Spain secured its place in the pages of football history, Chelsea marched to an unlikely Champions League triumph and two of the greatest players of all time have smashed yet more records. 2012 will be difficult to match.
With the fixtures in the world's major leagues wrapped up for the current calendar year, the game's biggest and brightest can celebrate a job (mostly) well done.
But there's plenty more to look forward to in 2013. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will carry on and, in all likelihood, reach a few more remarkable landmarks. A mouthwatering last 16 of the Champions League awaits. And, when all else fails, there's Mario Balotelli.
|Happy New Year! Stars prepare to bring in 2013
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- Lionel Messi