For a football fan, 2010 to 2019 were some years of very exciting football. A decade which saw Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo establish themselves as two of the best players in the history of the game. Among them sharing 9 of the possible 10 ballon d'ors. Thus, putting this fierce rivalry on the top of probably the whole of sporting history. This decade had a total of three world cups- with the first two winners (Spain and Germany) not being able to get through the group stage in the very next campaign. Will France be able to break this norm in Qatar?
Also Read: Top 5 Youngest Champions League goalscorers
Of course Netherlands 5-1 win over the reigning champions Spain and Germany's loss to Korea Republic gathered many headlines, but the 7-1 thumping of Brazil by the hands of the Germans was the pick of the lot. The decade also saw several surprising league campaigns. A minimal budget side FC Rostov beat the likes of Zenit and company to earn a second spot in the Russian Premier League. Also, Leipzig's runner ups finish in their very first season in the Bundesliga but the incredible journey of minnows Leicester City beating the big boys to reach the pinnacle of the English Premier League is one story to tell!
Although these moments let us realize how much football is full of uncertainties, Football Predictions can be very much difficult at times but making it accurate is not very difficult with some platforms online.
The UEFA Champions League had its fair share of surprises too. Barcelona itself was involved in three very big comebacks- one was by them and the other two against them. After losing 4-0 at the Parc de Princes against PSG, Barcelona fought back just at the time of final whistle to win 6-5 on aggregate. That's again one hell of a footballing story to tell. It was that kind of a decade where every year was full of surprises. But Barcelona faced heavy 3-0 and 4-0 defeats against the likes of Roma and Liverpool to be knocked out of the tournament in subsequent years. This came after winning the first leg comfortably at home. With so many stories happening everyday, it was very difficult to put it in a list of five. But here is our attempt to bring out the best from this lot:
Lewa's five goals in nine minutes:
Yes, you heard it right and it wasn't any street match if you are guessing that way. It was in the Bundesliga against a side that was the runner ups just a season ago. In September 2015, champions Bayern faced Wolfsburg in the Allianz Arena. Robert Lewandowski started off the bench as he had a few ankle concerns recently. He was called at halftime as they were 1-0 down. He quickly made an impact, scoring from close range in the 51st minute. The second came just three minutes later. It was a thing of beauty, a precise shot from outside the box which found its way across the stretched fingers of the keeper. Next, he hit the post after a wonderful pass from Mario Gotze but the ball was kind enough to fall to his foot and this time he was sharp to get it around the goalkeeper into the net. Thus, scoring a record Bundesliga hattrick in 4 minutes. He scored the fourth from a poorly defended cross while the fifth was an acrobatic finish.
See the highlights here: Lewandowski's Remarkable Record Show
Leicester City's Premier League triumph:
In only their first season after getting promoted to the Premier League in 2014, they looked down and almost out halfway into the season. One was left wondering that they couldn't match the pace of the Premier League. But Nigel Pearson's side showed incredible resilience to finish 14th after a strong showing towards the end of the campaign. Everyone thought what's next for the foxes? Avoid relegation or a top half finish maybe. Not anyone could imagine in their wildest of dreams that the foxes could be the next champions of England. They started the 2015/16 season with three wins and three draws. Then after a heavy defeat against Arsenal, the foxes almost didn't lose for three straight months. After losing to Liverpool in the Christmas period, they were held to three draws in the next four games. The lead over the second-placed Spurs side was cut down to zero. It seemed they have finally stopped but only to lose only once more through the rest of the campaign and convincingly winning the Premier League. Rarely anyone could believe that in a period of big money circulating among the top clubs only, a team facing relegation battle could clinch the 38-game marathon.
Relive their journey here: Premier League Champions 2016
Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid:
There are some games that define an entire decade of football and this was one such match. According to Forbes, around 650 million people watch the el Clasico over the globe, thanks mainly to several streaming sites and VPNs. It was Barcelona's team at their absolute peak under one of the best managers in their history. They were arguably the best club side in the history of football. A history that stretches at least upto a century. Madrid had the likes of Casillas, Ramos, Alonso and Cristiano Ronaldo but they were literally blown apart as Barcelona marched towards a historic treble. Xavi, Pedro, David Villa and Jeffren were all on the scoresheet as Villa got a brace. The historic rivalry that prevails between the two sides, this was one nail in the coffin and rather a painful one for the Los Blancos to digest.
See the highlights here: Barcelona vs Real Madrid (5-0)
It was a moment made for watching live football. You can watch it for a dozen times over the highlight reels but it was one moment to be tuned into your television sets or your laptops. On 13 May 2012, the final list of fixtures went underway. A United win against Sunderland earlier ensured that City had to win against QPR to clinch the title or else the party could start in the red half of Manchester. The game was evenly poised until the fifth minute of injury-time. Every eye was glued to the screen as the action unfolded at the Etihad Stadium. In the ninety-fifth minute of the game, Sergio Aguero scored an all important goal and the rest was history. Watching it now, it was a rather cagey affair with City nearly bottling the title. The incredible last minute was probably the most iconic moment in the history of the Premier League. A title race that got down to the last few seconds- and it will never be as close again.
The van Persie leap:
The 2014 edition of the FIFA World Cup had many memorable encounters with Brazil's 7-1 thumping to the hands of the Germans and Uruguay's 3-1 loss to Costa Rica while eventual champions Germany struggling against Algeria. But the one moment that stands apart from the whole tournament came in the group stage game between Spain and the Netherlands. A repeat of the last edition's final. Spain took the lead 27 minutes into the game thanks to a precisely taken penalty from Xabi Alonso. Spain looked well in control until the 44th-minute, with Daley Blind providing a long field ball to his United teammate van Persie. The ball had too much on it and looked to be going long until van Persie literally flew and headed the ball into the back of the net. Stunning the crowd and players alike. Iker Casillas was rooted to his spot. It was a teaser of the things to come as the Dutch blew apart their fellow opponents, scoring four goals in the second half. The tournament was nearly over for Spain before it began for most of the sides. Spain lost again to Croatia in the subsequent tie and thus got knocked out in the group stage itself. These type of goals just kills your mentality. Ask Casillas, maybe!
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