50 things we loved in 2021: Alisson, Messi, Bailly, Havertz, Keane…
It’s been another weird year off the football pitch, but a cracker on it. We’ve had high drama at club level and two major international tournaments to keep us entertained, and we’ve even been let back into stadiums.
The pan-continental Euros, if not an entirely sensible idea, were a brilliant release after the misery many have endured of late. And in South America, Lionel Messi finally, finally lifted a major trophy with Argentina.
We’ve been treated to some spectacular goals, some heart-warming moments and a fair bit of the downright bizarre too.
Here, we round up 50 things we absolutely loved in 2021.
This Scotland fan
Canny even kick a table in anger properly pic.twitter.com/dv9GChIc72
— Jim Smith (@standupfarmer) June 22, 2021
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
The only thing this clip is missing is popcorn.
— Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) November 29, 2021
Gareth Southgate wrote a letter and we all cried a little bit.
The last few lines of Gareth Southgate’s pre-tournament letter to England fans really hit home this morning. pic.twitter.com/fGAVMleJUi
— HLTCO (@HLTCO) July 8, 2021
‘A delivery for Mr Schick.’
‘Yes, sir. One Puskas Award. Sign here please.’
— UEFA Nations League (@EURO2024) July 14, 2021
In fact, hang on, can we reroute that delivery, please?
— Louis (@louislouisrob) October 19, 2021
Honestly, we’ll be watching this on repeat well into next year.
Deyverson é aquele cara que não acredita em tapinha nas costas. pic.twitter.com/bENnB0kd86
— Márvio dos Anjos (@marvio) November 27, 2021
This was just lovely.
Incredible: Fulham players climb into crowd to celebrate goal with 13-Year Old fan Rhys Porter who has cerebral palsy and suffered savage online abuse after posting footage of himself playing football. Beautiful moment of empathy and human kindness 🙌 pic.twitter.com/mf0Dq33fII
— roger bennett (@rogbennett) September 25, 2021
Getting trolled by your own sponsor is about as embarrassing as it gets…
Spurs getting flamed by Dulux literally minutes after announcing a new sponsorship deal with them is a mood. pic.twitter.com/mA3wHbXLBc
— Will Magee (@W_F_Magee) April 15, 2021
Pacos de Ferreira
…or at least we thought it was until we saw this.
𝗪𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱𝘆! Que é como quem diz: o Castor resolve sempre. 😉
— FC Paços de Ferreira (@fcpf) August 13, 2021
He’s so tricky he even sends camera operators for hotdogs.
saint-maximin ends the Burnley defenders and camera man with a fake shot pic.twitter.com/BGHsqshfBo
— PT (@the_mayor1996) April 11, 2021
The greatest shithouse moment of 2021.
Andros Townsend does the Siiuuuuuu at Old Trafford! 🤭
He enjoys a goal in Manchester! A wonderful flowing move! pic.twitter.com/8DYwq0GdY1
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) October 2, 2021
Not quite Townsend, but a funny riposte to Ronaldo all the same.
“Coca-Cola and Heineken… please contact me!”
Andriy Yarmolenko saw what Cristiano Ronaldo did and reversed it 😂🔄 pic.twitter.com/koH8o8TCx9
— Hayters TV (@HaytersTV) June 17, 2021
Lionel Messi & Neymar
Neymar was in tears after Brazil lost the Copa America final but he still came to his friend Lionel Messi and gave him a one minute long hug to congratulate him. ❤ pic.twitter.com/h5J3HjpCLc
— FootballFunnys (@FootballFunnnys) July 11, 2021
Germans don’t do missed chances at major tournaments. But if they did, they’d probably be the best missed chances in the world.
Muller miss ft Nessun Dorma pic.twitter.com/kW0aSq92Wp
— Dr Matt Swift (@MSwift94) June 30, 2021
The Chelsea striker was having none of the idiot’s antics.
Sam Kerr could run through a brick wall I'm not convinced otherwise… pic.twitter.com/J6vQTRXHv6
— Kelsey Trainor (@ktrain_11) December 8, 2021
This was weird. But weird in a good way.
CELEBRÓ AL ESTILO DE DIRTY DANCING 😂
Michail Antonio anotó gol y festejó levantando su figura de cartón igual que en el clásico de los ochenta. pic.twitter.com/hrIdTX0xrW
— Andre Marín (@andremarinpuig) August 24, 2021
Do you reckon Big Rom was a bit happy when Inter won Serie A?
Romelu Lukaku doing the same thing every Inter fan appears to be doing right now… hanging out of a car driving round Milan celebrating the title win! pic.twitter.com/GjkNBRxWG1
— FotMob (@FotMob) May 2, 2021
English football fans
The anti-Super League protests actually worked and made us believe fans had a little bit of power in football again. For about two days. But it was nice.
Arsenal fans are out in their masses to protest against billionaire owner Stan Kroenke, due to the proposed European Super League. pic.twitter.com/aKz4nPIBdv
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) April 23, 2021
The mainstream voice we’ve needed.
Gary Neville on the ‘European Super League’. Superb. pic.twitter.com/tlv4M8SrYw
— Tom Carnduff (@TomC_22) April 18, 2021
World class bickerers.
