Maverick Moments of 2012 - Part Two

Thursday 20th December 2012 11:35

Luis Suarez: Took a tumble in front of Moyes

Luis Suarez: Took a tumble in front of Moyes

Barton's French accent, Suarez's Goodison 'dive' and Ibrahimovic's wonder goal feature in part two of TEAMtalk's Maverick Moments.

Allo Allo Joey - by Matthew Flanagan

Joey Barton jetted off to the shores of Marseille in the close season, but if the English population thought they had erased the trouble-maker from their minds...think again.

Renowned for causing mayhem on the football pitch, Barton exchanged his bad-boy image for a piece of comedy genius as he faced the French media for the first time. The stuttering of English in a French accent made the man from Merseyside an instant hit in Marseille, with the finely trimmed moustache adding to the comedic value.

Memories of Steve McClaren's infamous Dutch press conference echoed around the room following the interview, as Barton has since named the new born language 'Bartonese' as his own. The social network lover took to Twitter to make reference to the former England manager's press conference following his interview, tweeting 'Steve McLaren eat your heart out".

Assaults, arrests and his kick on Aguero will be how Barton is remembered in England, being labelled as one of the most hated Englishman of our generation. It's not often Barton makes a good first impression with the public, but one thing for sure is that the popular character is far more loved in France than he is here in the UK.

Swan Luis - by Tom McDermott

Luis Suarez's career thus far has been controversial to say the least.

Whilst playing in Holland for Ajax, Suarez accepted a seven-match ban for biting PSV Eindhoven midfielder Otman Bakkal's shoulder.

Only last season, Suarez was banned for eight games and fined £40,000 for an alleged racist comment made towards Patrice Evra.

On the international stage he hasn't disappointed either. In the dying seconds of Uruguay's game against Ghana in the 2010 World Cup, Suarez deliberately handled the ball on the line and was sent off. When Asamoah Gyan missed the resulting penalty Suarez was seen celebrating like Nobby Stiles back in '66.

So, roll on the 2012/2013 season and time to turn over a new leaf...well, not quite!

In the build-up to this season's Merseyside derby, Everton manager David Moyes criticised Suarez, claiming that 'divers' such as the Liverpool striker were turning supporters away from English football.

So after his deflected effort had put Liverpool 1-0 up, Suarez ran over to the dugout area before taking off on a swan-like dive in front of Moyes.

Few knew how to react. Moyes left his seat and marched forward. It was too late, though, to offer any kind of retaliation. Suarez, who was now sprawled out on the floor, was quickly covered by his team-mates.

It meant the Liverpool fans loved their hero that little bit more and provided the rest of us with one of the maverick moments of the calendar year.

Limelight-loving Terry, by Pete Hall

A sheer moment of madness in the Nou Camp cost the inspirational Chelsea captain his place in the Champions League final, with the needless knee to the back of Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez earning him a straight red card, and scuppered his chances to make amends for his costly penalty miss in the Blues' shoot-out defeat to Manchester United in the 2008 final.

However, never one to shy away from the limelight, Terry was not be outdone amidst the euphoric scenes in Munich.

As soon as Didier Drogba's penalty hit the back of the net, to seal the club's first crown, the whole of the jubilant Chelsea bench stormed onto the pitch. The suspended skipper followed, in his full kit, including shin pads and boots to celebrate with his team-mates who had been playing for over two hours, celebrating like he had won it for the team himself.

The best part was on the podium. It was all very cramped, but when Frank Lampard and Terry went up to lift the trophy, Jose Boswinga does his best to not let the gatecrasher get to the front. Magic.

Zlat'll do nicely, by Rich Kitto

Even for a man that acclaims that the way he plays football is known as 'Zlatan-style', surely not many people imagined Ibrahimovich would attempt, let alone score, a 30-yard overhead kick from an angle after Joe Hart darted out of goal to clear an overhit long ball with his head. It's just reassuring that the man who once claimed that 'an injured Zlatan is a serious thing for any team' can back up his bold claims on occasions with the outlandish, and 'that' goal which sent the twittersphere into total chaos was an extremely fitting way to serenade the opening of a new national stadium in Sweden.

Whilst the debate of whether it was the best volley ever will continue to be deliberated, the value and entertainment of Ibrahimovich on and off the field certainly cannot! Whilst some may attempt to be like the great man, as others wish they were him, there is only one Zlatan...

Son-believable, by Michael Graham

With Corinthians trailing to Boca in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final, a relatively obscure young upstart named Romarinho came off the bench with mere minutes remaining and nonchalantly chipped his side level with his very first touch. It was so good that the Argentine press roundly, and wrongly, reported that the player was the son of the the Brazilian legend Romario, and a great modern footballing myth was born.

Maverick's mythical spectre or the real McCoy? It doesn't ultimately matter. Romarinho wheeling away to celebrate with his chest puffed out, flairs and fire-crackers going off around him, and not even a hint of a smile on his face was one of the enduring images of 2012 - and there was more than a touch of maverick about it.

Silencing mad Mario, by Jak Penny

If there is one man that defines the term 'maverick' its Mario Balotelli. A riddle wrapped in a mystery, enclosed in an enigma. A charismatic character of radical eccentricity that we just can't take our eyes off for one second. In no uncertain terms it would take the patience of a saint to tame such an errant and explosive individual...well unless you're Leonardo Bonucci.

The Italy defender was the first on the scene as Balotelli began to vent his fury towards the Azzurri bench after opening his Euro 2012 account with a stunning acrobatic volley in the dying embers against the Republic of Ireland.

In the midst of the 22-year-old's ferocious fire breathing, presumably directed at coach Claudio Prandelli following his chastisement of the strikers previous under-par displays, Bonucci instinctively (and courageously ) thrust his hand over his Balotelli's mouth to prevent his ire from being detected by the television cameras quickly homing in.

It was like a mother silencing her tempestuous child and provided one of 2012's most iconic football moments.

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