2011 saw many players perform exceptionally. The likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Mario Gomez and Robin Van Persie all scored more than 40 goals during the year, and that’s just in the European top leagues. Players like Xavi Hernandez, AndrAi??s Iniesta and Bastian Schweinsteiger continued to display fantastic midfield play, while young guns like Thiago Alcantara, Mario Goetze and Marco Reus showed promise to become some of the best players of the new generation.

But who managed to shine the brightest and leave their mark in particular matches, with that one sublime performance. TheHardTackle brings you the top five individual performances of the year (with video):

Sergio Aguero vs Mallorca

 

This was Sergio Aguero’s last game at AtlAi??tico Madrid and what a game it was. Ai??AtlAi??tico needed a win at Mallorca in order to qualify to Europe and they won 4-3 with Aguero scoring three fabulous goals, at least two of them reminiscent of Lionel Messi, the current best player in the world. This game was a microcosm of Aguero’s career at Madrid, with the brilliant Argentine carrying an otherwise pretty average side and Atletico greatly overachieving because of him. European qualification was Aguero’s parting gift to the club for which he scored 101 goals before turning 23 and became one of the best players in the world.

Mallorca 3 AtlAi??tico Madrid 4 por jordixanaAi??Ai??

Radamel Falcao vs Villareal

 

Radamel Falcao set a record for most goals scored in European competition in a single season with 18, surpassing Jurgen Klinsmann’s previous record of 15 goals. 4 of those goals came in the first leg of the semifinals against Villareal, where Porto won 5-1 and Falcao showed why he’s one of the best strikers on the planet. Ai??He also became the first player in a long time to score four goals in the semifinal of a European competition.

Manuel Neuer vs Dortmund

 

Manuel Neuer has so many great performances that it is hard to pick one. While his performance against Manchester United was the most hyped, he arguably did even better against Dortmund, in a game where Schalke were completely dominated but managed to get a 0-0 draw thanks to Neuer’s heroics. The German has shown in this match why he’s arguably the best goalkeeper in the world.

Messi vs Real Madrid

 

Lionel Messi is widely regarded as this generation’s greatest footballer and he showed exactly why he’s held in such high regard in the first leg of the 2010/2011 Champions League semifinals. In a very scrappy, sometimes even violent, game, Lionel Messi made the difference for Barcelona with two goals, the second of them one of the best in Champions League history, further cementing his status as the world’s best player.

AndrAi??s Iniesta vs Real Madrid

 

It’s easy to understand why FC Barcelona have been so successful this year (and in recent years), with five trophies won including La Liga and the Champions League. Messi might be the best player in the world, but AndrAi??s Iniesta isn’t far behind and he also has that Jordanesque ability to elevate his game in the biggest occasions. With Barcelona needing a win at the Santiago Bernabeu to keep their challenge for a fourth consecutive La Liga on track, AndrAi??s Iniesta had a truly masterclass performance, leading Barcelona to victory and even drawing the applause of some sections of the Bernabeu when he left the pitch in the dying minutes.

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2 Responses to “High Five: Messi, Aguero, Neuer Feature In The Top Five Individual Performances Of 2011”

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  1. Football fan says:

    Very nice choices. They were all great performances. Good article Manuel

  2. Gaurav D. says:

    Nice article Manuel. Great job!!