2013 – Year of Football Revolution
The English football world continues to shock the world with surprises every other weeks. Not long ago, Manchester United secured their 20th Premier League title, and everyone thought the manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, is already planning on another assault in 2014. Within a week, the turn of event, the Manchester United boss decided that it is time to step down – after 26 years of managing the team at Old Trafford.
In quick succession, speculations began around the world news and tabloid as to who are likely to assume the role – 2 strong contenders were widely mentioned: Jose Mourinho (Chelsea ex-boss and current Real Madrid boss who still has 3 years left on is contract) and David Moyes (Everton manager). Before there is even enough time for the news and the world to compare and criticise the 2 possible candidates, Manchester United dealt another surprising blow by announcing the successor (David Moyes). That’s already 2 strikes coming from the English Premier League champion.
Not everything just happen at the management level, at the player level, there were a few significant impacts. Following Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement is Paul Scholes who have decided to retire for the second time. The player has been highly appreciated by many players, including France great Zinedine Zidane who described Scholes as “being in a class of his own”. The 38-year-old midfielder has made 716 appearances, and became only the third player to reach 700 appearances for Manchester United, following in the footsteps of Sir Bobby Charlton and Ryan Giggs.
All those happen in a space of a few weeks, all related to Manchester United. However, that’s not all. Coming from the graduation class of 92, along with Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, this player has chosen a separate footballing path, reinventing itself and became the only English player to have won 4 different titles from 4 different countries – David Beckham. Having played for Sir Alex Ferguson from 1992 to 2003, he left for Real Madrid after his relationship with the manager turned sour, before moving on to LA Galaxy in the United States. His celebrity status was enhanced following his marriage with Victoria, one of the Spice Girls, and therefore became a global brand on both fashion and football. At the beginning of this year, David Beckham signed for a 5-month contract with Paris St-Germain (PSG), but announced that his salary will be donated to charity. After PSG secured the title, earlier this week, he has followed in the footsteps of his ex-boss, whom his called as a “father figure”, and Paul Scholes to hang up his boot. His retirement has sent shockwaves around the world, who wasted no time in paying tribute to one of the most prominent footballers in the world.
Three retirements, all coming from Manchester United alone, and I strongly believe that is going to shape the English football, at least in England. One of the longest serving manager has left and the iconic footballing-fashion brand has moved on too. Nonetheless, from personal perspective, I think these guys made the right choice, stepped down from the stage at the highest achievement; something I always tend to relate to Eric Cantona.
On the other side of the fence, where situation tends to be more disruptive, has also evolved. Wayne Rooney made known publicly that he would like to leave Manchester United, following the news that David Moyes will be the new manager of the club. The relationship between the two parties is unknown to many, but clearly David Moyes has successfully sued Wayne Rooney due to the publication of his biography related to their working relationship. It is uncertain if Wayne will be leaving the club at the end of the season, but if he doesn’t, one thing for sure is, David is someone who is capable of bringing out the best in Wayne, like he did in the past in Everton when he burst into the scene as the youngest footballer to score in his debut.
Another ex-Manchester United player, Cristiano Ronaldo, made headlines this week as he and his current boss, Jose Mourinho, we’re given marching orders in the Copa del Rey final. In the end, Real Madrid lost 2-1 to its rival, Atletico Madrid, as the latter claimed their first victory over Real Madrid in 14 years. This definitely does not go down very well with Jose Mourinho as he ended the season without any silverware.
It will be interesting to see how the industry is moving in the next couple of months before the 2013-14 season starts. I will not be surprised given all the above happened within a space of a few weeks.