The year is slowly but surely drawing to a close, the biggest tournaments are a fading memory, and many leagues have closed down for the holiday season. That surely makes it the perfect time to look back at the events of 2011 in pictures.

In the days leading up to 30 December, is proud to present four very special photo galleries.

After our gallery dedicated to the passion shown by true fans, our second photo collection takes you behind the scenes, into the changing rooms and the players’ tunnel. We have stunning images of Brazil star Marta, leading her team-mates in a pre-match beating of the drums, and we’ve also added a unique glimpse into the Japan women’s national team dressing room. Following their triumph against the USA in last summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup final, the Nadeshiko gave their emotions free rein – and fired off the champagne corks too.

So why not join us for a browse through our special photo galleries? Just follow the link in the right-hand navigation.

The gallery includes the unforgettable image of Ogbonnaya Okemmiri celebrating Nigeria’s victory over Tahiti at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2011 in Ravenna, Lionel Messi a study of intense concentration prior to the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final against Al Sadd, and a selection of players going through their pre-match warm-up routines. All in all, the collection is truly wonderful and exclusive.

Immerse yourself in the colourful world captured by our rare and unique photos. Click away, and enjoy!