22 things that happened in football that nobody saw coming in 2009

2009. The year that Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, Bitcoin started and Usain Bolt ran the 100m in a world-record time of 9.58 seconds.

The year also featured a huge moment in football, with Cristiano Ronaldo becoming the most expensive player in history with an £80 million move to Real Madrid.

The football world looked a lot different ten years ago.

Manchester United were good, Pep Guardiola was winning trophies with Barcelona and we still got to witness the likes of Xavi, Kaka and Steven Gerrard in action.

There are certain things, though, that nobody could have seen coming in 2009.

Who would have thought that Leicester City, who were promoted to the Championship from League One in 2009, would win the Premier League title?

Or that Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric would go on to win the Ballon d’Or?

HITC produced a video of things that nobody would have believed 10 years ago and we at GIVEMESPORT have added in a couple of additional events.

1. Leicester City would win the Premier League

Nobody saw it coming. Nobody.

Leicester were 5,000/1 to win the Premier League at the start of the 2015/16 season. This was actually when they were in the league.

But in 2009, they had been promoted from League One to the Championship and had Matty Fryatt leading the line.

In that year, Kasper Schmeichel joined League Two club Notts County, Jamie Vardy was playing non-league football for Stocksbridge Park Steels and N’Golo Kante was playing amateur football in France.

2. Iceland would beat England at Euro 2016

Iceland finished bottom of their 2010 World Cup qualifying group, so to beat England to reach the quarter-finals of the 2016 European Championship was a huge shock.

3. Harry Kane would win the World Cup Golden Boot

Back in 2009, Harry Kane was a 16-year-old playing in Tottenham’s youth team.

There wasn’t a great deal of hype around him and he would have four spells out on loan.

He’s now a world-class player and has a World Cup Golden Boot after scoring six times for England in Russia.

4. Tottenham would make a Champions League final

Tottenham finished eighth in the Premier League in 2008/09, some 39 points behind winners Manchester United.

Ten years later and they were playing for the biggest trophy in club football.

5. Montpellier would win Ligue 1

Montpellier stunned France when they won the Ligue 1 title in 2012.

Yet they were only promoted to the top flight in 2009.

Their triumph remains one of the most remarkable stories in football history.

6. Luka Modric would win the Ballon d’Or

2008/09 was Luka Modric’s first season at Tottenham Hotspur and he hardly set the world alight.

Sections of the media even doubted that he had the physicality to cope in the Premier League.

But in 2018 he ended Ronaldo and Lionel Messi’s duopoly by winning the biggest individual accolade after helping Real Madrid win the Champions League.

7. Croatia would make a World Cup final

September 9, 2009. England 5-1 Croatia.

Croatia failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup and their humiliating 5-1 defeat at Wembley Stadium highlighted their frailties.

Yet they were on the biggest stage of them all competing for the World Cup trophy last year in Russia.

8. Gareth Bale would be the world’s most expensive player

Gareth Bale was linked with a £3 million move to Birmingham in 2009.

At the time he was a 20-year-old who was still playing at left-back for Spurs.

A shift further up the field, though, would unleash his true talent and four years later Real Madrid paid a then-record £85m fee for him.

9. Bournemouth would be in the Premier League

Bournemouth were in a mess in 2009.

They started the 2008/09 season in League Two, on minus 17 points due to financial struggles.

The Cherries won 17 matches, though, and finished in 21st place.

They earned promotion the following season and two more promotions followed.

Now, Bournemouth are in their fifth-straight season in the Premier League. It’s been a remarkable journey.

10. Wigan would win the FA Cup

Wigan were thrashed 9-1 by Tottenham Hotspur in November 2009.

Just four years later, though, they were beating Manchester City to win the FA Cup.

11. Algeria would win Africa Cup of Nations

Algeria didn’t even qualify for the 2006 and 2008 Africa Cup of Nations.

But they emerged from some dark years to become champions of Africa in the summer of 2019 and now boast a two-time Premier League winner in Riyad Mahrez.

