What a year it’s been in the world of football, with records broken, trophies won and dreams shattered (think penalties and Euro 2012, or Manchester United at Sunderland).

However, it got off to a controversial start with Chelsea defender John Terry being stripped of the England captaincy.

The FA made the decision with the centre back embroiled in a racism row with QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, and Three Lions chief Fabio Capello subsequently resigned after the decision was made over his head.

79 football fans died in Egypt after violent clashes in February, whilst the following month Fabrice Muamba collapsed during an FA Cup match between Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur. Despite making a full recovery, the former England U21 international will never play competitively again.

Zambia produced a huge upset in the African Cup of Nations, stunning a Didier Drogba-led Ivory Coast on penalties in the final.

And, no 2012 article would be complete without a mention for Lionel Messi, who claimed a third FIFA Ballon d’Or award in succession.

Whether he retains the trophy next month is up for debate, but few could argue against the Argentine playmaker lifting the golden ball once again in January.

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