Top 10 Soccer Stories of the Year

An exciting year in soccer recapped

1) The Head Butt. I hate to buy into the hype, but really, what else even compares to Zizou’s dramatic exit from the world stage?

2) The Italian referee scandal. The drama. The passion. The bad acting. Even a suicide. Add music, and it’s opera.

3) Oh, yeah. Italy wins the World Cup. Any other year, of course, this would be No. 1.

4) Barcelona wins the Champions League. After knocking on the door for a couple of years, Catalans break through to the top.

5) Internacional wins the World Club Cup. Brazilians upset Barca; Europe yawns.

6) Juergen Klinsmann? Nein. After the WC debacle, the U.S. courted a true world-class coach for most of the year but never could come to terms.

7) Fabio Cannavaro named world player of the year. The most attractive attacking squad Italy’s had in recent memory, and their best player’s still a central defender – the first defender ever to take this honor.

8) Houston Dynamo wins MLS Cup. Inaugural season ends in fairy tale fashion.

9) UT has their best season ever. But we still can’t beat Portland.

10) UCSB men, UNC women win NCAAs. For the unseeded Gauchos, it was their first title ever. For the Tar Heels, it was the 18th in 25 years (and their youngest team ever). So much for parity.

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