I am a bit late due to my Christmas vacation, but here comes my (very personal) top-ten list of my favourite teams of the year:
10. Atletico Mineiro: The Brazilian side won its first ever Copa Libertadores, but with their defeat to Raja Casablanca in the FIFA Club World Cup, they "only" get a 10th place in the list
9. Tahiti: Perhaps the proof that you do not need to be a winner to win fans. Tahiti fought bravely in the Confederations Cup, and the reason they are on this list is perhaps because all us average guys have always wondered how it would be to play against the rest in the world, and Tahiti did it!
8. Uruguay: After major problems in their World Cup qualification Uruguay came back with strength at the end of their World Cup campaign with important victories against Colombia, Peru and Argentina, making it to 5th place and destroying Jordan in a play-off match. Uruguay are eager to do as well as they did last time in a World Cup in Brazil...
7. Atletico Madrid: In a league that continues to be a two-team affair between Barcelona and Real Madrid it is truly refreshing that Atletico Madrid has managed to "annoy" the two giants (in the words of their coach Diego Simeone) playing good football, and also doing well in the Champions League.
6. Borussia Dormund: They were in the shadow of Bayern Munich, but made it to the Champions League final defeating many of the greats, and continue alive in the Champions League.
5. Chelsea: In an up-and-down season the London side managed to win the Europa League, and with Jose Mourinho as new coach they are still candidates for the title in a very exciting Premier League.
4. Nigeria U-17: The U-17 World Cup in the UAE was won by Nigeria, defeating Mexico's defending champions in the final 3-0. It was the fourth time they won it, and redeems their defeat to Switzerland in the 2009 final on home soil.3. Brazil: Brazil was always going to be a candidate to win the world cup at home. However, under Mano Menezes their play had not been convincing, but this has changed under Luis Felipe Scolari, who led the side to a convincing victory in the Confederations Cup. A winner of the Confederations Cup has never won a World Cup, but Brazil may be the one to defeat this record....
2. Nigeria: A great year for Nigeria, who won the U-17 World Cup, but also took a surprising victory in the Africa Cup of Nations, and qualified convincingly to the World Cup. If anything, Nigeria has in 2013 re-taken its rightful position as one of the world's great footballing powers.
1. Bayern Munich: First under Jupp Heynckes and now under Pep Guardiola Bayern Munich has just been getting better and better, and crowned an awesome year, where they won every tournament they played in, with the title of World Champions. At the end of the year they are first in the Bundesliga and continue in the Champions League. There is no doubt that the team to be in 2014 will be Bayern Munich.