FIFA picks 12 moments that defined football in 2012

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Football has thrilled, enthralled and stirred the emotions for numerous years, but none more so than over the course of 2012.

Stretching out across all four corners of the globe, the time has come for fans all over the world to unite, and rejoice in celebration of the beautiful game.

From Zambia's poignant Africa Cup of Nations prize in February, to Fabrice Muamba's miraculous recovery from a cardiac arrest in Bolton's FA Cup clash with Tottenham in March, there has been no shortage of reminders of just how precious life is, and how lucky those are to be involved with the sport.

Sergio Aguero's stoppage-time strike sealed Manchester City the Premier League title in the most dramatic of fashions to bring down the curtain on another memorable campaign in May, while Didier Drogba's Champions League final fling brought a fitting end to his Chelsea career.

In June, Tahiti conquered their continent with a shock OFC Nations Cup victory, which secured them a place at the FIFA Confederations Cup, while SPL giants Glasgow Rangers were consigned to liquidation, later reforming in Scotland's fourth tier.

The European Championships in Poland and Ukraine will be remembered for Spain's final flourish, after they recorded a record-high victory with a four goal margin over Italy, to become the first European national team to win three major tournaments in succession, while Andrea Pirlo's Panenka penalty for the runners-up against England, also garnered plenty of headlines.

August will be best remembered for the London Olympics, with the United States and Canada serving up perhaps the most memorable match in the semi-final of the Women's Football Tournament, when Alex Morgan scored a last-minute winner in a 4-3 victory for the Americans.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic marked Sweden's first-ever game at their new home, the Friends Arena, with a devastating individual display, to become the first player to score four goals against England in an eventful 4-2 friendly victory, with his final strike - an amazing 30-yard overhead kick - going down as a contender for one of the best goals ever!

December brought with it Lionel Messi's record goals haul for a calendar year. The Barcelona star surpassed Gerd Muller's benchmark set in 1972, finishing 2012 with 91 goals in all competitions.

And finally, joy in Japan for Brazilian club Corinthians, who celebrated a FIFA Club World Cup victory after seeing off Chelsea in the final, thanks to a solitary goal from Paolo Guerrero, to etch his side's name onto the prestigious trophy for the first time since 2000.

Now, with the calendar year finally drawing to a close, check out this video of highlights of all 12 moments singled out by that have truly made it 12 months to remember…

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Premier League
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