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.
91. Real Madrid centre back Ricardo Carvalho calls time on his international career as he walks out on Portugal just before the final stages of qualifying for the 2012 European Championships.
92. Manchester City Chief Executive Officer Garry Cook resigns after being outed over an offensive e-mail and a truly pathetic attempt to cover up his involvement.
93. The European Court of Justice rules on the legality of an English pub operator Mrs Murphy side-stepping the domestic rights holder of Premier League matches and instead buying from another European Union supplier.
94. Former Argentina and Chile coach Marcello Bielsa becomes available and finally decides to take over at Athletic Bilbao
95. Two teams break long runs without a league championship when Dortmund wins the Bundesliga, Lille wins Ligue Un – unfortunately for both clubs they could not make it out of the Champions League group stage.
96. The 2011/12 season in England starts off with a series of bizarre scorelines – Spurs 1-5 Manchester City; Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal; Spurs 4-0 Liverpool; Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City; Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal.
97. In a repeat of the 2009 Champions League Final Barcelona again lift Europe’s premier club trophy beating Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley at the end of May
98. Birmingham won the Carling Cup with a last-minute goal from Obafemi Martins against Arsenal at Wembley in February – it was their first trophy for 48 years. Then three months later they were relegated.
99. Napoli sign a lion – in the summer Gokhan Inler arrived from Udinese but attended the press conference in disguise wearing a lion mask before being outed.
100. Ajax and their board room troubles played out in the media and in the court room.
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