Thursday, December 17, 2009

Top Football Stories and Figures of the Decade: Too Big a Job for One Man

Don't know why, but it really hadn't dawned on me that the decade of the naughts has like, what, two weeks left? Jeez. Where did it go? Seems like just the other day we were whining about our inability to watch the 2000 Euro on cable TV.

Look at how far we've come. Fox Soccer and Gol TV are 24-hour operations and FSC is going to go HD after the first of the year. We're hopefully closer to video reviews of controversies and adding an official or two to every game.

In the meantime, we still can't shake match-fixing scandals, diving escapades and FIFA/UEFA incompetence.

It's a natural impulse to try to determine what is the story of the decade. But I think it's too big a job. Too many games. Too many trophies. Too many emotions to rank one above all others. Beside, if I try, I'm likely to come up with the same kind of mess that Yahoo! Sports did. Martin Rogers posted his top five of the decade on Dec. 1 and thankfully, it took me more than two weeks to find this disaster. Among his five gems: Hope Solo's tantrum at the Women's World Cup and, ahem, David Beckham joining MLS (he's still with us?). [It's almost as bad as this "Hottest Women of the '90s List that includes Shannon Doherty, Sarah Michelle Gellar and God Forbid Alicia Silverstone at No. 3!--Lovely Jenny McCarthy was tops.)

I don't know, maybe it's just me, but a purist might look in other directions.

  • How about Greece winning the '04 Euro?
  • Or Liverpool's incredulous win over Milan in the '04-'05 Champions League?
  • Arsenal's ubeatens?
  • Juventus and Fiorentina relegated after a betting scandal.
  • Hell, even the two versions of Galacticos we've had to Real Madrid are more interesting and newsworthy than Zidane's World Cup headbutt.
  • Did Maradona go into rehab this decade? Hahaha, I know, dumb question. But hey, he does close out the decade running the show in Argentina!

Top figures for the last 10 years?

  • Jose Mourinho.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo.
  • Fabio Capello.
  • Wayne Rooney.
  • Iniesta.
  • Xavi.
  • SAF.
  • The great Raul.

Like I said, too great a job. And too easy to screw up totally. Just ask Yahoo. Sheesh.

Either way, send me your thoughts--in comments below--on what you think the top stories/figures of the last 10 years are.

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