It was an all German success story in Europe in 2013 as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund brushed aside all competition to feature in the finals of Champions League. Dortmund ended as runners-up and Bayern showed why they deserved to be winners. Bayern completed their dream season with wins in all the competitions they played in. Ribery, Lewandowski, Gotze, Lahm, Muller were among the most celebrated stars in Germany, while Schweinsteiger had a rough season with injuries.
In England Manchester United ruled the league and Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement while still being at the helm was a major loss to the league, especially to Manchester United. David Moyes was named his successor. Since then, Arsenal have been at the top of the EPL table. Suarez, Ramsey, Coleman, Aguero, Hazard are the in-form players this season with their teams heavily depending on. Wayne Rooney played a savior on many occasions for United but he picked up a nagging groin injury in the process .
Messi won the Ballon d’Or in 2013 but soon suffered injuries to stay on bench for most of the remaining part of the season. But with the array of talent in the ranks, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid lead the league while Ronaldo’s Real Madrid are at third position. Real Madrid have suffered with the sell-out of Ozil to Arsenal although Isco has tried to take up the role of playmaker for them. Ronaldo had the most illustrated year of his career with 66 goals from 56 games in all competitions as he almost single handedly won many games for both his club and his national squad. Gareth Bale was bought by Real Madrid for £100mil on a six year deal; Neymar Jr. was lured by Barcelona.
India won the rights to host to the under-17 world cup through which fans expect the football quality ad conditions in India will develop. Excitement for the FIFA World Cup 2014 was taking over the world once again and sparks flew in the Portugal vs Sweden playoffs. Sweden eventually lost but Ibrahimovich and Ronaldo were the stars of the game.
Even in 2013 racial abuses, inefficiency of FIFA in some instances, fan violence, players feigning fouls has disgraced this sport. But with fans celebrating the beauty of this games and ever growing competition among teams, 2013 has been another fruitful year for football. Football is no longer just a sport, it’s a brand.