Just a few days from now, the year 2011 will officially be consigned to history. It also means the footballing year is slowly but surely drawing to a close, with the biggest tournaments a fading memory and many leagues now temporarily shut down for the holiday season. That makes it the perfect time to look back at the highlights of 2011 in pictures.

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

Our third collection of images homes in on the action on the field of play. The pictures prompt memories of masterful tactical displays, slick passing interchanges, nerve-shredding penalty shoot-outs, and stunning goals, at major events like the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, and the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Ravenna.

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

The stars of the future showed off their promising skills on several occasions too, as up-and-coming youngsters took centre stage at FIFA’s junior tournaments. Henrique contributed no fewer than five goals to Brazil’s fifth FIFA U-20 World Cup triumph, the 20-year-old also claiming two of the individual honours at the showdown in Colombia. At the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico, three of the host nation’s hopefuls caught the eye of the watching world and wowed the huge home crowds, namely Julio Gomez, Jorge Espericueta and Carlos Fierro.

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