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Football's top 10 moments in 2018

Football's top 10 moments in 2018: From the World Cup to the year's biggest controversies

December 31, 2019 By Ali M.
With 2018 coming to an end, here's our list of the most memorable moments from the last 12 months.

The New Year is upon us. After 12 long months, 2018 has finally come to an end, bringing a close to what was an eventful year.

We were treated to a number of controversies, a number of mega-money transfers, unforgettable managerial changes, and most importantly, the World Cup.

However, before we say goodbye to 2018, here's a look at some of the most memorable moments of the last 12 months.

10. Wenger steps down

After 22 years in charge of Arsenal, Arsene Wenger announced on April 20, 2018, that he would be stepping down as Gunners manager. Tributes poured in for the long-serving Frenchman and he was given a warm sending off from the fans despite failing to win a title or earn a Champions League spot. His departure ushered in a change, with Unai Emery now being the man in charge.

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal, Burnley, English Premier League

9. Real Madrid's Champions League triumph

This win was not only special for the club, but for their manager and one player in particular. Winning three consecutive Champions League titles was a huge achievement for Zinedine Zidane, who later stepped down, and the triumph also saw Cristiano Ronaldo become the player with the most titles in history at five.

8. Germany's embarrassing 2018

Die Mannschaft will be happy to wave goodbye to 2018. The Germans suffered embarrassment after embarrassment in this calendar year, the biggest being their 2018 World Cup group-stage exit in which they finished last behind Sweden, Mexico, and South Korea. Low's men then went on to get relegated from League A in the UEFA Nations League.

7. Ozil cries racial abuse

Remember the troubles Germany went through at Russia 2018? After that ordeal ended, Mesut Ozil announced his early retirement from international football after allegedly suffering from racism and discrimination from the DFB and the media back home for a picture he took with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. A big debate sparked, with many flocking to the midfielder's defense, while others called his claim a lie.

Ozil issued a three-part statement in which he confirmed his retirement and blasted the DFB 

6. Mourinho gets the sack... AGAIN!

Mourinho and Man United's struggles were the biggest talking points of the first half of the season. With results not going his way and the dressing room turning their backs on the Special One, the Red Devils finally decided to let the Portuguese tactician go on December 18, 2018.

5. It's coming home!

Remember when England beat Panama 6-1 and everyone thought they were winning the World Cup? While the Three Lions did exceed expectations by finishing fourth, the most memorable part of their campaign was the it's-coming-home hashtag. With Southgate's men competing in the UEFA Nations League finals, expect it to return.

4. Cristiano takes on a new challenge 

Ronaldo proved that even at the age of 33, he still had it in him to pull off another mega-money move. The Portuguese icon called an end to his nine-year spell at Real Madrid and joined Juventus. Now, all eyes are on the Bianconeri where the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is enjoying a record-breaking debut season.

Cristiano, Juventus, Serie A

3. That Ramos tackle on Salah

Not only did that judo-esque tackle from Sergio Ramos take Mohamed Salah out of the Champions League final and the first few World Cup games, but it sparked a controversy that continued for months. The Spanish center-back sparked rage from many fans, with some starting a petition to get him banned from Russia 2018. A lawsuit was launched against the Real Madrid man from Egypt, while there was also an exchange of words with Klopp.

People did not let that tackle go 

Sergio Ramos, Mohamed Salah, Liverpool, Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League

2. France's World Cup success

A total of 1.12 billion people tuned in to watch France lift the World Cup for the second time in their history. While the game ended in heart-break for Croatia, it produced unforgettable moments for Les Bleus that will not be forgotten for a while.

Who can forget this beautiful picture of a beaming Kante holding the trophy

N'Golo Kante, 2018 World Cup

1. Modric winning the Ballon d'Or

Hands down, the most memorable moment of 2018 was Luka Modric's Ballon d'Or win. The Croatian ace ended the Messi-Cristiano duopoly that spanned 10 years, and the fact that many believed he did not deserve to win it brought more attraction. Then there was Leo's fifth-placed finish, which fans laugh at till this day.

Luka Modric, Ballon d'Or

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