Usually on 2 June, the footballing world is getting ready to watch a major international tournament or one side is joyous after a European triumph.
2020 may be a very frustrating anomaly, but at least a return to some sort of footballing normality is on the horizon.
However, just because there is nothing happening this year on this day does not mean the past has been equally as boring. This day in history has seen a multitude of events, ranging from birthdays, managerial appointments and even World Cup clashes – in one case a literal clash.
Here’s a look then at what 2 June has had to offer in the footballing past…
If you think Howard Webb had a tough game to officiate in the 2010 World Cup final, maybe have a look at fellow English referee Ken Aston’s predicament at the 1962 edition in Chile.
The group stage game between Chile and Italy had become about more than football after Italian journalists wrote discriminatory remarks regarding the host country’s capital, Santiago.
The media feud carried on onto the pitch, with the first foul taking place just 12 seconds into the game, before the first sending off on eight minutes – with Italy’s Giorgio Ferrini having to be dragged off by policemen.
Then BBC commentator David Coleman summed up this ‘match’ beautifully (quotes via the Guardian) by saying: “The game you are about to see is the most stupid, appalling, disgusting and disgraceful exhibition of football in the history of the game. This is the first time these countries have met; we hope it will be the last.”
Such was the brutality of this game, it inspired Aston to create the yellow and red card system.
If ever a man embodied a football club it would be Santiago Bernabeu.
The Real Madrid icon began as a player at the club, before becoming the club’s president in 1943. Not only did he oversee the signing of the also legendary Alfredo Di Stefano, but we also have him to thank for helping create the European Cup.
Such was legacy in the Spanish capital, the side’s stadium was named after him in 1957.
While the 1970s and 80s saw a boom for English sides in Europe – with the likes of Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Liverpool all winning European cups – it also spelled the end for England’s continental dominance.
As a result of the 1985 Heysel disaster involving Liverpool and Juventus- where 39 fans sadly lost their lives – English sides were banned indefinitely from European competitions.
With the dream of lifting the European Cup taken away from England’s club sides, many of the nation’s most talented sought the exit door – i.e Gary Lineker – while Howard Kendall and Everton were deprived a chance of building on their domestic glory.
The ban lasted until 1991.
The Argentinian forward has become one of Europe’s most feared strikers, with his remarkable 254 goals for current club Manchester City testament to that.
The scorer of the Premier League’s most iconic goal is still a prolific force as the focal point of Pep Guardiola’s attack and seems to be getting better with age.
Ah, Freddy Adu, from Football Manager wonderkid, to well, nothing.
The now 31-year-old American was signed as a 14-year-old to MLS side D.C. United, and even had trials at Manchester United in 2006.
However, as with most of football’s ‘next big things”, it was too much too soon for Adu, and he quickly fell to obscurity after failed spells in Europe.
He last played for Las Vegas Lights in 2018.
The Three Lions kicked off their 2002 World Cup campaign with an unsurprisingly unconvincing draw with Sweden, before bowing out in the quarter-final to Ronaldinho and Brazil.
The game itself was relatively unremarkable, as a Henrik Larsson inspired side dominated the much-fancied England – with the Scandinavian nation unlucky to draw in truth.
Sol Campbell had opened the scoring with a header, before Niclas Alexandersson equalised following an error from everyone’s favourite pundit, Danny Mills.
The self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ José Mourinho arrived at Stamford Bridge fresh off the back of leading Porto to an unlikely Champions League victory.
Mourinho’s men had turned over Manchester United en route to the final, with the Portuguese manager seemingly impressing those in the Blues’ boardroom.
Backed by Roman Abramovich and his never ending pot of money, Mourinho and Chelsea dominated English football – winning back-to-back Premier League titles in 2004/05 and 2005/06. He’d depart in September 2007, before returning to win a third title with the club in 2014/2015.
Sticking with Chelsea and current head coach Frank Lampard, who announced he was going to leave the club as a player in 2014 after 13 years of service.
While many believed he was off to end his career away from English football, he ended up at rivals Manchester City the following season, scoring against the Blues in a 1-1 draw.
However, this ‘betrayal’ didn’t seem to affect his stock with the Chelsea faithful – and he’s a very popular figure with the club’s fans after succeeding Maurizio Sarri in the dugout.
The now disgraced Sepp Blatter had just been elected as FIFA president for the fifth time, defeating Prince Ali bin Hussein.
However, just four days later, he resigned following allegations of corruption. Blatter was later handed a six-year ban from all FIFA activities.
Probably best to stay away after that expires, eh Sepp?
A year ago today Liverpool were continuing their celebrations following their Champions League triumph over fellow Tottenham Hotspur.
The Reds had put to bed the ghost of 2018, where Loris Karius’ hands had gifted the Champions League trophy to Real Madrid for the third in a row. While the 2019 final may not have been as eventful – it really was pretty dire – the ensuing parade was breathtaking, as 750,000 fans lined the streets of Liverpool to cheer on their club.
Jurgen Klopp’s men will be hoping to be parading a Premier League trophy soon – even if it is in front of an empty stadium.