Football: Best of 2013

Trying to narrow down 12 months’ worth of pictures into a small end-of-year selection is never an easy task, no matter what genre you’re working with. A calendar year in football terms comprises of all manner of matches, from relegation dogfights, to European finals, and everything in between. Most photographers will admit that their favourite pictures are, more often than not, not their most published ones. These pictures are usually judged at one end of the scale or the other – you could take a picture that ticks every box for you as a photographer, in terms of light, composition, and content, and yet will never see the light of day. And then you could take an extremely newsworthy photo that gets seen all around the world, and yet lacks the aforementioned perfection that so often the photographer would be hoping for.

I’ve decided to select a group of football images from the last year that, simply, I remember. They might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but as a set, I feel there’s a bit of everything…a few light-hearted ones, one or two newsworthy shots, some (slightly) creative ones, and a few others I just like. Different photographers will tend to shoot in different ways, often leaning towards the approach their employers want them to take. There will always be an element of individuality involved – this would be expected in a creative industry – but sometimes we have to knuckle down and produce the images that those paying our wages want us to provide. Unlike the photographers from the larger wire agencies, I don’t shoot enough sports outside of football to be able to produce an annual portfolio containing images from further afield. Therefore, I’ve tried to put together a collection of pictures from just the one sport which show where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to this last 12 months…

 

Newcastle fans in French dress celebrate
Newcastle fans in French dress celebrate

 

Stewart Downing of Liverpool swaps shirts with James Milner of Man City at full-time
Stewart Downing of Liverpool swaps shirts with James Milner of Man City at full-time

 

Man City manager (at the time) Roberto Mancini controls the ball on the sideline at Everton
Man City manager (at the time) Roberto Mancini controls the ball on the sideline at Everton

 

Callum McManaman of Wigan tackles Massimo Haidara of Newcastle, and escapes without punishment
Callum McManaman of Wigan tackles Massimo Haidara of Newcastle, and escapes without punishment

 

Wales players Craig Bellamy, Jack Collison & Gareth Bale manage to avoid running into each other
Wales players Craig Bellamy, Jack Collison & Gareth Bale manage to avoid running into each other

 

An Aston Villa fan displays a large gold chain on top of his leather jacket
An Aston Villa fan displays a large gold chain on top of his leather jacket

 

A general view of the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid before kick-off in the Champions League Semi-Final (1st Leg)
A general view of the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid before kick-off in the Champions League Semi-Final

 

Arjen Robben of Bayern Munich celebrates victory in the Champions League Semi-Final (2nd Leg)
Arjen Robben of Bayern Munich celebrates victory in the Champions League Semi-Final

 

Fans dressed as nuns cheer on their Millwall team as they play against Derby County
Fans dressed as nuns cheer on their Millwall team as they play against Derby County

 

The Barclays Premier League trophy is held aloft amongst red ticker tape, as Manchester United celebrate victory
The Barclays Premier League trophy is held aloft amongst red ticker tape, as Manchester United celebrate victory

 

Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson smiles and laughs as he holds the Barclays Premier League trophy
Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson smiles and laughs as he holds the Barclays Premier League trophy

 

Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson kisses the Barclays Premier League trophy
Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson kisses the Barclays Premier League trophy

 

Chelsea players celebrate after winning the UEFA Europa League trophy in Amsterdam
Chelsea players celebrate after winning the UEFA Europa League trophy in Amsterdam

 

Young boys play football on a futsal court in Favela Rocinha, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Young boys play football on a futsal court in Favela Rocinha, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 

A protester stands with his back to armed military police outside the stadium in Brasilia
A protester stands with his back to armed military police outside the stadium in Brasilia

 

Young boys play football on a beach under floodlights beneath the skyscrapers in Recife, Brazil
Young boys play football on a beach under floodlights beneath the skyscrapers in Recife, Brazil

 

The iconic permed hairstyle of David Luiz of Brazil
The iconic permed hairstyle of David Luiz of Brazil

 

Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar celebrates victory in the final of the Confederations Cup
Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar celebrates victory in the final of the Confederations Cup

 

Neymar of Brazil is mobbed by home fans following his side's Confederations Cup victory
Neymar of Brazil is mobbed by home fans following his side’s Confederations Cup victory

 

Young Crewe fans wait for autographs before their side's pre-season fixture against Manchester United
Young Crewe fans wait for autographs before their side’s pre-season fixture against Manchester United

 

A young Everton fan shouts encouragement to his team during the League Cup match against Stevenage
A young Everton fan shouts encouragement to his team during the League Cup match against Stevenage

 

An elderly Celtic fan is escorted to the UEFA Champions League match against FC Barcelona by a young woman
An elderly Celtic fan is escorted to the UEFA Champions League match against FC Barcelona by a young woman

 

England manager Roy Hodgson oversees a training session in the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine
England manager Roy Hodgson oversees a training session in the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine

 

Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool celebrates a goal against Crystal Palace
Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool celebrates a goal against Crystal Palace

 

Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart shows his dismay after his error led to Bayern Munich's opening goal in their UEFA Champions League clash
Man City goalkeeper Joe Hart shows his dismay after his error led to Bayern Munich’s opening goal in their UEFA Champions League clash

 

Newcastle fans line up against a wall for a much-needed toilet break en route to the Stadium of Light
Newcastle fans line up against a wall for a much-needed toilet break en route to the Stadium of Light

 

Samir Nasri smahes in Man City's 2nd goal against Viktoria Plzen in the UEFA Champions League
Samir Nasri smahes in Man City’s 2nd goal against Viktoria Plzen in the UEFA Champions League

 

Everton fans enjoy a restricted view of their match against Stoke City thanks to the old supporting columns in the Gwladys Street end
Everton fans enjoy a restricted view of their match against Stoke City thanks to the old supporting columns in the Gwladys Street end

 

Samir Nasri celebrates after scoring Man City's 3rd goal against Swansea City in the league
Samir Nasri celebrates after scoring Man City’s 3rd goal against Swansea City in the league

 

A pair of Aston Villa fans take a moment to find their bearings outside the ground
A pair of Aston Villa fans take a moment to find their bearings outside the ground

 

Chris Smalling of Man Utd shields himself from the torrential hailstorm during their League Cup match against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium
Chris Smalling of Man Utd shields himself from the torrential hailstorm during their League Cup match against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium

 

Fans watch Luis Suarez take a quick corner for Liverpool as the low sun shines down on him at Anfield
Fans watch Luis Suarez take a quick corner for Liverpool as the low sun shines down on him at Anfield

 

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