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.
61. Less than a season after leading Bayern Munich to the 2010 Champions League Final Louis van Gaal is told that he will be allowed to leave at the end of the season. A little later Bayern Munich decide that sooner is better than later and the Dutchman does not see out the season.
62. England’s captain John Terry is charged with racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. Stay tuned for this one being one of the top stories in 2012 when (or if) it goes to court.
63. With Ukraine co-hosting the Euro 2012 finals the powers that be turn once more to Oleg Blokhin and place him in charge of the national team.
64. France’s national team Coach Laurent Blanc gets himself mixed up in a controversy over the imposition of quotas based on race for France’s football academy.
65. Ireland’s all-time leading scorer Robbie Keane signs for the LA Galaxy.
66. The start of the MLS season is marred by a couple of horrendous challenges. The worst brings a ten-game suspension to Brian Mullan (Colorado Rapids) and Steve Zakuani of the Seattle Sounders misses the season on account of a broken leg.
67. There are shocks galore in the African Nations Cup 2012 qualifiers – Cameroon, Egypt, Nigeria, Algeria, and South Africa are all eliminated. Embarrassingly South Africa plays for a draw in the mistaken belief that it is sufficient to take them through. They then discover during their post-game celebrations that they failed on a head-to-head tiebreaker.
68. Qualifying gets underway for World Cup 2014 when Belize beats Montserrat 5-2
69. American Samoa finally win a match but alas shortly after their dream of a spot at the World Cup Finals in 2014 ends.
70. Barcelona convincingly wins the FIFA Club World Cup for the second time in two years – this time demolishing Santos 4-0.
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