2016 has been another great year for football! We have witnessed an action packed 12 month period that has seen a number of football teams go under the radar and etch their names into the history books totally against the odds. Here at Net World Sports we list our top 3 footballing moments of 2016.
At the beginning of the year you could have got odds of over 5000/1 on the Foxes winning the Premier League. By May of this year those brave enough to dare would have been well rewarded!
Built around a squad that defied the odds time and time again, Leicester City wowed audiences across the world. Their no-nonsense, full throttle attitude towards matches was a real breath of fresh air for the Premier League.
The Premier League Cinderella story made household names of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Wes Morgan. We also saw one of the greatest moments of the season when Claudio Ranieri famously coined the phrase ‘dilly ding, dilly dong’!
Personally I don’t believe this feat will ever be achieved again. In subsequent years we will be telling our grandchildren about this Leicester City side and it gives all supporters hope that one day our club could reach these very heights.
I’m sure the ‘who is better Ronaldo or Messi?’ debate will continue to roll on for many more years to come. However, if ever there was a moment in time that pundits and fans alike had to pick an individual, based on performance in 2016 alone, then Ronaldo would swoop home at a canter.
Cristiano Ronaldo has made a huge impact with the ball at his feet over the past 12 months. He managed to win both the Champions League trophy as well as the recent Club World Cup Final, where he bagged a hat-trick en-route to another Ballon d’Or victory.
However it was on the international stage where he has cemented his legacy. Portugal entered the Euro 2016 competition as rank outsiders. This however wasn’t going to deter the nation who rallied together under Ronaldo’s leadership to shock the world and lift the trophy in Paris!
When we look at this batch of modern day football megastars I’m sure Cristiano Ronaldo would shine in any era! He is the ultimate professional, and it is fair to say that his 2016 was a year to remember and one to propel him to the very top of the football echelons.
This summer saw France play host to the latest instalment of the European Championships. For me there were 3 nations that had us all talking this tournament.
WALES. Maybe this is because we live in Wales but this summer felt like the whole country was gripped with ‘Euro Fever’! The performances of Bale, Ramsey and Ashley Williams were stand outs on the way to the Semi Finals. However the overall team spirit was something to behold. The bar has now been raised and the loyal Welsh supporters will be hoping it’s not another 58 year wait for the next major tournament appearance!
ICELAND. Iceland made a huge impact both on the pitch with their energising brand of football but off it too with the now world famous ‘Iceland Clap’ craze! They played with a great strength and determination which instantly gave them a real Viking ‘band of brothers’ vibe. They stole the hearts of the neutrals and had the world in awe of the spirit of their fans. Here’s hoping we see more of the Iceland Clap at future tournaments!
PORTUGAL. Always the bridesmaid and never the bride was a phrase that could have described Portuguese football before Euro 2016. Five time semi-finalists in major tournaments and losing finalists in EURO 2004, Portugal were surely ready to win the nation’s first major piece of silverware. Lead by Cristiano Ronaldo, they won it all, beating hosts France in extra time of the final. This victory was something the whole nation savoured and Portugal have finally managed to shake off the stigma of being the ‘nearly boys’ of international football.
After England’s dismal display at Euro 2016 the sacking of Roy Hodgson came as no surprise. It was his successor though that made all the headlines after he was embroiled in an embarrassing newspaper sting that ultimately cost him his dream job.
Sam Allardyce is a man renowned for his no nonsense approach to the game. The straight talking manager had an impressive resume and his appointment to the England set-up was seen as a perfect fit.
However the dream turned to a nightmare after a mere 67 days as he was sacked for ‘inappropriate behaviour’. This left English football in further disarray and once again had the organisation on the front pages of the newspapers rather than the back.
2016, ashley williams, Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo, england, EURO 2016, football, Gareth Bale, iceland, jamie vardy, leicester city, portugal, premier league, review of the year, Riyad Mahrez, sam allardyce, wales