Football Roundup 2020
After the last World War, this was the first time that the world stopped and halted albeit this time due to a natural phenomenon. As the deadly pandemic spread through the world rapidly in 2020, everything including the football industry stood stunned as the calendar was cleared for almost 4 to 6 months, which is literally 50% of the entire year.
But as the old saying goes, “The show must go on”, and it did. It all started with German Bundesliga becoming the first professional sports event to be conducted in May 2020 with all the precautions taken for players, staff and other related parties likewise. Soon, the wave of resumption spread to Italy, then England and lastly Spain — and there were four of the five top footballing leagues operating back to normal. With the French Ligue 1 already settled during the lockdown, the French domestic footballers got some extra time to prepare for the new season ahead.
This was not the end of it though. With the year of 2020 ending in almost a couple of days, we still are seeing games being cancelled or postponed due to players or staff testing positive for Coronavirus — the biggest victims off-late being Manchester City and Everton.
Nevertheless, despite COVID-19 clinching almost four to six months of our 2020, the year has seen some of the biggest moments in the world of football — some being joyous while others being heart-breaking. Today in this last piece of 2020, we take a look at the top five moments that world football saw in this exceptional year of 2020 as the year comes to a close!
Bayern Munich rise from ashes to win the Champions League
Bayern Munich and Coronavirus have had a reciprocal relationship since last year. As the disease compelled the world to grow weaker, the Bavarians only grew stronger with each passing day amidst the lockdown. It was in November 2019, when COVID started it’s deadly trap in Wuhan which later spread to the entire world. During this exact period, Bayern Munich saw their worst ever form in the last two decades.
After a 5–1 humiliation against Eintracht Frankfurt, head-coach Niko Kovac was relieved of his duties and assistant manager Hansi Flick was promoted to first team duties, till the end of the season. But what came after, has been unarguably the biggest turnaround in this century.
Flick not only turned the tide upside-down in performances, but results too followed. As the Bundesliga champions went into the first phase of lockdown just scraping their way into the top four, they emerged as an invincible unit on ‘Project Restart’. Winning the Bundesliga and the German Cup was already a huge achievement for a side which seemed to be falling just a few months ago, but to top it — Bayern also stormed their way to a Champions League title, literally destroying every team that came their way.
What a year it has been for Hansi Flick’s Bayern Munich. The coach has made himself permanent at the top level, winning almost every possible trophy in Germany and Europe, while the team has accumulated a group of young men who will surely keep them more than relevant in the next decade or so.
Ballon D’Or Cancelled and Robert Lewandowski robbed
Though the annual Ballon D’Or Ceremony is held in the month of December/January every year, a decision was taken by the French Football Association earlier this year, that the gala would not be held owing to an exceptional season of football in 2020. This decision had it’s fair share of appreciation and criticism. While the appreciation was about how there were inconsistent periods of footballing action making it an unfair advantage for some kinds of teams, the criticism was clearly indicated towards the fact that as the season was concluded properly, then why was the best player award being cancelled.
Well, that being said, it was more of a loss to one specific person than the supporters and fans of the sport worldwide — Robert Lewandowski. The Polish striker, who won the treble of Bundesliga, Champions League and German Cup, was all set to win the prestigious award this season for his amazing exploits in front of the goal. But alas, destiny had other plans.
Lewandowski scored a total of 54 goals in the 2019–20 season, which was far more than the legendary duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi — who have been winnin the award between themselves for the past decade, Luka Modric being the exception in 2018. With the Bayern striker ageing rapidly alongwith his Portuguese and Argentine competitors, he may not able to turn up with another super season like he had in 2020 every again.
Liverpool finally win their Premier League title after 30 years
The only team in the entire Europe, rather the world, to have enjoyed the lockdown phase would be Liverpool Football Club. The Reds from Merseyside already had a huge lead in the Premier League race when the UK Government announced their first lockdown, and it was almost certain that they will lift the trophy whenever football resumes in the British countryside.
But things turned a bit ugly with many of the pundits and clubs, as well as officials, started complaining about the ‘Project Restart’ which could have meant that Liverpool could miss out on their Premier League title, like Ajax did in the Dutch Eredivisie back in March 2020. But the Champions got their due.
After a long wait of 30 years, the red half of Merseyside saw the Premier League title come back home again. Though the celebrations were half-hearted due to Coronavirus restrictions, but as the club allowed the families of the players and staff to turn up at Anfield for the title celebrations, it was an event worthwhile to watch.
What made it even more special was that there had been generations of fans and supporters who had grown from children to adults, and from adults to grandparents waiting for the English top flight trophy — and they finally got their due. We, at Mighty Tips, offer betting tips and predictions for Liverpool FC, the English Premier League as well as every top European and World Footballing event on a daily basis — Do check out our website if you are a part of the prestigious betting community!
Diego Maradona passes away
When the world thought that this year cannot turn more bitter, it was dealt another huge blow as footballing legend Diego Maradona, known to even those who do not watch the sport as one of the best ever to grace the game, took his last breath in his family home back in Argentina. He was mourned by commons and uncommons from every part of the globe.
The Argentine legend who played both in South America and Europe during his playing days, was an inspiration to probably every generation which followed, with many of the current crop of footballers too claiming that it was because of Maradona, they started loving the beautiful game.
Maradona’s ex-club AS Napoli, where he spent a few years spreading his magic in the Serie A, went a few yards ahead by renaming their stadium in his name, changing it from the historical Stadio San Paolo. Though Maradona will be missed as an influential figure even after his retirement, in the stands, the world can only rejoice about the fact that we got an opportunity to watch Maradona play the game of football.
Lionel Messi breaks Pele’s record for most number of goals
What a tribute Lionel Messi paid to his fellow Argentine legend Diego Maradona on the passing away of the latter. Messi, who is often reckoned as the successor of Maradona in the footballing world, broke the record for most number of goals for a single club as he inspired his side FC Barcelona to a 3–0 win over Real Valladolid. The Barcelona playmaker has been with the La Liga side since his youth days and in a professional career spanning 16 years and counting, he has managed to achieve this unreal feat, which may not be broken probably ever.
The record was previously held by Brazilian legend Pele, who had scored 643 goals during his 18 years with Brazilian Serie A club Santos. Messi scored a brace in the win over Valladolid to take his count to 644 goals, and with the Argentine expected to play at least for a couple of years more, he can surely add at least close to 60 goals too.
Though Santos denied the record by claiming that Pele had scored more than 1200 goals in his career with the club, this actually included the Brazilian striker’s goals in non-competitive games too. As of today, the record stands in the name of Lionel Messi and looking at the business of football evolving with every passing year, we do not expect the record to be broken ever again in the history of mankind. Moreover, we also hope that the mankind does not observe another year like 2020 yet again either.
We wish you a very happy new year in advance!