- 10) Tahiti: It was not on the big news much, but in June 2012 Tahiti won the Oceania Nations Cup. It was the first time ever this tournament was not won by Australia or New Zealand, and it will be fascinating to see the unknown Tahitians face some big nations in next year's Confederations Cup.
- 9) Mexico Olympic team: It was a hyped London Olympic football tournament, where some of the favourites showed little. The great favourite were Brazil, but the South Americans were prevented in the final from winning their first Olympic gold ever by a better Mexican side.
- 8) USA Women's side: It is a pity that Women's football only get attention during the World Cup and Olympics. In the London Olympics the quality and drama of football undoubtedly came from the women, where the USA side ran away with gold after defeating the world champions of Japan in a great final. It was a tournament with some fantastic matches and a great winner.
- 7) Manchester City: Usually the great team in Manchester has been United. But with huge investment by wealthy Arabs Manchester City overtook their neighbours and took their first Premier League title since 1968 in a memorable match against Queens Park Rangers. They were a huge disappointment in the Champions League in the fall, where they fell in the first round, but are still second in the Premier League behind Manchester United.
- 6) Chelsea: One has to admire when Chelsea got out of some difficult months in the spring by taking the FA Cup and the Champions League title. In the fall, when things started to go sour in the Premier League and in the Champions League, they just fired Roberto Di Matteo. Things seem to have improved a little with Rafa Benitez, but it does not take away that Chelsea is as much a soap opera as a football club...
- 5) Juventus: The great Italian side won its first Serie A since 2003, and the team has been doing well in the Champions League where they were instrumental in the the elimination of the defending champions of Chelsea in the fall.
- 4) Atletico Madrid: Over the last years there have only been two clubs in Spain, but now it seems Atletico Madrid, under coach Diego Simeone, may be able to threaten the duopoly. While finishing only 5th in the League, they went on to win the Europa League, and have maintained a second spot in the league throughout the fall.
- 3) Borussia Dortmund: The German side only seems to be getting better and better. In 2012 they won the "Double" in Germany, winning the Bundesliga with most points ever won by a German champion. While they are currently trailing Bayer Munich and Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, they topped a great year by winning their Champions League group in style ahead of Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax Amsterdam.
- 2) Corinthians: Winners of the 2012 Copa Libertadores against Boca Juniors in the final, they went on to win the FIFA Club World Cup against Chelsea, the first time in five years it was not won by a South American side.
- 1) Spain: At the Euro 2012 Spain showed that there is really no threat to their hegemony on the international football stage. This was the third major tournament they won in a row and they won it in awesome style, in spite of the criticisms (including from myself) about their style, where they have too few goals to show for their immense possession.
Sunday, December 30, 2012
Best teams of 2012
Here is my personal list of the teams I found to be the best in 2012!