As 2014 draws to a close and the Fifa World Cup drifts further into the past, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on the sporting year.
Unsurprisingly, football and the World Cup dominate our list of the top 10 most read articles of the year, but there was an unlikely inclusion of speed skating just to mix it up.
Below is a list of our most read sporting stories of 2014, giving you a chance to relive some of the highs (and lows) of the past 12 months.
Pornhub – As the saying goes, sex sells. But pornography website Pornhub were forced to beg people to stop uploading the video of Brazil’s humiliating 7-1 defeat at the hands of eventual winners Germany in the World Cup semi-finals. A tweet from their official Twitter account read: “Please stop uploading the game highlights to Pornhub... Our public humiliation category is full.”
How to know the World Cup – A beginners guide to the 2014 World Cup saw Chris (Simpsons Artist) construct a humorous collation of useful phrases that would help those who are not into football as much as the die-hard fans. Terms such as “come on football” and “I hope that our football team gets the points that they require” helped World Cup novices discuss the month-long tournament in great depth and detail. We think.
World Cup explainer – A complete run down of all the games in Brazil may not be the most interesting thing you’ll read, but it’s sure helpful. Short, sweet and simple and an indicator of how much the tournament in Brazil was anticipated.
Luis Suarez bite – One of the biggest talking points of the year came when Luis Suarez bit Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder during Uruguay’s 2-1 victory at the World Cup. Suarez was subsequently banned from playing football for the next four months, and he would also leave Liverpool during that time in order to move to Barcelona.
Japanese fans – Suffering a 2-1 defeat to Ivory Coast can be hard viewing, but Japanese fans were praised for their actions after they whipped out black bags that they had brought with them and started cleaning up after themselves. Despite being well mannered and polite – something that is a common sight in Japan – other football fans around the world were amazed at what they witnessed.
James McClean – The Wigan midfielder decided once again that he would not be wearing a poppy on his shirt, and felt that it was necessary to release a statement to explain his decision. He added that for him, the poppy has come to represent something different other than remembering the victims of the First and Second World War, and he was widely praised for his explanation even if people didn’t agree with his decision.
Speed skater – Unlike the Japanese fans, Sjinkie Knegt wasn’t very gracious in defeat at all after he lost out to rival Viktor Ahn. After clashing in the closing laps of their race, Knegt trailed Ahn across the line and instantly gave him a one-finger salute behind his back. Clearly, Knegt was far from happy, but Ahn remained unmoved as he celebrated his success.
Tweets and memes after Brazil’s 7-1 defeat – An entire nation ground to a halt when Brazil suffered the shock of all shocks in the heavy loss to Germany. Needless to say, Twitter was consumed with jokes and memes within seconds of the goals going in, and Brazil’s humiliation was worsened when they went viral for quite some time after the match.
Luis Suarez comment – As mentioned, Suarez’s teeth-sinking moment of madness saw him banned for four months and hit with a heavy fine, but Glenn Moore’s comment piece ‘Let’s move past the shock value and get some perspective’ took a wider look at whether what he did was worse than some of the things we see regularly in football.
Brazil 1 Germany 7 match report – Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose, Toni Kroos (twice) and Sami Khedira. That’s all it took to stun the football world and give Germany a 5-0 half-time lead that Oscar would go on to extend in the second half and complete the 7-1 scoreline. Despite the World Cup Final taking place a handful of days later, it was the semi-final that attracted the most attention and stood as one of the most shocking moments in World Cup history.
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