The year 2014 included many major soccer stories, talking points and controversies. Here’s a list of 10 of the biggest stories to come out of the beautiful game during the past 12 months.
1. Germany Wins Fourth World Cup
The Germans triumph during this summer’s World Cup came down to defense. The now four-time champions only allowed four goals in seven total matches during the competition. While they squeaked out a 1-0 victory over Argentina in the final, there were two matches that stood out for the Germans: the 4-0 victory over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal side in the opening match of Group G, and the astounding 7-1 thrashing of Brazil in the semi-final. Now only Brazil (5) has more World Cups than Germany.
2. Brazil Humiliated On Their Own Turf
Speaking of that massive victory for Germany over Brazil, the loss not only meant that Brazil was sent packing in the tournament (although they didn’t have far to travel), but it was also the first home defeat for the South American country in 39 years. If the loss wasn’t bad enough, the Brazilians were absolutely humiliated by the Germans, as the European squad went up 5-0 inside of 30 minutes and went on to record the 7-1 victory. Many have suggested that the loss was Brazil’s worst moment in World Cup history.
3. Real Madrid Wins 10th European Title
The Spanish giants finally achieved “La Decima” back in May, 12 years after winning their ninth European title in 2002. Although Real Madrid failed to win the La Liga crown this past season, Los Blancos achieved the historic accomplishment of 10 European titles in dramatic fashion. After nearly losing the Champions League final to fellow Spanish club Atletico Madrid, Real went on to score four goals after the 90th minute (three in extra time) to claim the cup.
4. Luis Suarez Attacks Yet Again
While surely ultra-talented, Luis Suarez once again made headlines for all of the wrong reasons during the 2014 World Cup. During Uruguay’s final group stage match against Italy, a game in which the South Americans won and advanced to the knockout phase, Suarez was seen taking a bite out of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder in the 79th minute of the game.
Although the match referee did not see the incident, Suarez was banned for the rest of the World Cup and the Uruguayans were bounced out of the tournament in their next match. This was the third occasion that Suarez was caught biting a player during a match in the last four years.