From the shores of Brazil to the fields of everywhere else, GoalChatter takes a look back at the biggest news and games in football this year.
FIFA World Cup
- Germany beats Argentina 1:0 to win their 4th ever World Cup, and their first as a unified nation. Die Mannschaft became the first European team to win a World Cup hosted in South America. It was the 3rd time Germany and Argentina met in the final. Their last meeting in the 1990 WC final was also a 1:0 win, for West Germany.
- First FIFA World Cup to use goal-line technology.
UEFA Champions League
- Real Madrid played city rivals Atletico in the 2013-14 Champions League final. Godin opened the score for Atletico, but Sergio Ramos's stoppage time goal tied the game, sending it to extra time. Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo made the score 4:1, giving Real Madrid their 10th Champions League title. They are the first team to reach 'La Decima'. Carlo Ancelotti becomes the second manager, after Liverpool's Bob Paisley, to win three CL trophies, and the 5th manager to win the tournament with two different clubs (Milan and Real Madrid).
- Ludogorets reach the UCL group stage for the first time thanks to defender Cosmin Moti, who gets in goal to save two penalties in the shootout.
- Real Madrid becomes the only team to win all of their group stage games on two occasions.
UEFA Europa League
- Sevilla defeats Benfica 4:2 in penalties after a scoreless draw, marking their 3rd-ever UEL win, a joint record with Juventus, Inter and Liverpool. The trophy is Sevilla manager Unai Emery's first European Cup.
- In their farthest European campaign thus far, Dynamo Moscow win all 6 of their group stage games, becoming the 6th team ever to do so.
- For the first time, the champions of the 2014-15 Europa League will automatically qualify for the Champions League play-offs.
UEFA Women's Champions League
- Wolfsburg come from behind to defeat Swedish club Tyreso 4-3.
1. Luis Suarez (Liverpool to Barcelona), £75 million
2. James Rodriguez (AS Monaco to Real Madrid), £63 million
3. Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid to Manchester United), £59.7 million
4. David Luiz (Chelsea to PSG), £50 million
- 4 transfers in 2014 broke the top 10 all-time biggest transfer fees in football.
- Barcelona acquire Luis Suarez from Liverpool for £75 million, the 3rd largest transfer fee in football.
- Real Madrid register their highest transfer sale with Angel Di Maria's departure to Manchester United for a record £59.7 million.
- First goal decided by goal-line technology is Eden Dzeko's goal in Manchester City's game against Cardiff. It's also the 100th goal of the season.
- A record 10 managers leave clubs before the final day of the season.
- Louis van Gaal replaces David Moyes as manager of Manchester United after leading the Netherlands to a third-place finish in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
- The media puts a dent on Malky Mackay's managerial career. Mistaking the pitch for the ring, Cardiff owner Vincent Tan attempts to do a face turn.
- Howard Webb retires from refereeing.
- Helena Costa becomes the first female manager of a professional men's football club in Europe, Clermont Foot, only to resign hours after being appointed. Another female manager, Corinne Diacre, takes her place.
Corinne #Diacre makes history tonight, debuting as coach of men's professional side @ClermontFoot in #Ligue2 pic.twitter.com/ieBEWDEaLl
— UEFA.com (@UEFAcom) August 4, 2014
- Atletico Madrid became La Liga champions, taking the throne from Real Madrid and Barcelona, who dominated the title over the course of a decade. Atletico was also the first away team in over half a century to win the league at Camp Nou.
- After 3 consecutive Serie A titles, Juventus manager Antonio Conte leaves the club to take over Italy's national team.
- San Marino keep their first clean sheet since 1993 with a 0-0 draw.
- July 20, 2014: The NWSL debuts on national television, airing on ESPN2. Christine Sinclair scores a hat-trick as the Portland Thorns defeat the Boston Breakers 6-3.
- Kansas City beat the Seattle Reign to win the 2014 NWSL championship.
The @NWSL makes it's official tv debut in 10 minutes on ESPN2!! Whoop whoop!! Tune in for a great game!! @ThornsFC v @BostonBreakers
— Whitney Engen (@whitneyengen) July 20, 2014
- Thierry Henry retires, playing his last game for the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference finals.
- Landon Donovan retires, playing his last game for the LA Galaxy in the MLS Cup final before hanging up his boots.
- DaMarcus Beasley retires from international football. Beasley is the only US player to appear in 4 World Cup tournaments, and has scored more goals than any US player in the Champions League.
- The LA Galaxy became the first team to win 5 MLS Cups when they defeated the New England Revolution 2:1 in extra time. MVP Robbie Keane scored the winning goal.
The "gold standard" of MLS: http://t.co/CzNiz39TQa #FirstToFive pic.twitter.com/tXFwuQQHxX
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) December 8, 2014
- Eusebio (January 25, 1942 - January 5, 2014) One of football's greatest. Scored a total of 585 goals in 571 games at club level. The first player to win the European Golden Boot.
- Sir Tom Finney (April 5, 1922 - February 14, 2014) Considered to be one of the greatest players of all time by Bill Shankly and Sir Stanley Matthews. One-club man for Preston North End. Scored 210 goals in 473 appearances. Still holds the record for most league goals scored for Preston. The first player to be named English Footballer of the Year twice. Tied with Nat Lofthouse and Alan Shearer as 6th top goalscorer for England (30 goals).
- Tito Vilanova (September 17, 1968 - April 25, 2014) Won the championship with Barcelona in his first season as manager.
- Gennadi Gusarov (March 11, 1937 - June 2, 2014) - Soviet Russian striker/midfielder. Made over 100 appearances for both Dynamo and Torpedo Moscow, winning championships with both teams. Played in two World Cup tournaments (1958 and 1962).
- Alfredo Di Stefano (July 4, 1926 - July 7, 2014) - Considered one of the greatest players of all time. One of only 3 players to win 5 consecutive European Cups with Real Madrid from 1956-1960. Holds various records for Real Madrid, including the most consecutive League appearances (171), most goals scored in a European Cup (49), and the only player to win two Ballon d'Or awards while playing for the club. Scored 485 goals in 664 appearances at club level.
- Fyodor Cherenkov (July 25, 1959 - October 4, 2014) - Spartak Moscow midfielder. Holds the record for most appearances for Spartak (515), and is the club's 4th all-time top goalscorer with 95 goals.
Moments of Hope
"When people play as a team, competition, instead of being war, becomes a seed of peace." - Pope Francis