ABS-CBN Sports Top 10: Memorable Football Moments of 2014 (Part 2)
Santino Honasan on Dec 24, 2014 01:02 PM
(Photo Courtest of FIFA.com) // Mario Gotze and Germany celebrate their 2014 World Cup win
We continue our look back at 2014's most memorable football moments, including a historic night for Filipino football and a football superpower asserting their dominance in the biggest stage in the world.
5. Real Madrid Dominates 2014
Composed of a virtual who’s who of international football, Real Madrid has dominated 2014 to cement their place as currently the world’s best football squad.
Led by head coach Carlo Ancelotti and world-class talents such as Cristiano Ronaldo, James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos, Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas, the Los Blancos have reigned supreme in the Copa del Rey, the UEFA Champions League, and the UEFA Super Cup. Just last December 20, Real Madrid claimed their fourth trophy of 2014, defeating San Lorenzo 2-0 to claim the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup.
Aside from all the gold, they are also riding an impressive club-record 22 match winning streak.
Real Madrid will begin their Champions League defense in 2015 against FC Schalke 04.
4. Messi Breaks Champions League and La LigaScoring Records
They say that in football, height is not an advantage. No one embodies this statement more than Argentina/FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
Aside from taking home the 2014 FIFA World Cup Best Player award, the 5’6’’ Messi also made it into football’s history books yet again by breaking two scoring records in a span of a week.
In November 22, Messi unleashed a hat-trick on Sevilla en route to a 5-1 win and making himself the Spanish La Liga’s all-time leading scorer with 253 made goals in 289 appearances. The previous record record of 251 was held by Spanish legend Zarra for almost 60 years.
Just three days later, Messi shattered former Real Madrid forward Raul’s record of 71 goals by recording yet another hat-trick to become the UEFA Champions League all-time leading goal scorer with 74.
Oh, and he’s only 27 years old.
3. Azkals Make History against Indonesia
In the group stages of the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup, the Philippine Azkals found themselves matched up against Indonesia following a 4-1 win over Laos.
History wasn’t on the Azkals side coming into the matchup however, as they had not won against an Indonesian team since 1934, back when they were called the Dutch East Indies.
On game day itself, the football gods smiled upon our boys as they coasted through the Indonesian squad, winning 4-0 in what some were calling as “the Miracle in Hanoi 2.0”. Phil Younghusband, Manny Ott, Martin Steuble and team captain Rob Gier all found the back of the net in that historic night in November 25.
The win also secured the Philippines place in the AFF championships for the third straight time.
2. Germany Obliterates Brazil in Belo Horizonte
The 2014 World Cup was supposed to be Brazil’s return to glory.
The five-time World Cup champions came up short in their last two campaigns, and were hungry to get back to world football’s summit.
And with them hosting the whole tournament, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.
Led by 23 year old wonder-boy Neymar, Brazil topped the group stages, and then defeated Chile and Colombia to vault themselves into the semifinals against Germany. As a sign of things to come however, they would be facing the Germans without star player Neymar who was injured in the Chile game, and team captain Thiago Silva who was serving a suspension after picking up a red card.
What ensued within the following 90 minutes was something that probably only the German nationals believed was possible as they proceeded to destroy Brazil in their own home.
By halftime, the scoreboard displayed 5-0 for Germany. They were not done however, as they scored two more goals in the second half before allowing a solitary Brazilian goal in the final minute.
It was a 7-1 destruction of the home team.
Germany moved on to the finals, and Brazil was again eliminated from the world cup. To add insult to injury, they would again lose, this time to the Netherlands in the third place game to finish fourth.
The disappointing outcome sparked an outcry in the streets of Brazil, with its citizens blaming everyone from the players, to coach Luiz Scolari, and even Brazil President Dilma Rouseff.
1. Germany Reigns
Taking the top spot in our countdown is Germany’s domination of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Coming into the 2014 tournament, Germany was the number two ranked team in the FIFA World Rankings and were considered as strong contenders along with defending champions Spain and perennial powerhouses the Netherlands, Brazil, and Argentina.
Led by the 2010 tournament Best Young Player Thomas Muller, the German national team came out strong right off the bat with a 4-0 win over Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal. They went to a 2-2 draw against Ghana, before closing out the group stages with a 1-0 win over the United States. After three games, Germany sit atop Group G with two wins, one draw and seven points.
In the Round of 16, Germany defeated Algeria 2-1 in extra time to move into the quarterfinals and set up a meeting with France. Germany defeated France 1-0 to secure a spot in the semifinals for the 13th time in club history.
Working like a well-oiled football machine, Germany dominated Brazil in the semifinals by a 7-1 margin to reach the World Cup Finals for the eighth time.
In the finals, Germany faced off against Argentina, led by eventual tournament Best Player Lionel Messi.
The two squads went scoreless for 90 minutes in a very tightly contested match, calling for 30 more minutes of extra time. It looked very likely that the finals would be decided via a shootout, until Andre Schurrle found Mario Gotze for a 113th minute goal to break Argentinian hearts all over the world.
Argentina was unable to equalize and Germany went on to win their fourth FIFA World Cup title.
With the UEFC Champions League, UEFA Europa League, as well as our Azkals preparing for a busy year ahead, we’re sure to see whole new set of memorable moments for 2015!