Lionel Messi is back on the field after a roller-related injury last year. Here’s what we know about his return to action.
In 2009, Leo Messi became Barcelona’s number one player. He played for the club for 8 years and scored a total of 459 goals in 638 games.
With 2022 looming big on the horizon, now is a good time to pause, take stock, and reflect on the previous year.
Thankfully, Getty Photographs and AFP have compiled their annual “Year in Review” and “Pictures of the Year” collections, respectively, of the greatest images shot in the year 2021.
In the world of soccer, it was a year that saw a postponed European Championship and a Copa America, as well as one of the largest transfer stories in history.
There were powerful moments that brought fans from all over the globe together, as well as split-second moments immortalized by some of the finest sports photographers in the world.
Getty and AFP have chosen the greatest soccer photographs of 2021, which are shown in chronological order.
– 2021 sports images – ESPN+ guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, and more (U.S.) – If you don’t have ESPN, you’re out of luck. Get immediate access
Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images/Pool
After falling during Denmark’s Euro 2020 group stage match against Finland in Copenhagen on June 12, Christian Eriksen is protected by his teammates. On the field, the midfielder fell into cardiac arrest and was transported to a hospital in Copenhagen, where he received life-saving surgery. Eriksen, 29, has not played since accepting to have his contract terminated by Inter Milan earlier this month.
– Borden: Denmark sends Eriksen an emotional message
UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images Lukas Schulze
June 13: During a fight for the ball during a Euro 2020 group encounter at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam, Roman Yaremchuk of Ukraine and Stefan de Vrij of the Netherlands get to know each other better.
Getty Images/CARL DE SOUZA/AFP
Lionel Messi is thrown into the air by his Argentina teammates after leading his country to a Copa America triumph. The Albiceleste won their first major championship since 1993, defeating Brazil 1-0 in the final, and giving Messi his first senior international trophy.
– Messi’s Copa America statistics outperform everyone else at Euro 2020
July 11: Italy’s Leonardo Bonucci lifts the Euro 2020 trophy into the air after the Azzurri defeated England in a penalty shootout to win the final at Wembley.
– Marcotti: Mancini promised and brought transformation to Italy.
Getty Images/Christopher Furlong
July 13: Tributes are paid in front of a large mural of Marcus Rashford in the Manchester United forward’s hometown of Withington, which was vandalized after England’s defeat in the Euro 2020 final. Rashford was one of three England players to miss penalties in the shootout, and he, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka all faced racial abuse on social media in the aftermath of the game. The painting was fixed, and Rashford was granted an MBE in November for his efforts to alleviate child hunger in the United Kingdom.
– Dawson: Rashford’s Mural Transforms Hatred into Hope
Getty Images/Eric Alonso
August 8: Messi is obviously moved at his goodbye to Barcelona, wiping away tears as he unwillingly ends his 21-year connection with the club after his contract is not renewed.
– Marsden, Laurens: Inside Messi’s Last Days at Barcelona
AFP/BERTRAND GUAY/Getty Images
August 11: After finalizing his free move to Paris Saint-Germain, Messi greets his new fans. Hundreds of thousands of ecstatic supporters rushed to the Parc des Princes to greet the Argentine superstar amid a cacophony of flags, drums, and pyrotechnics.
– At Messi’s unveiling, PSG supporters offer him a standing ovation.
Getty Images/Hector Vivas
On the eve of a Liga MX Torneo Apertura match, Club America supporters are shrouded in brilliant yellow smoke as they wait for the Toluca team van to arrive outside the Nemesio Diez Stadium.
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Messi is playing for FC Barcelona, while Ronaldo is playing for Real Madrid. They have been the top two players in the world for a long time now. Messi has scored more goals than anyone else in La Liga this season. Reference: messi vs ronaldo.
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