Sergio Aguero won the trophy for Manchester City with almost the final kick of the campaign
Chelsea, meanwhile, won the Champions League for the first time, although it was not enough to save boss Roberto Di Matteo's job just six months after also winning the FA Cup.
Bolton's Fabrice Muamba suffered an on-field cardiac arrest which stunned the world in his club's FA Cup game at Tottenham before he went on to make a miraculous recovery.
Player of the Year: Lionel MessiNever before has an international side claimed three major tournaments, including the World Cup, in succession or retained the European Championship. But there again, there has never been an international side like the modern Spain. In 2012, the Spanish national team again excelled beyond any levels thought possible. Starting without a striker for much of Euro 2012, the Spanish were unfairly criticised for their playing style - all up until the final, when they ran riot in a 4-0 victory over Italy, the biggest in European Championship finals history. From the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Iker Casillas starting XI, to the host of leading Premier League stars who can only make it as squad players, the Spanish have a collection of players that anyone would envy, and the titles to match. That dominance shows no sign of waning anytime soon. In 2012, Spain showed us all how it should be done once again.
Ninety goals for club and country later and Messi is the undoubtedly sole contender for the 'Best Player of 2012' award. Gerd Muller's 40-year-old goalscoring record fell. Even his supposed underachievement for Argentina was cast aside, with 12 goals from nine appearances
Manager of the Year - Neil Lennon
Celtic boss Neil Lennon has defied the odds in the Champions League. In his first season as a Champions League manager, Lennon has guided Celtic to the last 16 of Europe's premier competition despite having one of the smallest budgets.
Signing of the Year - Michu
Swansea boss must be amazed by how well Michu has settled in the Premier League. He is a brilliant player whose form has captured the attention of Spain coach Vicente del Bosque.
Flop of the Year - Queens Park Rangers
Queens Park Rangers have endured an annus horribilis throughout 2012. The year started with the sacking of Neil Warnock and the appointment of Mark Hughes, with the former Manchester City boss the second-biggest spender in the January transfer window. A paltry six Premier League victories were secured, with survival only achieved by a solitary point on a nerve-shredding final day
Game of the Year - Barcelona 2 Chelsea 2
Chelsea booked their place in the Champions League final with a scarcely believable triumph. The Blues had already surrendered their slender 1-0 lead from the first leg when captain John Terry was sent off for a knee in the back of Alexis Sanchez, and it looked like Barcelona would cruise through once Andres Iniesta made it 2-0 on the night to the home side. What followed was simply extraordinary, as Ramires scored a vital, stunning goal on the counter-attack to give Roberto Di Matteo's 10 men something to cling to in the second half. Cling to it they did, repelling wave after wave of Barca attack and even having the good fortune to catch Lionel Messi on an off day as he missed a penalty, before Fernando Torres' late breakaway effort sealed a 3-2 aggregate success
Controversy of the Year
Four-for-one offering which started back in February, with Fabio Capello resigning from his post as England manager on the back of the Football Association's decision to strip John Terry of the national captaincy for allegedly racially abusing Anton Ferdinand. Many tipped then Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp to fill the void but it was the ever-dependable Roy Hodgson who was surprisingly chosen to lead the Three Lions into Euro 2012 and beyond. He then went on to pick Terry for European Championship duty, while omitting Ferdinand's brother, Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand. Hodgson claimed he had made a footballing decision but continuing to overlook the older Ferdinand after seeing his defensive options severely depleted by injury left the new national coach fending off uncomfortable questions. Terry then announced his international retirement in September, claiming an FA charge of racist abuse, after he had already been cleared in a court of law, had left his position untenable.
Team of the Year- Spain