnar Solskjær has managed to bring back the attacking football that’s been synonymous with the club. Time will tell whether United can turn this season around.

8. Messi voted 5th best player

Perhaps not winning the Champions League derailed Messi’s chances of winning the Ballon D’or. In terms of pure individual skill and quality however, there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind Messi is the best. 5th is the new 1st…

9. CR7 leaves Madrid

Cristiano Ronaldo’s future in Madrid was uncertain after his post-match comments following Real Madrid’s Champions League final win over Liverpool. Ronaldo did indeed leave the Spanish side for Turin, and based off his instant impact at Juventus, he’s picked up right where he left off in the summer.

10. Gareth Bale lights up the Champions League Final

When Cristiano Ronaldo scored THAT bicycle kick against Juventus in the Champions League, many thought they’d seen the goal of the tournament. Instead, Gareth Bale said “hold my beer” and came off the bench to score an even better bicycle kick. The goal was worthy of winning any match, let alone the Champions League Final.

11. South Korea dump Germany out of the World Cup

Germany came into the World Cup as holders and one of the favorites but left Russia as the laughing stock of the tournament with only one win to their name. The biggest disappointment of all is how Toni Kroos’ last-second free kick against Sweden got overshadowed by humiliation at the hands of South Korea. They truly bottled it.

12. River Plate beat Boca Juniors at the Bernebau

For the first time ever, a Superclásico between bitter rivals River Plate and Boca Juniors decided the Copa Libertadores Final. The first leg was rescheduled due to a waterlogged pitch. The real controversy was yet to come however. The return leg was played almost a month later after River fans attacked Boca’s team bus while making its way to the stadium, injuring three Boca players in the process. Some called for Boca to be awarded the trophy, but CONMEBOL decided to stage the second leg in Madrid at the Santiago Bernebau. River came from behind to win the final 3-1 in extra time, wrapping up what surely was the most bizarre final of 2018.

featured image credit BBC