Video: Justin Bieber's reaction to Ireland qualifying for Euro 2016 in top 10 tweets of 2015
Published 07/12/2015 | 09:22
Lionel Messi's incredible goal for Barcelona against Bayern Munich last May was not only jaw-dropping, it was also the United Kingdom's most tweeted-about sporting moment of the year.
The Argentinian genius' second strike in the Champions League semi-final first leg saw him leave Jerome Boateng on his backside before he exquisitely dinked the ball over another World Cup winner in goalkeeper Manuel Neuer at the Nou Camp.
It captured the imagination of social-media users on these shores, garnering a record 25,300 tweets-per-minute, a figure that was 7,700 more than the final whistle of Arsenal's FA Cup quarter-final victory at Manchester United, which was announced as the UK's second most tweeted-about sporting moment in figures released by Twitter's 'Year in Review'.
Nine of the top 10 sporting moments came in football games - including Steven Gerrard's dismissal against United 45 seconds after coming on as a substitute and Leicester striker Jamie Vardy's record-breaking strike versus the same opponent recently - with Tyson Fury's points victory over Wladimir Klitschko the only non-football event on the list when the boxing bout accrued 14,900 tweets-per-minute to rank fourth.
Messi also had a part to play in the most tweeted-about global sporting event in 2015 as the three-week Copa America, which was won by Chile after a penalty shoot-out win over Argentina in the final, produced 14billion impressions.
Events hosted in North America dominated the remainder of the top five, with college basketball's March Madness, the Women's World Cup and the NBA Finals joining Wimbledon on the list.
Football took a backseat to the Rugby World Cup and Formula 1 when it came to the UK's top sporting trends, though, with #RWC2015 and #F1 both being used more than #FACup, #BPL and #UCL.
Liverpool's year of change warranted plenty of attention, with the hashtag #LFC the top trend among football teams - ahead of United's #MUFC and Chelsea's #CFC - in a year when long-serving captain Gerrard left and Jurgen Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers at the helm.
It was news of Gerrard's exit which produced the most retweeted post from an individual in the world of football too as Xabi Alonso's tribute to the Liverpool captain, which included a picture of the pair below "My hero. My mate." pulled in 112,000 retweets.
Luke Shaw, Iker Casillas and Memphis Depay also featured high in the top 10 as news from the Manchester United and Real Madrid camps spread across social media.
Justin Bieber's 70million Twitter followers helped him achieve some of the year's funniest sporting tweets too, although the Canadian pop star could not top Charlton's cheeky suggestion Bournemouth had not yet sewn up promotion.
After the Cherries celebrated having all-but-guaranteed going up with a win over Bolton, the Addicks posted: "Bournemouth celebrating like they've completely ruled out a 19-0 defeat at The Valley on Saturday. We'll see... #cafc"
That was retweeted over 61,000 times, beating Bieber's video of the Republic of Ireland team listening to one of his songs and a link he shared to a story detailing how his music had inspired Southend's Ryan Leonard's goal-scoring form.
See Bieber's tweet below.
Love to my brother Keano and the Irish squad on a big win today. Got this vid of them listening to #WhatDoYouMean after the win. Love it.— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) October 9, 2015