NDTV brings to you a compilation of the major happenings from the world of football in 2018.
Football, the global sport, recorded an eventful year. From the sport’s marquee tournament — the FIFA World Cup — to legendary Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger leaving the club, 2018 has seen it all. Even failure and death could not stay away from the sport in the year, which was at its eventful best. Football fans, often considered as the “12th man” of the sport also dealt with retirements of their premier players, who were probably the reason why they started watching the beautiful game. We bring you a compilation of the major happenings from the world of football in 2018.
- France emerge as World Champions
France emerged world champions. Kylian Mbappe concreted his name further as he became the first teenager since Brazilian legend Pele to score twice in a World Cup game.
Bolstered by a mix of experienced campaigners and young sensations France, the 2016 Euro Cup runners-up, lifted the coveted FIFA World Cup trophy for the second time. Their first World Cup triumph came back in 1998.
Then we were treated to one of the most action-packed #WorldCup Finals for decades
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) December 15, 2018
- Arsene Wenger said goodbye to Arsenal
Arsenal’s most successful and longest-serving manager Arsene Wenger left the London club on April 20. He took the helm of the Gunners in 1996 and went on to help the club clinch three Premier League titles.
Before his final match as a manager, the Frenchman was given a seven-game farewell tour, which included the last defeat at Old Trafford and a final European exit. But it all ended with a 1-0 victory at Huddersfield on the final day of the campaign.
It’s the end of an era…
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) May 13, 2018
- Manchester United record another managerial failure
Managerial failures at Manchester United are nothing new. Post the Alex Ferguson-era, it was the third failure for the Premier League giants which saw Portuguese tactician Jose Mourinho sacked.
Before Mourinho, Scottish manager David Moyes and Dutch coach Louis van Gaal also failed to restore the glory days back to the club, who have won the Premier League title, a record 20 times.
Mourinho left the club after Manchester United suffered a 1-3 defeat against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in a Premier League clash.
- Davide Astori passed away
Fiorentina, Italian football club, captain Davide Astori died at the age of 31 in March. The Italian international, who had 14 caps to his name, was found dead at the La di Moret hotel in Udine, ahead of his club’s clash against Udinese.
Astori started his career at AC Milan. In 2014 he joined Roma on loan, before joining Fiorentina the following year.
He was made captain for La Viola by Stefano Pioli in 2017-18.
- Premier footballers hang up their boots
Jose Mourinho, the then, Manchester United coach said, “A big player is leaving, but a big man is staying,” in regard to Michael Carrick’s retirement.
Carrick, who won five Premier League titles with the club, however, took up the role of coaching staff after retirement.
Arsenal’s German centre-back Per Mertesacker, after featuring for over 150 fixtures for the London club, called time on his playing career.
“Some days you realise everything is a burden, both physically and mentally, but you have to deliver without a doubt, the pressure is very intense,” Mertesacker had said about his retirement.
He, however, became the head of the academy under new Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
German football giants Borussia Dortmund’s goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, who made over 300 appearances for the club, alongside Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Thiago Motta also called time on their playing careers.