World Football: Top 10 Player Bust-Ups of 2011
Altogether, 2011 brought us a year that we will never forget. Even though there were massive news stories such as the Arab Spring that took place throughout the year, football never left the world's spotlight due to some massive occurrences.
This included some stories that broke apart some stable connections throughout the football universe. Who would have guessed that a player such as a Fernando Torres would move to Chelsea and struggle mightily or Carlos Tevez finally appearing to leave Manchester for good?
These stories helped to make 2011 a particularly memorable year in world football. Here are 10 of the biggest breakups that happened in football in 2011.
No. 10: USA Soccer and Bob Bradley
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He was by no means the most popular manager anywhere, yet Bob Bradley somehow kept the American managerial position for five years to the the dismay of many.
The United States did reach their first FIFA final under Bradley and were close to reaching the quarterfinals of the 2010 World Cup. However, many fans were angered with Bradley, especially after the Yanks lost to Panama in the Gold Cup group stage.
After losing in the Gold Cup final at home to arch rival Mexico, no one knew if Bradley was going to leave. Almost a month after the final, Bradley found himself out of a job just days before the Americans were supposed to play a friendly against Mexico.
Jurgen Klinsmann became the new manager of the United States and Bradley now is managing the Egyptian national side.
No. 9: Arsenal and Cesc Fabregas
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He played a massive role for Arsenal after becoming a full-time starter in 2005. Cesc Fabregas was one of the biggest stars in all of England throughout his time in North London.
Fabregas was rumored to go back to his former youth club Barcelona for years, but after years of anticipation and numerous transfer rumors, Fabregas joined Barcelona in August.
Since then, Fabregas has won three trophies with the Catalan club and looks to eventually replace Xavi as a starting midfielder.
No. 8: AC Milan and Andrea Pirlo
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He played for AC Milan for 10 years, but Andrea Pirlo and AC Milan agreed to not renew their agreement last May, meaning the former World Cup champion had to find a new home.
Pirlo decided to move to rival Juventus, where he is playing a major part in a La Vecchia Signora side that is attempting to win the scudetto.
With the move, Pirlo has now played for Italy's three biggest clubs, Inter, AC Milan and Juventus.
No. 7: Manuel Neuer and Schalke
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Considered by some to be the best goalkeeper in the world, Manuel Neuer looked to move from Schalke throughout the first half of 2011.
Neuer was a part of Schalke at every stage of his career during this point, which wasn't very surprising considering they were his hometown club. Neuer helped to get Schalke into the Champions League semifinals for the first time in their history while in his final season with the club.
Neuer went to Bayern, where he was not welcomed fully originally due to a mimicked celebration Neuer did when Schalke won at Bayern the year before that mirrored a celebration that Bayern legend Oliver Kahn did years before.
No. 6: Chelsea and Carlo Ancelotti
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One of the most respected managers in the world after achieving success at AC Milan last decade, Carlo Ancelotti's time at Chelsea came to a premature ending last season after finishing second in the league table.
Chelsea won the double the year before in what was Ancelotti's first year with the club. However, an aging squad and the dismissal of assistant Ray Wilkins caused the squad to falter for a long stretch in 2010.
Ancelotti is now without a job and his successor Andre Villas-Boas is also having struggles with Chelsea this season.
No. 5: André Villas-Boas and Porto
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It was only his first season as a manager, yet André Villas-Boas was able to bring an incredible amount of success to Porto.
Villas-Boas became the youngest manager ever to win a European competition (the 2011 Europa League) and went the entire Portugese Liga campaign without a defeat (27 wins, three draws).
Villas-Boas decided to resign shortly after winning the Europa League and went to Chelsea, where he is now trying to find some success after a slow start to the season.
No. 4: Sepp Blatter and Reality
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Its questionable to think if Blatter had any sense in his head for years considering the idiotic quotes and rules he has made up over the past several years.
However, Blatter outdid himself with his recent comments about racism in football. In an interview, Blatter said:
Of course Blatter got calls for his resignation for this, but he didn't resign. It really makes you wonder if he is on the planet Earth or if he is in a fantasy world.
No. 3: Mohammed Bin Hammam, Jack Warner and FIFA
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In late May, FIFA vice president Mohammed Bin Hammam was caught giving out the equivalent of several years' salary to Caribbean football association members in order to get his vote in the FIFA presidential election.
It was later found out that Jack Warner, the then-president of CONCACAF and one of the most powerful men in the game, encouraged that these transactions would continue for whatever the Caribbean FA officials deemed necessary.
This led to American Chuck Blazer reporting what Hammam and Warner did to FIFA, which resulted in the pressing of charges on both individuals.
Warner decided to resign from his post, causing him to have the charges against him dropped. Hammam decided to keep his position and refused to resign, which resulted in the Qatari official to get banned from football for life.
No. 2: Liverpool and Fernando Torres
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He was an integral part of Liverpool squads since he joined the squad in 2007. However, Fernando Torres' time at the club was running dry and he tried his hand in an official transfer request, which was denied by the club.
Torres went on to a move to Chelsea for £50 million, a British transfer record.
However, Torres has since struggled mightily for the club, hurting their chances in every major competition that they have participated in since he has joined.
No. 1: Carlos Tevez and Manchester City
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Carlos Tevez came to Manchester City in the summer of 2009 in a blockbuster transfer after Tevez played for arch-rival neighbor Manchester United for two seasons.
Tevez had a memorable impact in his time with the club, helping Man City win their first trophy since the 1970s and helping to get some major stars to move to Eastlands to try to get City a Premier League title.
However, Tevez was constantly unhappy and made his wishes to move clear for months. After refusing to play for City in a 2-0 loss at Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Tevez's departure is imminent during this winter transfer window.
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