From Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive Piers Morgan interview to Hollywood’s Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney getting among the fans during Wrexham’s promotion party, there have been some wacky storylines across football this season.
Here is a quick recap of the narratives you might have forgotten.
Yes, this happened this season
We’ve seen a record 15 managerial departures in the Premier League this season.
It seems unfathomable that Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur started the campaign with Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte at the helm respectively.
Back in August, both men clashed over handshake etiquette. Tuchel felt his Italian counterpart hadn’t made the requisite eye contact while Conte found the German’s approach a little heavy.
Ronaldo burned all bridges
Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview with Piers Morgan last November rocked football.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner slammed his then-manager Erik ten Hag, saying he had no respect for the Dutchman, whom he claimed had tried to force him out of Manchester United.
It happened after Ronaldo had refused to come on as a substitute in the dying minutes of a win against Spurs.
This outburst quashed any reconciliations and Ronaldo was moved on to Saudi Arabia in January.
Aubameyang did not have a happy reunion with Arsenal
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang left Arsenal under a cloud in January 2022.
Before facing his old club last November for Chelsea, the 33-year-old Gabon forward starred in a BT Sport campaign, saying: “I’m back, I’m blue, nothing personal.”
Chelsea lost that match 1-0 and Aubameyang only touched the ball eight times before being substituted in the 63rd minute. Gunners goalscorer Gabriel tweeted “nothing personal” after the final whistle.
Martinez doubled down on controversial celebration
One of the enduring images from Argentina’s World Cup win in December is that of goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez lewdly brandishing his golden glove trophy in view of a Qatar dignitary. Martinez’s penalty antics in Qatar became notorious – including goading the French team by dancing in front of them.
Shakira got personal
In January, Colombian pop superstar Shakira released a song referencing her ex-partner Gerard Pique’s reported infidelity, with the lyrics: “You traded a Ferrari for a Twingo. You traded a Rolex for a Casio”.
Days later, former Barcelona defender Pique, who retired from football at the age of 35 in November 2022, arrived at a media conference in a Renault Twingo, wearing a Casio watch on his wrist.
All is not well at Goodison
For the second season running, Everton have retained their Premier League status after being involved in a relegation dog fight.
In January, fans staged a sit-in protest against the ownership after a loss to Southampton. The club’s board of directors missed that game because of what the club claimed was a “real and credible threat to their safety”.
There were remarkable scenes as some fans confronted defender Yerry Mina and midfielder Anthony Gordon as they left Goodison Park.
In the Women’s Super League, Chelsea v Liverpool was called off because of a frozen pitch in January just six minutes after kick-off.
Hope Powell called it “embarrassing” and players aired their grievances online.
Asking to be sacked
After a disappointing 3-3 draw with Southampton in March, then Spurs boss Conte tore into the club and its ownership in an extraordinary rant. He was sacked the following week.
Crossing a line
In April, Liverpool hosted league leaders Arsenal in a thrilling draw at Anfield that saw the former’s fortunes start to turn around for the better, while for the latter it was the start of decline in form that saw them miss out on the Premier League title.
One of the biggest moments of the match came at half-time, when Andy Robertson claimed that linesman Constantine Hatzidakis had elbowed him. No further action was taken after an investigation.
A meeting of worlds
Manchester’s mayor Andy Burnham met Francis in April and decided to oil the wheels with a Manchester United shirt featuring the Pope’s countryman, Argentina defender Lisandro Martinez.
You couldn’t script it
Hollywood owners Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds probably shaved a few years off their lives watching Wrexham get promoted back to the Football League following a nail-biting National League title race.
Maradona’s legacy lives on
Napoli won the Serie A tile in May for the first time since 1990 – when Diego Maradona was captain.
Tindall at the centre of things
Newcastle United have secured Champions League football next year for the first time since 2003.
A surprise star of their season has been assistant manager, Jason Tindall. After a Twitter account named “Jason Tindall desperate to be the centre of attention” amassed over 56,000 followers, Eddie Howe told media: “We’re both active on the sidelines and I’ve encouraged Jason to be that way.”