Posted by: alcrabat | 5 September 2012

World Soccer Round-up

By Adam Chanaoui

The 2011-2012 Football season was a very interesting one. It had a lot of action and intensity between teams both in their respective domestic leagues, in the Europa League and the Champions league.

Spain: As usual, La Liga was disputed between the giants: Real Madrid and F.C Barcelona, with a stunning 30-point difference between them and their closest chaser, Valencia. Real Madrid, the champion of this year’s edition by 9 points away from Barcelona, is the first team that has ever reached 100 points in a major league.

In another competition between two other rivals, Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid and Lionel Messi from Barcelona were fighting for the “pichichi” (best scorer) the whole season. The season ended with 50 Goals for Messi and 46 for Cristiano followed by Radamel Falcao from Athletico Madrid with 23 goals. In other news, Barcelona’s coach, Pep Guardiola, decided to quit and leave the club after his 4-0 win over Espagnol. He had a huge farewell celebration from his team and gave the supporters a final speech.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo battled all season for La Liga championship and “Pichichi” trophy

Italy: This year was special in Italy as the sleeping Juventus finally woke up and won the Serie A Championship. AC Milan was very surprised by the power of Juventus this year as the black and white team finished the season on top of the table with a comfortable 4 point lead, guaranteeing them a spot in the next Champions league. Last season’s champion, Inter Milan, had some serious problems after their coach, Jose Mourinho, left for Real Madrid. They finished the season in the sixth position. As for goals, AC Milan star Zlatan Ibrahimoviç was on top of the board with 28, followed by Diego Milito from Inter Milan with 24.

France: Montpellier, a relatively small team, won the title thanks to the play of their forwards, Olivier Giroud from France and Younés Belhanda from Morocco. It was shock for all other teams. They finished the season in the first place with only 3 points separating them from Paris Saint-Germain. The winning team is now preparing for another successful season and is competing in the Champions League next year. For goals, Giroud from Montpellier shared the first spot with Nene from PSG with 21, followed by Eden Hazard from LOSC Lille Métropole with 17.

Montpelier’s Younés Belhanda

England: In the Premier League, Manchester City took away their first title in over 40 years from Manchester United on the final day. Both teams had the same amount of points (89); But Man City had more goals (93) than Man U (89) which decided the championship. As for goals, Robin Van Persie from Arsenal was on top with 30 goals this season, followed by Wayne Rooney from Manchester United with 26.

City claimed the Premier League crown on the final day despite Wayne Rooney’s spectacular “bicycle” goal against them earlier n the year

Europa League: The Europa League was colonized by Spanish teams as 3 out of 4 teams in the semi-final were from Spain. They were Valencia, Athletico Madrid and Athletico Biblao. The fourth team was Sporting from Portugal. Valencia lost against Athletico Madrid and Athletico Biblao defeated Sporting, which led to the final match between two Spanish teams. Athletico Madrid was named Europa League Champion after an easy win over Bilbao 3-0. In the Goals competition, Falcao from Athletico Madrid was on top with 12, followed by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar from Schalke 04 with 10 and Falcao’s teammate, Adrian Lopez, with 8.

Champions League: The Champions League is the most competitive and the interesting league as all the top teams across Europe are competing to hold the so-called “Big-Eared Cup.” This year’s league was disputed between four major teams in the semi-finals, Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich and Barcelona vs. Chelsea. The English team played with an effective defensive strategy against Barcelona. They used all their counter-attacks to score then come back to defense. This strategy led them to the final. For Bayern Munich, it was a bit harder because they had to face Real Madrid. Bayern Munich won the home match 2-1 but Real Madrid responded in the away match as they won 2-1 in Santiago Bernabeu. This led to a penalty shootout that ended up with a 3-1 victory for Bayern Munich. As for goals, Messi is on top with 14 followed by Mario Gomez with 12 and Cristiano Ronaldo with 10. The final match was played in Fußball Arena München, between Bayern Munich and Chelsea on May 19th. The teams were level after extra time and the match was decided by penalty kicks. Chelsea won the match after Didier Drogba (who also scored Chelsea’s only goal in regulation) made the final PK.

All in all, this season was very special as a lot of world records were broken, including Messi’s 50 goals in La Liga and Real Madrid being the first team to reach 100 points in one season.

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