The focal point of 2010 was obviously the FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa, making it an unforgettable year for football fans across the globe. There were plenty of highlights in club football as well, and with the year drawing to a close, now is your chance to look back at some of the most captivating images from the past 12 months, all courtesy of FIFA.com.
League title wins, cup successes and, of course, the emotional ups and downs of the various FIFA tournaments have been captured here on FIFA.com in all their drama and beauty. Browse through this year’s images and relive your favourite footballing moments from the past 12 months.
Five titles in the space of a year
2010 was without a doubt Inter Milan's year. With Jose Mourinho at the helm, I Nerazzurri did a domestic league and cup double as well as securing glory in the UEFA Champions League, defeating Bayern Munich 2-0 in the final courtesy of a Diego Milito brace. This was Mourinho's last match in charge before he moved on to join Real Madrid. His successor, Spaniard Rafa Benitez, saw his new team win the Italian Super Cup with a 3-1 win over Roma, and the year finished with a bang in December when Inter made it five trophies by winning the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi.
Spain shine in South Africa
2010 will always be remembered for the wonderful FIFA World Cup in South Africa, with its amazing supporters' colourful outfits. The tournament had it all: thrilling fixtures, moments of magic and, of course, a first world title for Spain – naturally greeted with unbridled joy by their supporters. The hero of the hour was Andres Iniesta, who scored the winner in the Final against the Netherlands with just four minutes remaining in extra time. Germany also caught the eye with their emerging stars Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Sami Khedira, while Uruguay were back among the top teams for the first time in decades.
Women's football at its best: The FIFA U-20 and U-17 Women's World Cups
2010 also gave women the chance to prove they are every bit as skilful as their male counterparts. The FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Germany 2010 will certainly go down in the annals. Passionate fans turned out in record numbers at a tournament that threw up plenty of surprises and also saw real progress being made by the teams from Africa and South America. It was the host nation, however, who swept all before them en route to the title, Maren Meinert's charges defeating Nigeria 2-0 in front of 24,633 spectators in Bielefeld thanks to goals from Alexandra Popp and Kim Kulig.
At the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago, Korea Republic emerged victorious after a high-scoring final went all the way to a penalty shoot-out. Both competitions left fans wanting more of the same, and they will not have long to wait. The FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 is now just months away, and if the enthusiasm and anticipation that followed December’s Official Draw is anything to go by, we are in for an unforgettable tournament.
The battle for Olympic gold
The first ever Youth Olympic Games were held from 12-26 August in Singapore and provided a 13-day festival of football. The Jalan Besar Stadium was the scene of plenty of exciting boys' and girls' matches featuring representatives from each of the six continental federations. Bolivia secured the title in the boys' tournament, routing Haiti 5-0 in the final, while Chile won gold in the girls', defeating Equatorial Guinea 5-3 in a penalty shoot-out after the final finished 1-1.
Russia and Qatar looking forward to the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups
All eyes were on Switzerland on 1 and 2 December as heads of state and prominent figures from the worlds of sport and politics made their way to Zurich for the announcement of the host countries for the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups. The FIFA Executive Committee decided that Russia should host the 2018 edition, while the 2022 one will be held in Qatar.
Year comes to a close in Abu Dhabi
2010 came to a fitting conclusion with the FIFA Club World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. Seven teams fought it out under the Abu Dhabi sun with FC Internazionale Milano cruising to a 3-0 win over African champions TP Mazembe Englebert. The triumph came as a relief to fans of the Italian heavyweights, whose results this season in Serie A and the UEFA Champions League have fallen short of their previous lofty standards.