On the December 27 and January 3 podcasts Eoin and I offer up out biggest twenty soccer stories of 2011. Over the next few days the blog will bring you another eighty stories that just failed to make it into the top twenty.
41. The 2011 Asian Cup is hosted by Qatar and won by Japan after beating Australia in the final 1-0.
42. Three Portuguese clubs FC Porto, Braga and Benfica make it to the last four of the Europa League with Villarreal the other. However, Porto and Braga do make the final an all-Portuguese affair.
43. Roma come under new ownership as US businessman Thomas DiBenedetto gains control of the club. At various times during the year the manager’s chair is occupied by Messrs. Ranieri, Montella and finally Luis Enrique.
44. Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala splash the cash for Roberto Carlos (April) and Samuel Eto’o (September) and join Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid as the clubs most likely to be associated with the stupidest transfer rumours.
45. Iconic Argentine club River Plate are relegated – maybe not – ok yes they are.
46. Frank Arnesen leaves his position at Chelsea and joins Hamburg.
47. Charlie Davies returns to football on loan with DC United after being involved in a horrific car accident in 2010.
48. Spurs go to the San Siro in the last sixteen of the UEFA Champions League and return with a 1-0 win courtesy of a Peter Crouch goal. Nonetheless much of the post game talk was off a dust-up between Milan pit bull Gennaro Gattuso and Spurs coach Joe Jordan. The battle of the Toothless and the Brainless.
49. Kolo Toure thinks he is looking a bit too plump and decides that a pill or two from Mrs. Toure might be a solution to his problem. A failed drug test and extended ban later it did not seem such a good idea after all.
50. Rogerio Ceni becomes first goalkeeper to score 100 career goals when he scores for Sao Paulo against Corinthians – later in the year the same player made his 1,000th appearance for Sao Paulo since his debut in 1992.
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