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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Top Ten News of Football World in 2009

Many things happened in the football world in 2009. There were many surprises in world football. High spending attitude of Real Madrid and Manchester City was stark contrast of the recession-hit market, while Argentina was almost out of the world cup. Barcelona reached a new level and players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic and Messi were the centre of all attention at some part of the year. Here, you can get the top ten football news of 2009:

Argentina Qualifying for FIFA World Cup 2010

Argentina narrowly managed to clinch a place in the world cup 2010 after coming very close to an unexpected elimination from the qualifying round. If Argentina failed to finish in the top five, they would have missed a world cup for the first time since 1970. Fans were tensed when Argentina lost points almost continuously before winning their last qualifying match against Uruguay 1-0 to finish 4th in the standing. Coach Diego Maradona was also under huge pressure towards the end of the qualifying stage.

Barcelona Winning Treble: Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey

Barcelona achieved something in 2009 that no other Spanish club ever did. The Catalan side won an unprecedented treble: Champions League, La Liga and Copa del Rey titles last year, becoming the only Spanish club to do so. Players like Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Samuel Eto'o were instrumental behind their successful season which also includes a 6-2 victory over arch-rival Real Madrid. Barcelona, in fact, won 4 titles last year including the FIFA World Club Cup 2009 title.

Lionel Messi Winning European and FIFA World Player of the Year Awards

Last year, Barcelona star Lionel Messi won football’s two most prestigious titles Ballon d'Or and FIFA Player of the Year awards. Messi played a key role in Barcelona’s four titles in 2009. He was the highest scorer of Champions League last season with 9 goals and scored 23 goals in La Liga. Though the 22-year-old was criticized for his ordinary performance for Argentina national team, Messi’s performance at the club level made 2009 his best year so far in his career.

Real Madrid’s Spending Spree

After Florentino Pérez became president for the third time, Real Madrid started retaining its Galácticos status. In Summer 2009, Real Madrid spent around €252 million (around €254 million in some sources) to land the stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Karim Benzema, Xabi Alonso and Álvaro Arbeloa. There were many who were shocked at Madrid’s spending spree in the recession-hit market. However, Pérez, as he did it before, once again tried to buy a number of star players in his bid to bring silverware as well as financial success for the club.

Manchester City’s Huge Spending

After the Arab takeover in 2008, Manchester City started engaging some high profile players in its bid to clinch a place in the Champions League and win the Premier league title. In fact, Manchester City suddenly found bucket loads of money to invest in the transfer market to increase the strength of the squad. City bought the stars like Gareth Barry, Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tévez, Roque Santa Cruz, Joleon Lescott and Kolo Touré. Spending around £120m, Manchester City became the biggest spender of Summer 2009 in English Premier League.

Cristiano Ronaldo Becoming World’s Most Valuable Player

Cristiano Ronaldo became world’s most valuable player in 2009 when he joined Real Madrid from Manchester United for a record-breaking deal worth €94M. Ronaldo who was the then FIFA World Player of the Year had been linked with a move to the Spanish giants over the last one year. In fact, there was speculation throughout the last season regarding Ronaldo’s possible move to Real Madrid. Above all, Ronaldo’s transfer was one of the biggest football news of 2009.

Barcelona Signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a Record Breaking Deal

Real Madrid rival Barcelona also showed their financial ability landing former Inter Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimovic for a record transfer fee worth €69 million (this was broken few days later when Ronaldo joined Real Madrid). This was a part-cash-part-swap deal under which Samuel Eto’o joined Inter Milan. Eto’o was valued at €20 million and the rest of the amount Barcelona paid by cash. Given the form of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Inter Milan over the previous few seasons, the news of his move to Barcelona took the centre stage in the media during the Summer transfer window 2009.

Chelsea’s Transfer Ban by FIFA

FIFA imposed a transfer ban on Chelsea for 2 transfer windows on 3 September 2009. The club was accused of illegally luring Gael Kakuta to breach his existing contract with French club Lens in 2007. Kakuta joined the Blues in 2007 when he was 16. FIFA also imposed a four-month ban on the player and fined him €780,000 for breaching the contract. However, Chelsea appealed to the court of arbitration for sports against this ban. At the moment, the transfer ban has been at halt and Chelsea is allowed to sign players in January 2010 transfer window. The final verdict on this case would be made by the court of arbitration for sports.

New Zealand Qualifying for World Cup after 28 Years

New Zealand qualified for this year’s world cup final in South Africa from Oceania region. This may not be very big news for many other football playing nations, but overall it is big news for the football world because world cup 2010 now has a representative from Oceania region. After Australia joined Asian Football Confederation (AFC), it was thought that Oceania’s representation in the world cup finals would be hard. However, New Zealand ensured their place in the world cup after 28 years defeating Bahrain 1-0 on aggregate in the play-off. Last time, New Zealand played in world a cup was in 1982, which was their first appearance in the world cup finals.

Brazil Winning FIFA Confederations Cup 2009

Defending champion Brazil successfully defended its Confederations Cup title last year. Brazil defeated USA 3-2 in the final of the tournament. Brazil dominated over the other teams throughout the tournament winning all the games. However, USA shocked Brazil in the tournament final when they scored 2 goals in the first half and was leading 2-0 at the half time. However, Brazil bounced back in the second half and scored 3 goals to win the match. Luís Fabiano won the Golden Shoe award scoring highest 5 goals in the tournament, while Kaka was awarded the Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament.

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