12. Atletico Madrid would win La Liga

Atletico Madrid boasted some good players in 2009, including David de Gea, Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan, but there was still a big gap between themselves and Spain’s top two, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

They finished ninth in La Liga in 2009/10, a whopping 52 points behind winners Barcelona.

They were also knocked out the Champions League at the group stage after failing to win a match.

Their triumph in 2013/14, then – in which they finished three points ahead of Barcelona and Real Madrid – was a magnificent achievement.

13. Rafa Benitez would manage Newcastle

Rafa Benitez guided Liverpool to second in the Premier League in 2008/09.

Things weren’t going so well for Newcastle United. They were relegated to the Championship and were in disarray.

If you had told a Newcastle fan at the time that they would one day be managed by Champions League winner Benitez, they simply wouldn’t have believed you.

14. Wayne Rooney would join Derby County

Derby County were playing Championship football in 2009 while Rooney was playing in the Champions League final for Manchester United.

Now, the former England international is about to join the Rams, who are still in the second-tier.

15. Jordan Henderson would be a Champions League-winning captain

“i wanna win the fa cup for sunderland before im 30. I have played against falkirk and ajax and was on the bench v liverpool last season.”

Those were the words on Jordan Henderson’s old Bebo profile, in which he said Carlos Edwards was his favourite Sunderland player.

Henderson, a 19-year-old just breaking into Sunderland’s team in 2009, should’ve been aiming higher.

How about captaining Liverpool to Champions League glory?

16. A player would be bought for £200 million

Cristiano Ronaldo’s £80m move to Real Madrid smashed the previous record fee, which was £56m.

Ten years later and the current record transfer stands at £198m, that being the price Paris Saint-Germain paid Barcelona for Neymar in 2017.

What will be the record fee in 2029, £500m?

17. Gianluigi Buffon would still be playing

The legendary Italian goalkeeper is 41 now.

Back in 2009 you probably would’ve thought that he would have slipped down a few levels at this point. Or maybe even retired.

But no, he’s still playing for Juventus – and still making incredible saves.

18. Portsmouth would enter League Two

Pompey finished the 2008/09 season in 14th place in the Premier League.

But 2009 was to be the start of their descent through the leagues, with key players including Glen Johnson, Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjcar leaving and the club suffering financial problems.

They went into administration in 2010 and three relegations followed.

19. Wolves would be in Europe

Wolves gained promotion to the Premier League in 2009 but their journey to be a Europa League team 10 years later couldn’t have been predicted.

Indeed, they went back down – as far as League One – before coming back up.

20. Man City would win four Premier League titles in eight years

Despite Man City’s riches, this wasn’t supposed to happen.

The Premier League is brilliant because of the competition it offers. Teams aren’t supposed to dominate it in the way that Man City have.

Back in 2009, they were still a work in progress. Mark Hughes led them to a 10th-placed finish in the league and it was clear that they would need a better manager before they could even think about competing for the title.

21. Chelsea would finish 10th in the Premier League

Chelsea’s finishes between 2003/04 and 2008/09 were: 2nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd.

To be fair, their 10th-placed finish in 2015/16 stands as an anomaly – they won the league in the seasons before and after that, and came third last season – but it still happened.

22. Man United would be terrible

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United won their 18th league title in 2009.

They were still one of the best teams in Europe, reaching the Champions League final, and had a team filled with stars.

Ronaldo departed in the summer of 2009 but their squad entering the 2009/10 season still included Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra.

It was impossible to think that they would go six years without winning the title and face all the problems they have in the post-Ferguson era. 

There are some crackers in that list.

Honestly, if you had told someone in 2009 that Leicester City would win the Premier League they would have told you to get off FIFA.

It just goes to show that anything can happen in football.

So if you’re downbeat about your club’s current fortunes, just look at Bournemouth. Miracles do happen.

Click HERE to see HITC’s version of things you won’t have believed would have happened back in 2009.

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