Messi, Bale, Fàbregas and the Copa América: What Will 2011 Bring?

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Messi, Bale, Fàbregas and the Copa América: What Will 2011 Bring?
Koji Watanabe/Getty Images
Will 2011 be the year Messi replicates his Barcelona form at the national team level

2010 was an interesting year in the world of football. Spain won their first World Cup, which was unfortunately marred by horrible officiating and complaints about too many teams playing defensive.  

Sepp Blatter and company, in an interesting turn of events, selected Russia and Qatar to host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.  

Other than Ghana, the African nations still have a ways to go on the international stage. Brazil and Argentina, despite their roster strength on paper and high expectations, reached the quarter finals of the tournament, which many found as a failure.

At the club level, "The Special One," Jose Mourinho, led Inter Milan to their first Champion's League title in over 40 years; which was then followed up by him leaving Italy to manage Real Madrid.  

FC Barcelona was nearly perfect in 2010 and had three players as the three finalists for the FIFA Ballon d'Or.  In addition to that, many of the players form FC Barcelona stirred up a boat load of controversy by expressing their desire to see fellow Catalan, Cesc Fàbregas, come back to his roots.  

Gareth Bale bulldozed his way to world class status and is on his way to being the best player on the left side of the pitch since Roberto Carlos.  

While players like Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Ronaldo, Roberto Ayala and Ryan Giggs have wound down their careers, a new breed emerges with the likes of Jack Wilshere, Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Romelu Lukaku as the stars of the future.

What should we expect to see in 2011?

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