The 7 Most Difficult Feats in Football
Football is a difficult game made up of amazing feats.
Individual brilliance or team prowess has the power to make legends. Every once in a while, a truly special achievement arrives that should be celebrated by football fans the world over. Which memorable acts should be marked down as special in the modern age?
Let's take a look.
Note: Do not get this article confused with "The 7 Most Difficult Feets in Football," that's extremely different.
Winning the World Cup...Twice
Starting with the most obvious, the World Cup final is the pinnacle of any player's career.
Appearing in the major competition is a marvellous achievement in itself, but winning the trophy remains a distant dream to all but eight nations since the inaugural tournament took place in 1930.
Now consider winning it twice.
Only five countries have achieved such an amazing feat. Without peeking, can you name them?
Brazil currently have five titles to their name, closely followed by Italy with four. Germany have three titles, while Argentina and Uruguay have two each.
Just think about that Brazil stat for one second.
Five wins in 19 tournaments produces a ridiculous rate of success. Having failed to land the famous trophy in their last two competitions, the 2014 World Cup on home soil could quite easily finish with the Samba Boys winning an unprecedented sixth title.
Becoming the World's Most Expensive Player
Back in 1893, Willie Groves became the world's most expensive player when he left West Bromwich Albion to join Aston Villa. His cost? £100.
Nine years later, fellow Scot Andy McCombie made the dreaded switch from Sunderland to Newcastle United for £700.
In 1905, Alf Common became the first man to move for £1000 when he sealed a sensational deal from Sunderland to Middlesbrough.
Just 108 years later, Gareth Bale transferred from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid for a world record sum of £85,000,000, as reported by BBC Sport. With that money, you could buy 85,000 Alf Commons, five Alan Shearers or two Luis Figos.
Meanwhile, the world continues to plummet into an economic downturn.
Winning the European Treble
Treble-winning teams instantly become legendary teams.
While any treble should be applauded, winning your domestic league, cup and continental competion is the most impressive club achievement any side can muster. Most recently, Bayern Munich's 2012/13 treble-winning season underlined Jupp Heynckes' squad in the history books until the end of time.
Eight sides have managed such a feat in Europe. Huge plaudits if you can guess them all before scrolling down.
Celtic, Ajax, Liverpool, PSV Eindhoven and Manchester United managed the European treble before the turn of the century. After the year 2000, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Bayern are the trio to achieve such greatness.
While teams such as Al-Ahly of Egypt and Auckland City of New Zealand have achieved trebles in their own continents, nothing matches the European success in terms of difficulty.
Winning and Retaining the Ballon D'or
Yep, that photo is Lionel Messi striking a Thriller-styled pose next to his four Ballon d'Or trophies.
Much like Michael Jackson, he is very much a man who makes headlines. The Argentinian superstar has dominated the World Player of the Year voting since 2009 and continues to define himself as one of the all-time greats.
He is one award ahead of Johan Cruyff, Michel Platini and Marco van Basten. Most notably, Messi continues to halt Cristiano Ronaldo, who must be frustrated after only winning one Ballon d'Or. Just one? He must be rubbish.
With so much competition trying to hunt down Messi's crown, it's amazing to think Leo has maintained his frightening run of form pretty much across his entire senior career.
This one is a sign of the times I'm afraid.
Loyalty in football has become one of the sport's biggest achievements. It's not often players represent one club throughout their entire career, especially with big-money offers flying around during each transfer window.
Ryan Giggs has played for Manchester United across three decades. He has taken part in over 1000 games for the Red Devils and enjoyed a career of major trophies, individual awards and remarkable consistency.
The Paolo Maldinis and Steven Gerrards of this world are hard to find. Loyalty is, quite depressingly, a remarkable trait in modern football's current atmosphere. Whether you support these players or not, major respect is due.
Scoring Directly from a Corner
Both of these men have scored directly from a corner in recent times. It is probably the only time in Joey Barton's career that he has been compared to David Beckham, but I'm sure the philosopher will take it.
Quite often scored through a huge slice of luck, goals from corners are a rare occurrence. Wind conditions need to take the ball directly towards goal, while a large amount of bodies in the area can ensure everyone is occupied and fail to focus on the incoming dome.
While goalkeepers are often blamed for letting corners in, a powerfully struck and swerving shot is extremely difficult to grasp when under pressure. Just ask David Seaman, who conceded this strike to Artim Sakiri of Macedonia in 2002.
Spelling Jakub Błaszczykowski
Jacob Błasikoffski, that will do.
What are the most difficult feats in football, humorous or otherwise? Let me know in the comments section below and be sure to spell Sokratis Papastathopoulos at me on Twitter:
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