5 Latest and Greatest Trends in World Football

Michael Cummings@MikeCummings37World Football Lead WriterMarch 21, 2013

5 Latest and Greatest Trends in World Football

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    Football is a game that both embraces tradition and yet always evolves. Trends come and go, but the sport retains its character through the years.

    Today, though, we're all about the trends. What are the latest and greatest of them at this point in football? What are the players, managers and fans into?

    Keep reading for our choices, then be sure to add yours in the comments below. 

Muted Celebrations Against Former Clubs

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    Robin van Persie kept it classy when he (inevitably) scored for Manchester United against Arsenal earlier this season.

    Ronaldo did the same when he scored for Real Madrid against United and helped knock his former club out of the Champions League.

    It's a sign of respect, and we all like it—even if we don't necessarily like the players for breaking our hearts in the first place. 

Twitter Rants

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    Twitter rants aren't actually new. They just keep getting more and more entertaining.

    The godfather of the form is probably Joey Barton, but the trend isn't limited to actual footballers.

    Coleen Rooney demonstrated that just a few weeks ago. Don't deny it. We were all paying attention.

    As Twitter continues to mature as a medium, we anticipate even more memorable meltdowns. 

Younger Managers Having Big-Time Success

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    Antonio Conte is 43. He won the scudetto last season with Juventus and has one of Europe's best teams this term.

    Juergen Klopp is 45. He has led Borussia Dortmund to back-to-back Bundesliga titles and the last eight of the Champions League.

    Michael Laudrup is 48. Under his guidance, Swansea City won the English Capital One Cup this season. It was the first major trophy in the club's 101-year history.

    None of these managers have hit 50 yet. All have accomplished impressive things. We'll watch with interest as they continue their careers.

Barcelona's 'Plan B'

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    Barcelona were in trouble. After a 2-0 loss to AC Milan at the San Siro, Leo Messi and company looked headed for a Round of 16 exit from the UEFA Champions League.

    Worse, it seemed that teams were starting to figure out how to beat them regularly.

    Then, Barca went to Plan B, which was really Plan A from a few seasons back—when they were using David Villa up top.

    With Villa distracting defenders in front of Messi, the little Argentine suddenly had more time and space on the ball.

    We all knew what would happen then.

Andrea Pirlo's Beard

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    OK, so it's not a trend. But it should be.

    And with that beard, Andrea Pirlo really should take over the title of The Most Interesting Man in the World.

    Make it happen, Sepp Blatter.