The Funniest World Football Moments of 2011
Football is the world's most popular and widely played sport. That means there's a plethora of people out there ready to make fools of themselves whilst playing the beautiful game.
Thankfully, plenty of people did just that in 2011.
So, lets take a look at the funnier side of football in 2011. We've got some audacious own goals, stunning misses, famous footballers doing stupid stuff, horrific dives and much more.
If you've been missing 2010, have a look back at the funniest moments of 2010.
Mario Balotelli is a comic genius. The big man failed dismally in his attempt to conquer the bib (a challenge you would have thought he would have faced in the past).
To be fair, bibs are tricky beasts and often take more than one attempt to get on correctly. Usually, however, two attempts is enough to master the skill of putting on a bib.
In principle, getting a replacement bib was a smart move, as it gave him some thinking time to plan a strategy for getting the bib on (thus placing his previous failures down to a defective bib).
Unfortunately, the plan went awry, and he ended up looking like even more of an idiot.
Mario Balotelli and the World's Most Devastating Trick Shot
Mario Balotelli got himself subbed off after half an hour in a friendly against L.A. Galaxy after going for a cheeky back-heel with the goalkeeper still to beat.
Still, Mario walked off, head held high, not seeming to understand why he was being withdrawn.
Don't let them get you down; it could have happened to anyone, Mario!
"Form Is Temporary, Class Is Permanent"
Fernando Torres makes a perfectly timed (and classy) run to get on the end of a through ball, a quick (and classy) step-over wrong foots the hapless keeper and puts Torres through on goal, but then someone heckles Torres in the crowd, so he kicks the ball at him.
In all seriousness, Torres is a fantastic player who has been struggling with his form.
He seems to find it and lose it in the space of five seconds here. The run and touch past the goalkeeper are classic Torres, but the miss is classic Bobby Zamora.
If you watch the Manchester United fans behind the goal, it's like someone's scored a goal.
Unfortunately, nobody had, and Torres continued a miserable year.
Volley of the Year
How about that for a trick shot? The spinning, back-heel volley lob is an underused manoeuvre on the football field, and you might as well try it once you're six-nil up, for the good of the game.
That's what Inigo Martinez did, and he pulled it off perfectly.
Unfortunately he did at the wrong end, not putting Spain's U21s another goal ahead, but embarrassing himself on the Internet.
Martinez does actually score quite a lot of goals (at the right end). He has three goals from centre-back this season for Real Sociedad, not a bad return.
It's a shame he's going to be remembered for the own goal instead.
Goal of the Year?
Festus Baise brought a little quality to this match in Hong Kong with arguably the greatest own goal of the year.
The Nigerian centre-back showed remarkable skill and talent as he scored a sensational scorpion kick that perfectly lobbed his hapless goalkeeper.
It really is a remarkable finish, so maybe Citizen AA should deploy him up front.
I think it's great that his teammates seem to be congratulating him; it really was a good finish.
Two Mighty Headers
2011 saw two new contenders for the title of scorer of the longest headed goal in recorded history.
First, Jone Samuelsen knocked a header in from a casual 57 metres (the police checked). Then, a month later, Ryujiro Ueda scored from a reputed 58 metres.
Unfortunately, the 58 metres is not confirmed, so you'll have to settle for two funny, surprising and, frankly, lucky, long-range headed goals. (Here's the second one.)
Carl Jenkinson Scores an Epic Goal
It may have been only a preseason friendly, but Carl Jenkinson could not have made much more of a fool of himself, as he somehow contrived to send a fairly innocuous-looking cross into the back of his own net, lobbing his own goalkeeper spectacularly in the process.
2011 wasn't a great year for Jenkinson, but at least he provided us with some entertainment.
A Whole New Way to Cheat
There are many ways to force opponents to foul you, and there are many ways to fake said fouls.
But this method could just be revolutionary.
Grabbing your opponents hand and hitting yourself in the face with it is genius—except for the bit where you do it on TV and everyone laughs at you on the Internet... and the bit where you punch yourself in the face.
Anyhow, full marks for entertainment and originality.
Emanuele Giaccherini Develops Allergy to Goal
Cesena's Emanuele Giaccherini is presented with a great opportunity to equalise against the mighty Juventus. He's done the hard work, getting past the goalkeeper, and must now tap in.
Score, and he might earn a move to one of the world's most prestigious clubs.
Unfortunately, Giaccherini failed hard, which was amusing and earned him some sympathy from his teammates, which was also amusing.
What's even funnier is that Juventus still signed him; he hasn't scored yet.
Celebrating Quickly to Prevent Time Wasting
Joonas Jokinen is a Finnish youth player playing in Switzerland. He took a bit of a risk when he used his momentum from kicking the ball to perform a back-flip. If the penalty had been saved, he would have looked like an utter idiot.
However, the quest to achieve footballing immortality requires daring. Jokinen gambled, and it paid off. Kudos to him for that.
In an ideal world, the ball would have come back off the bar and hit him in the face mid-flip, but you can't always get what you want!
David Beckham: Rugby Player
David Beckham donned the red shirt of Manchester United once again this year, in a testimonial for Gary Neville.
Becks showed his versatility with a fantastic bit of pitch-invader tackling.
Sidestepping to his right, he drew the youth into his cunning trap before deploying the momentum-killing bear hug.
With all these rumours about whom Beckham might sign for, perhaps a second career in law enforcement, rugby or American football could be on the cards for the world's most famous footballer.
Sergio Ramos Ruins Everyone's Evening
Real Madrid had just won the Spanish Cup and were proudly celebrating when Sergio Ramos made a fool of himself by dropping their hard-won trophy under the bus.
The bus' suspension seemed to cope fairly well, easily getting the best of the prestigious trophy.
Still, the party went on, but you get the feeling that Ramos might not have been able to enjoy the party as much as he would have liked.
This picture suggests that Ramos might be paying for some repairs!
Marcello Matrone Celebrates Elaborately
Marcello Matrone is a Brazilian playing in the third division of Finnish domestic football. The football might not be of the highest quality, but his celebrations are drawing in viewers.
Last year we had an Icelandic football team organising celebrations such as the human bicycle and the swimming race.
Matrone isn't up to their high standards yet, but he's got off to a solid start.
Referee Gives Players a Taste of Their Own Music
Unfortunately, in the modern game players dive on a weekly basis. It's not particularly funny. What is funny, however, is when a referee gets his revenge by diving horrifically.
Rodrigo Nunes de Sa is the offending referee, committing his poorly acted dive in a Brazilian fourth division match.
It really is classic stuff: receive minimal contact, take a step back, realise you can get your revenge, grab face, fall onto back and wait for police to arrive.
Referee Chased over the Border
After giving a free kick and moving it back a few yards, the team who'd won the free kick just lost it.
The referee and his assistants were quickly chased from the ground, and one of the officials was forced to scale a nearby wall to escape aggravated players and coaches.
Watch out for the goalie lobbing the ball at the officials. Well done that man; even in all the confusion, he's kept the incident football related.
This took place in Argentina, but I can't tell you much more about it than that, apart from the fact that it's funny.