The year 2016 has been a fabulous and an exciting footballing year. It was a year full of surprises, new developments in the game, individual honours but also a year which did not have a fairy-tale ending to it!   March 24th 2016  

Passing away of Johan Cruyff in 2016 – was a great loss to world football

Regarded as one of the best in the game, three time Balon d’Or winner Johan Cruyff passed away on this day, a huge loss to the world of football.     May 7th 2016  

Leicester winning the EPL title was one of the top talking points across the world in 2016

   Not so long ago Leicester City F.C were battling it out in League One Championship (League 3), who would have thought that the Foxes would come and win their first ever Premier League. Claudio Ranieri guided them to a perfect season and gave Leicestershire a reason to sing his name. Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy played an influential role in lifting the team spirits throughout the season and winning vital games for Leicester.   June 10th 2016

Iceland and Wales exploits at Euro 2016 also captured the attention of football fans across the world

     The Euro’s is a competition which excites everybody more than the Olympics. Debutants Iceland and Wales managed to pull off an amazing performance in France; Iceland managing to reach the Quarter final and Wales losing out to Portugal in the semi’s was a job well done by the first timers. What was more striking was the support Iceland were given by their supporters during every game in the competition.

Portugal lifting the Euro was one of the special moments for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2016


Portugal lost out on the trophy to Greece in 2004 which was a big loss for the team which had lost a final at home. 11 years later Cristiano Ronaldo had every individual and team accolade in his cabinet but not a trophy with his national side. Ronaldo made sure he achieved this mark this time, second highest top scorer at the Euro 2016 Ronaldo scored some vital goals against Hungary and Wales to guide Portugal through to the final in Paris.   June 27th 2016  

Messi announces retirement from international football

     After a shoot out loss to Chile in the Copa America Final which was Argentina’s third consecutive loss in a final, Lionel Messi announced his retirement. It sent shock waves through the world as one of the world’s best players who many people look up to decided to hang up his boots. However, he came out of retirement within few months to help his national side and was welcomed by the world with great enthusiasm and celebrations.   30th June 2016  

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the first Indian to play in the UEFA Europa League

   On 30 June 2016, he became the 1st Indian footballer to feature in a UEFA Europa League match when he started in the away match against Welsh football team and played for 30 minutes in Connah’s Quay at Deeside Stadium in Wales. This was a moment of pride for Indian football and inspired many budding footballers in the country. I hope many more follow the same path as Gurpreet!   13th October 2016

 Uvena Fernandes first Indian woman referee to officiate in U-17 FIFA World Cup

Indian woman referee – Uvena Fernandes received AFC special award in 2016 and the first referee from India to officiate the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup 2017 and she was the assistant referee in the final match between Japan and DPR Korea in Jordan         20th August 2016  

Brazil winning the Olympic title for the first time in 2016, provided a great joy to football fans in Brazil

     Brazil created history by winning their first ever gold medal at the Olympics in 2016. What was even better was the fact that they beat Germany who had previously thrashed Brazil in the 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-final in their own backyard. Neymar Jr. guided his team to victory and gave hope to his people that the Brazil football team is as good as their former world cup winning team.   2nd October 2016  

AFC U-16 Championship Goa


Iraq won its first AFC U-16 championship beating runners up Iran in the final. This was a fabulous result for a country which just recently came out of war and sent a team which managed to create history.     15th October 2016  

India U16 team did captured the attention of fans in India by playing fearless and positive football at AFC U16 and BRICS Cup.

     Performances by the Blue Colts did provide great hope and belief to millions of fans in India that India is going to play at the highest level and can compete with the best. Nicolai Adam has been doing a great job with our U-16 national team. It will be exciting to see the boys participate in the U-17 FIFA world cup in India next year, and I really do hope we do well. This is an opportunity for us to go and prove ourselves on the world stage.     21st October 2016

2016 has been a year to remember for Korean football


With memories of Korea DPR’s triumph at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 still fresh, the country tasted success once more at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016. “It’s a feat that’s never been achieved before,” Boasting the most prolific attack in the tournament with 21 goals, Korea DPR were in a class of their own in Papua New Guinea. Coupled with their enterprising, attack-minded approach and their tireless running, the Asians’ remarkable mental resolve allowed them to see off all their opponents.   5th November 2016  

AFC Cup Final 2016


It was a very good year for Iraq as they clinched their first AFC U-16 championship and the AFC cup final won by the Air Force Club where they beat Bengaluru F.C (India) who also created history by becoming the first India football club to make it to an AFC cup final.   Bengaluru F.C took Indian football to new heights and raised the bar for other Indian clubs.   28th November 2016  

Chapecoense F.C #ForcaChape

   A day which left a hole in all our hearts, a day which we probably never want to see or wish that it never happens again. It was a big tragedy for Brazilian football and for a team who were doing so well in their league. I wish the team all the strength and recovery to only make a stronger comeback.       1st December 2016

India was awarded the top honour by AFC

   This was a big achievement for us. India was awarded the top honour by AFC in its annual awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi where India received the best Developing Member Association award       12th December 2016  

Cristiano Ronaldo wins his 4th Ballon d’Or

   Recognized as the best along aside Lionel Messi, 2016 was probably the best season of Ronaldo’s career. He won every trophy there is to win this year individually and with the team except for the league title.       22nd December 2016  

India moving to 135 in FIFA ranking the highest in 6 years

     The Indian national team finished the year on a high as they achieved their best ever ranking in 6 years. A brilliant move by the national team coach Stephen Constantine and India’s performance against Costa Rica in an international friendly.       18th December 2016  

Kerala Blasters F.C fans

   In the Indian Super League final between Atletico de Kolkata and Kerala Blasters the Kerala fans were the true champions. The passion and support that we saw from the fans throughout the ISL season was truly amazing. It proves how football is loved and is growing in the country. India holds a bright future for the game and I am pretty sure that Indian football will take off soon enough.   29th December 2016  

Carlos Tevez becomes the highest paid player in the world

     History was made as the year ended, Carlos  Tevez overtook Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to become the highest paid player in the world after his transfer to Chinese Super League side Shanghai Greenland Shenhua F.C.     Chinese football continues to extend its global footprint and capturing the attention of the world by acquiring clubs and signing star players. Now we look forward to a new year with new set of goals and milestones to accomplish, in 2017 India will host first ever world cup and it will be first ever participation by India team, which is going to be the biggest football event India ever hosted. The world’s attention will be on India and this FIFA event will not only be a history making event for India but also telling to the world that India means a serious football playing nation.

It was a good year to total it up but also a year where we end heavy hearted for

By Shaji Prabhakaran

Football Consultant| Sports Expert| President Football Delhi (FA)| Author| Ex-FIFA/AIFF| Consultant AFC, FIFA, ICC| CIES| Development| Management|

3 thoughts on “Global Football in The Year 2016”
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