2013 has been a very entertaining year for football, with Sir Alex retiring, Liverpool’s resurgence, United’s downfall, sackings galore and Suarez’s bite… But out of everything that has happened this year, what were the most trending football topics on Twitter? Results from the social networking site were revealed a couple of weeks ago, with some surprising (and some not so) results.
It’s no surprise that Sir Alex Ferguson would make this list in 2013. The former Manchester United manager retired at the end of the 2012/13 season after over 26 years and 38 trophies. The most successful manager in Premier League history left United after being crowned Premier League Champions for a record 13th time. Sir Alex was also back in the public eye when he published his second autobiography later on in the year which sparked some controversy.
9. Paul Scholes
Another Manchester United retiree is at number 9, and that is Paul Scholes. The former England midfielder retired at the end of the 2012/13 season for a second time after returning in 2012. Scholes’ United career ended on a high with Sir Alex Ferguson winning another Premier League title. The 39 year old played 21 times in his final season and passed 700 appearances for the Red Devils. Not bad for a veteran, eh?
FIFA has been high in the trends throughout the year. In April, the investigation into allegations of illegal payments to FIFA officials from ISL was finalised. Sepp Blatter was cleared of any misconduct, but Joao Havelange (former FIFA’s honorary president), Ricardo Teixeira and Dr Nicolas Leoz (former FIFA Executive Committee members) were found to have accepted illegal payments.
The FIFA Confederations Cup headlined the summer with hosts Brazil beating World Cup holders Spain 3-0 in the final. Towards the end of the year we saw the release of FIFA 14 on new consoles Xbox One and PS4, plus the FIFA Club World Cup was a talking point with Bayern Munich becoming the 2013 Champions.
Transfer deadline day trends every year, but 2013 saw a very dramatic summer deadline day. Many major transfers occurred on September 2nd, including Mesut Ozil’s shock record move to Arsenal. Gareth Bale’s £86m world record transfer was still a talking point on deadline day even though it happened the day before.
Chelsea decided to surprisingly let go of Belgian Romelu Lukaku, who went on loan for a second season, this time to Everton. Roberto Martinez also signed James McCarthy from his old club Wigan for £12m and Gareth Barry on loan from Manchester City. Marouane Fellaini joined David Moyes at Manchester United, while Liverpool signed PSG defender Mamadou Sakho and Victor Moses on loan from Chelsea.
The January transfer deadline day saw Mario Balotelli leave Manchester city for AC Milan, Chris Samba to QPR and David Beckham to PSG.
Manchester United hit the headlines for many reasons, many already mentioned. A 13th EPL title brought an end to long serving manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s proud career at United and his replacement was the topic on everyone’s lips. David Moyes took on the mighty task of keeping Man Utd where they were after Sir Alex, but a poor start to the season has seen the Red Devils in the media spotlight again, but for the wrong reasons this time.
Adnan Januzaj’s breakthrough has been a positive talking point for Moyes in the 2013/14 season which has sparked a debate over national teams’ players. United’s Champions League second Round defeat to Real Madrid was another big talking point.
Liverpool are very much the team on many peoples minds at the moment. Their rise with manager Brendan Rodgers has been astounding from last season, which saw them finish 7th in the Premier League. A loss in the second Round of the Europa League earlier in the season saw Liverpool in a very negative light, but come the end of 2013 it has all changed.
The transfers of Simon Mignolet, Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho gave Liverpool hope that they could make a more serious challenge in the league this season. A fantastic run of form at the start of the 2013/14 season saw Liverpool top of the Premier League at Christmas, something nobody expected.
The main contributor to Liverpool’s trend is none other than Luis Suarez. But as you’ll see, I’ll speak more about him later.
4. Aston Villa
This is a big surprise to the list as Aston Villa haven’t really been a major topic this year in my opinion, but according to the trends they are the third most trending team. Paul Lambert’s men survived by the skin of their teeth last season and were embarrassingly defeated by League 2 Bradford City in the League Cup Semi Final.
This season saw the Villans upset Arsenal 3-1 on the opening day of the season, bringing much needed optimism to the club, but since then it has deteriorated and losses to Stoke and Crystal Palace recently has seen them fall back into another possible relegation scrap.
Christian Benteke was Villa’s shining light this year as he was the 4th top EPL goal scorer last season, but has struggled towards the end of 2013. He also hit the headlines after a transfer request in the Summer which he withdrew shortly after. Fabian Delph has performed well this season and there have been a few mentions of an England call up for him.
Although not as surprising as Villa, Swansea are still a shock to be the third most trending football topic in 2013. Michael Laudrup has worked wonders at the South Welsh club, taking them to League Cup glory last season and taking them through the group stages of the Europa League this season. Like Villa, Swansea has been in the spotlight a vast amount thanks to their top goal scorer, Michu. The bargain of the season sensationally scored 18 goals last season and helped the Swans to a fantastic 9th place in the Premier League.
Laudrup’s transfer policy raised a few eyebrows after he bought four more Spaniards, Jonjo Shelvey from Liverpool and £12m record signing Wilfried Bony from Vitesse. An emphatic 3-0 win away against Valencia in the Europa League has seen the Swans noticed further afield as well as in Britain.
Liverpool come up again in the top trending topics, although under the hash tag LFC. As I’ve already explained, Liverpool’s change of fortunes has seen them become the most trending English Football team this year. It comes as no surprise though, with Suarez hitting the headlines all the time, good or bad, and many players performing better than ever like Sturridge and Henderson. Liverpool should look forward to a successful 2014.
Luis Suarez. You’ve got to love him. Well the media do, anyway. The cheeky Uruguayan is the most trending football topic of 2013, shock horror. From nibbling on Ivanovic to scoring when he pleases, Suarez has had an eventful year.
The now infamous bite in April saw him banned for 10 games, which meant missing the first five games of the 2013/14 season for Liverpool. The bite caused Twitter to go crazy with many jokes and images of the incident being posted all the time. His career will most likely be remembered for that, no matter how many goals he scores.
June saw Suarez become Uruguay’s all-time leading goal scorer with 35 goals, which was an idea of what was to come from him later on.
The summer saw a transfer saga which dragged on throughout with Suarez being approached by Arsenal. The unusual bid of £40,000,001 triggered a clause in Suarez’s contract allowing him to speak to Arsenal, but the striker eventually stayed with Liverpool, much to the delight of Liverpool fans. He signed a new contract for Liverpool in December.
The 2013/14 season has seen Suarez forget about the earlier part of 2013, scoring 19 goals in 13 Premier League games so far and helping Liverpool to become possible title contenders.
What a year it has been for him.