Popular Manchester City and Manchester United figures feature.
2013 has been another rollercoaster ride for the Premier League and with the year in retrospect we wave goodbye to a few familiar old friends…
1) Mario Balotelli
Manchester City parted company with one of the Premier League’s most controversial and divisive figures in January with the sale of Mario Balotelli to AC Milan. His antics on and off the pitch as well as the training ground and the city of Manchester in general bid farewell to a player like marmite that, in a strange way, will continue to be missed in 2014.
2) Ghost goals
One thing that will not be missed next year is the ‘ghost goals’ of yesteryear as the FA brought in goal-line technology to assist the officials in deciphering whether the ball has crossed the goal-line which, in the long run, will vastly improve the quality and fairness of the game.
3) David Beckham
England legend and former captain David Beckham announced his retirement this summer after 22 years involves in football since he arrived at Manchester United as a 16 year old and one of the Golden Generation at Old Trafford.
He moved on to Real Madrid in 2003, then LA Galaxy in 2007 with intermittent loan spells at AC Milan in Italy before signing on deadline day this year with French champions Paris Saint-Germain where he retired at the end of the season this summer. His 115 caps and 17 goals for England will remain as markers of one of the finest professionals the country has ever produced and certainly the biggest name in football over the last decade.
4) Paul Scholes
Another United and England legend finally hung up his boots (for good this time) in his characteristicly modest and subtle fashion. Undoubtedly the greatest English midfielder of his generation, he was renowned as the best passer of the ball in the country as well as a huge influence on the continent. Scholes made 499 appearances and scored 107 goals for Manchester United and earned 66 caps for England scoring 14 goals over his 22 years in football after joining the youth academy at Old Trafford in 1991.
5) Sir Alex Ferguson
Finally, the goodbye that rocked the foundations of English football and shocked the world over this summer was the retirement of the greatest British manager in history after 26 years in charge at Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson led the Red Devils to their 20th league title, his 13th Premier League title win as manager in sensational style last term as well as his honours including five FA Cup titles, four League Cup titles, two Champions League titles, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Super Cup title and a FIFA Club World Cup. We salute you, Sir Alex and bid farewell to 2013.
image: © marcel sigg