The 2010s were both an exciting and turbulent period for football. With more than a handful of career-defining goals and several big scandals, nobody could say it was boring.
Although there are plenty of options to choose from, these are the moments that will ensure the past decade is remembered for a long time.
The FIFA Corruption Scandal
It was the summer of 2015 when things became more than a little uncomfortable for FIFA officials. In the summer of 2015, after a thorough investigation from the FBI, the US Department of Justice was forced to indict several top executives on charges of corruption.
While this came as a great shock to many, what happened in December that year would shake the world of football even harder. Two FIFA vice presidents were arrested in a hotel in Zurich, and then a further sixteen officials were charged with partaking in criminal schemes, including ones involved more than $200m in bribes related to the bidding process for two upcoming World Cup tournaments.
While the scandal saw the end of two very powerful men’s careers, it’s essential to see this not as a tragedy but as justice being served.
Iniesta Wins the World Cup for Spain
Back in 2010, we saw the first-ever World Cup to take place in Africa. The final match was an aggressive and sometimes nasty game, with the referee handing out a record-breaking 12 yellow cards. But it wasn’t the rough and aggressive style of play that was the most remarkable thing – it was Andres Iniesta’s final goal that will be remembered.
Late in the game, after Dutch defender John Heitinga was sent off, Iniesta scored a beautiful goal and celebrated by lifting his shirt to reveal a tribute to Dani Jarque, the former team defender, who tragically died far too young in 2009. This touching tribute and beautiful bit of football paved the way for years of dominance by the Spaniards, who also won the European cup in both 2008 and 2012.
Ronaldo Scores a Poker
If somebody mentions poker, you tend to think of the card game, but it has a meaning in football too. If a player scores four goals in a single game, then they’ve scored a poker. While there are quite a few football players who put their skills of quick thinking to good use both at the poker table and on mobile poker sites, there are far fewer who can boast a poker in their football career.
One player who we can confidently say he’s incredibly skilled, both at the table and on the pitch, is poker star and football hero, Cristiano Ronaldo. In a Euro 2020 qualifier, when Portugal beat Lithuania 5-1, Ronaldo scored 4 of them.
The Battle of Manchester
The Premier League final in 2012 indeed divided a city. The dramatic climax to the season saw Manchester City play Queens Park Rangers. To win the league title, they just needed to beat them.
The game was a hard-fought one, with City fans crossing their fingers for a goal and United fans praying for the end of the game to come. It looked like Queens Park Rangers had the game in the bag. With the clock ticking over into
injury time, City were losing 2-1. However, a 92nd minute equalizer gave Manchester City hope, before an absolute screamer of a goal from Sergio Aguero saw City win the game and thus the title for the first time in 44 years.