Read on for our annual round-up of the Best of Extra Time 2009! Oh yes, we have plenty of thrills and spills for you with a few cherry-picked highlights from each and every month. Here at the FSF we wish you all a merry Christmas and happy New Year. And until 2010, that's all from us, folks...
January saw Zlatan Ibrahimovic make the most ridiculous pass we’ve ever seen while Google seemed to suggest that Roy Keane enjoyed doing things that Triggs definitely wasn't expecting. Erm, don't read if you're U18 (red rag to a bull, eh?). Or Roy Keane. Or Triggs.
On to February and the month started with Zinedine Zidane showing up for a game of five-a-side with his mates. Ringer! Toon striker Shola Ameobi was in the news as his home was ransacked by burglars. Cheque books missing, the lot. Except it hadn’t been. When the police arrived Ameobi realised he hadn’t actually been burgled, his home was just a bit of a tip. Time for a Spring clean Shola...
March arrived and we saw plenty of players with a spring in their step, especially those featured in this random video of the worst dives ever. All pretty entertaining, even more so given the Star Wars/acoustic guitar sound track which is odd and a little bit disturbing. It freaked Jens Lehmann out so much he's taken to stealing his mate's headband and throwing opponents boots away. Good old Jens, what a tinker. More from him later. Oh, and six-year-old Madin Mohammed looked to be the most skillfull kid since, ever.
April fools came to the fore with Bolo Zenden making a bit of a prat of himself while scoring for Marseille. Not the first time Zenden's gone missing during a game, though. Another fool was Corinthians’ Escudero who was viciously attacked...by the linesman’s flag. Swindon's Simon Cox also scored the goal of the season, if that'd been Messi, Ronaldo, Kaka or Rooney...
Barely a month went by without a ridiculous dive and May was no exception. Unbelievably Lucas Neill got a yellow card for this incident against Uzbekistan. Top diving. No doubt that’s a dodgy yellow card, but what about the Sunday League player who was booked for breaking wind. It's decisions like that which turn you against refs and ensure big cheers when they get hit with the ball. The ref seems genuinely annoyed with the player, as if he meant to hit him.
June brought us some painful celebrations and painful memories for Nam Il-Kim who scored the worst own goal of the year.
July saw possibly our favourite clip of the year, a must see, as schoolboy match + long throw = pain. We also heard our first chorus of the vuvuzela which is apparently a traditional South African airhorn. There'll be more of that at the World Cup Depending on your viewpoint it's either a quaint tradition which is welcomed in the face of the corporate-Americanisation of everything. Or it's an annoying racket. We go with annoying racket.
August came and showed us that even when you’re a former world player of the year, such as (fat) Ronaldo, it doesn’t mean you necessarily know how to take a free-kick. We stayed on a Brazilian trip with this goal from Falcao, it’s not THE Falcao, but it’s a fantastic piece of skill nonetheless. We also saw Sepp Blatter falling on his backside. No comment.
September gave us an excuse to link to our favourite ever dive. Cheating developed into a bit of a theme for Extra Time! as this month also saw ODD Grenland striker Peter Kovacs’ help a fellow pro in need.
All this bad will developed into a bit of a cheat's charter come October with one of the most subtle and original pieces of cheating we’ve seen by IFK Gothenburg keeper Kim Christensen.
With November comes long winter nights and, if you read Extra Time, long rangers aplenty too. Picks of the bunch were Martin Palermo’s 40 yard header and ex-Yugoslav international Dragan Stojkovic who 'scored' an amazing volley from the dugout in the J League. You never lose it, eh? For balance Ilija Sivonjić missed the easiest chance ever.
We rounded off the year's japes in December with Jimmy Bullard's amazing celebration at Eastlands along with a round up of the best and worst celebrations we'd seen (or at least the best ones we could remember at the time).