Football regulating bodies throughout the world had to take safeguards and follow health protocols to avoid the coronavirus threat. One of the most important decisions was to restrict supporters from entering the stadium. However, European football organizations and other regulating bodies in football had decided to let spectators into the stadium starting with the current season. Therefore, the second half of the year was far more satisfying for both organizers and fans. Let's look at the top ten most notable football incidents from 2021.
2021's Most Notable Football Events
There were plenty of amazing football moments in the year 2021. Therefore, picking the top 10 was challenging. Here are the top ten most noteworthy moments in the year 2021.
Italy’s second EURO Championship win
Italy were the underdog Prior to the EURO 2020, but they steadily improved as the competition progressed. Before facing England in the final, Italy won two closely-contested matches in the quarter-final and semi-final. They defeated Belgium 2-1 in the quarter-finals and then defeated Spain in a penalty shootout. After a 1-1 draw, Italy defeated England 3-2 on penalties in the final. It was Italy's second EURO title and the first since 1968.
Argentina’s Copa America 2021 win
Argentina's 15th Copa America championship came after a 28-year drought. In the meantime, they competed in four finals but lost all of them. The moment had finally come as Lionel Messi's Argentina team won the Copa America 2021, defeating Brazil 1-0 in the final.
Chelsea’s Second UEFA Champions League victory
When Frank Lampard was sacked in January, Chelsea were nowhere near their best. However, things began to change when Thomas Tuchel was appointed as Chelsea manager. His ideology has been well-taken by the players. Chelsea started to dominate the opposition with their pressing approach, ultimately reaching the Champions League 2021 final. They defeated Manchester City 1-0 in the final to win their second UEFA Champions League trophy.
Al Hilal’s AFC Champions League Victory
Saudi Arabian team Al Hilal won the 40th edition of the AFC Champions League, Asia's best club competition. They defeated Pohang Steelers of South Korea 2-0 in the final. Al Hilal became the most successful club in AFC Champions League history with this triumph.
Palmeiras’ 2021 Copa Libertadores Victory
Brazilian team Palmeiras won the Copa Libertadores 2021, Latin America's most prestigious club championship. It was their third championship in the competition's history.
USA’s 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Win
The United States won the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup in August. The USA acquired its seventh CONCACAF Gold Cup championship, defeating Mexico 1-0 in the final.
Lionel Messi’s seventh Ballon d’Or win
The most talked-about topic of the year was who will win the Ballon d'Or 2021. Lewandowski was the clear favorite in the first half of the year. However, Jorginho of Italy and Lionel Messi of Argentina were considered favorites in the second half because of their national team success. Messi went on to win the trophy, which was his seventh overall.
Jorginho’s UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award
Italian midfielder Jorginho was named UEFA Men's Player of the Year for his consistent performances for both club and nation. He was the only player to win both the Champions League and the EURO in 2021.
Robert Lewandowski’s European Golden Shoe Award
Bayern Munich's Polish striker Robert Lewandowski earned the European Golden Shoe Award after scoring 41 goals in the 2020-2021 Bundesliga season.
Robert Lewandowski beats Gerd Muller’s Record
Robert Lewandowski has been in outstanding form over the past several seasons, breaking individual records on a regular basis. Gerd Muller's most goals in a single season was one such unique record Lewandowski broke in last season. He scored 41 goals in the season, making him the highest goal scorer in a single Bundesliga season.
So far, we have discussed the iconic football moments of 2021. A significant number of individual and team records were broken this year. Italy, Argentina, and the United States of America were the most successful nations, winning their respective continental championships in 2021. Italy set a new record for most consecutive victories, while Argentina have gone more than two years without losing. Lionel Messi's record-breaking seventh Ballon d'Or award was the most talked-about topic of the year. On the other hand, Jorginho and Lewandowski were always in the headlines for their consistent performances. Overall, 2021 was an eventful year.