"He's always had a problem with people from Liverpool." 😳
Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher continued their England squad debate in the Sky Sports car park. pic.twitter.com/PVbxqutvzS
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) April 6, 2021
Who needs selfies when you can carry around a bum bag full of photos of yourself ready to sign?
Neil Warnock and his signed photos are the single greatest thing about this summer’s pre-season.
The man is a national treasure.
— HLTCO (@HLTCO) August 4, 2021
After some arseholes racially abused the three England players who missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final, this lot restored our faith in humanity.
"Black lives matter!"
Anti racism protesters gather at the Marcus Rashford mural in Withington 👀 pic.twitter.com/4iEnIJ865t
— Stretford Paddock (@StretfordPaddck) July 13, 2021
The Iceman Cometh.
❄️ No jacket, snow hammering down, smile on his face.
— Joe Prince-Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) November 28, 2021
Kieran Tierney in Arsenal training at London Colney today in the snow, still in shorts & a t-shirt.
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) January 24, 2021
Roy Keane v Harry Maguire
“Eh, uh, oh, apologies to the fans.”
Roy Keane's impression of Harry Maguire 🤣 pic.twitter.com/tFiJNE8UJ6
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 30, 2021
Roy Keane v Harry Maguire round 2
Talk about kicking a man while he’s down.
Roy Keane on Harry Maguire’s celebration is exactly what you’d expect.
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) November 12, 2021
Harry Maguire’s photobomb
Six months on, we can just about laugh about this now.
An Italian journalist asked Bonucci for a selfie right after the Euro Final. Unintentionally Harry Maguire still sad about the defeat leading to an epic photobomb. It shows the two side of football….joy and pain pic.twitter.com/oZiGOjlUqj
— Johndfocus🇳🇬🇹🇬🇹🇿🇿🇦🇰🇪🇧🇫 (@JohnofAfrica) July 16, 2021
The real MVP of Euro 2020.
rob beckett sitting in a random backstreet eating kfc at 11pm is a true reflection of english people post winning an england game and i am loving it pic.twitter.com/bpFSILcgs9
— elle 🧷🕯 (@saturncampbell) June 29, 2021
2021 peaked when Spain 5-3 Croatia and France 3-3 Switzerland happened on the same day.
The air of a man who knew he’d be seeing in 2022 leading Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.
— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) February 10, 2021
His spell at West Brom is best forgotten. Apart from this.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 28, 2021
Emma Hayes and Ian Wright
Watching Ian Wright & Emma Hayes Celebrating during the Euros never gets old pic.twitter.com/NL5vsTM6iv
— LawBreaker (@lorrebreaker) November 1, 2021
Perfect comic timing.
— Ginger Pirlo (@TheGingerPirlo_) November 20, 2021
The most infectious laugh on telly.
— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) December 24, 2021
The Leeds fan in our office still watches this daily.
Raphinha vs Cahill.😱pic.twitter.com/2me8qiFAOC
— PLFrance_ 🇫🇷 (@PLFrance_) February 9, 2021
The perfect response.
"I don't give a f*** about that, we won the f***ing Champions League!" 😂
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) May 29, 2021
Shaqiri tries to swing off the bar and misses 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/yDvzIQfLXR
— Greg (@gregofallgregs) November 8, 2021
We already miss watching him.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 28, 2021
A privilege to watch him in 2021.
𝗜𝘁'𝘀 𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗹𝘆 𝗗𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/q4I1Ea6335
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 2, 2021
41 Bundesliga goals in 2020-21. 69 goals in the calendar year. Ridiculous.
Robert Lewandowski had to wait until the 90th minute to break Gerd Muller's goal record, but he did it 👏
That celebration 😍 pic.twitter.com/8MV4M2RbQz
— GOAL (@goal) May 24, 2021
A header any No.9 would be proud of.
In case you missed the epic Alisson goal, or just want to watch it again… 🥰pic.twitter.com/LQMtBxdOHO
— GOAL (@goal) May 16, 2021
Pure box office.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 3, 2021
A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) October 14, 2021
More directors of football should act like they’ve had 10 pints on an away day, we reckon.
Passions were running very high for Leeds director Victor Orta at full time 👀 pic.twitter.com/q5TBePZuoU
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) December 5, 2021
We can’t wait to see what 2022 brings for the Arsenal wonderkid.
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) September 12, 2021
We support Indonesia now.
The run. The nutmeg. The one-two. The finish.
This goal by Indonesia had it all 💥
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 22, 2021
Eat your heart out, Erik Lamela.
Okay, we see your Erik Lamela and raise you Leixões midfielder Joca and this ridiculous rabona chip. pic.twitter.com/qSBEGPqIof
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) March 24, 2021
RB Leipzig signed him. Their scouts must have missed this.
There is Ramos penalty miss, there is Neymar penalty miss and there is this penalty miss by Brian Brobbey pic.twitter.com/ciOj4IMetC
— Match Bet (@MatchBetTips) May 1, 2021
This Ajax ballboy is not here for your time wasting bullshit pic.twitter.com/YlxkNvASy5
— FootballJOE (@FootballJOE) April 8, 2021
Never change, football.
— Sahil Bakshi (@SBakshi13) November 28, 2021