Football 2016: A Golden Year For Leicester City And Cristiano Ronaldo

Updated: 29 December 2016 13:09 IST

It has been quite a compelling year for football. From Leicester City's remarkable Premier League triumph to Portugal's unprecedented Euro 2016 win, it was a year full of surprises.

Football 2016: A Golden Year For Leicester City And Cristiano Ronaldo
The year 2016 proved to be a golden year for Cristiano Ronaldo © AFP

It has been quite a compelling year for football. From Leicester City's remarkable Premier League triumph to Portugal's unprecedented Euro 2016 win, it was a year full of surprises.

But while Leicester's journey to the summit of English football captured the imagination of the world, the year ended on a tragic note with almost all the players and staff members of Brazilian club Chapecoense being wiped out in a plane crash.

Here is a look at some of the biggest moments of the year from the world of football:

Leicester's Cinderella story

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli's rendition of Nessun Dorma at Leicester's King Power Stadium on the penultimate weekend of the 2015/16 Premier League season will go down as one of the most enduring moments of the English top-flight season.

Bocelli's rendition of the aria on the day Leicester City were crowned the champions of England was an apt tribute to one of the most miraculous stories in modern-day sports.

At the beginning of the season, bookies were offering 5000-1 on Leicester winning the title. After hanging around the top of the table at the end of last year, Leicester turned the season on its head with crucial wins over title rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in early-2016.

The Claudio Ranieri-managed side eventually won the league with a gap of ten points over second-placed Arsenal to leave bookies and football pundits with eggs on their faces.

Ronaldo's remarkable year

Cristiano Ronaldo began the year by losing the Ballon d'Or to Barcelona rival Lionel Messi. The Real Madrid talisman would go on to finish second-best in the league with his club, with Barcelona sealing the title on the last day of the season.

Despite the setbacks, Ronaldo's goals helped Real sail past the Champions League Round of 16 stage and then stage a remarkable comeback against Wolfsburg in the quarterfinals. Ronaldo would go on the score the winning penalty-kick as Real Madrid edged out city rivals Atletico in spot-kicks to lift their 11th European Cup.

At the European Championships in the summer, Cristiano Ronaldo would come to Portugal's rescue time and time again as they hobbled past the group stages. The Iberians won their Round-of-16 and quarterfinal ties by the skin of their teeth to book a berth in the final against hosts France.

In the title clash, Ronaldo was stretchered off in the early stages with a knee injury, but substitute Eder struck late as Portugal upset France to win their first ever major tournament.

Ronaldo would go on to end the year with his fourth Ballon d'Or award.

Bengaluru FC stamp their class

In a beleaguered I-League season that featured just nine clubs, Bengaluru FC edged out closest rivals Mohun Bagan by two points to win their second league title in less than three years of existence.

Mohun Bagan salvaged their season by winning the Federation Cup, but it was Bengaluru FC who brought some cheers to Indian football with their run to the final of the AFC Cup.

With Albert Roca taking over from the highly-successful Ashley Westwood as the club's head coach following the domestic season, Bengaluru continued their remarkable run in the continent, uniting the fans and stakeholders of a domestic football industry that has been besieged by a series of crises in recent years.

They eventually lost the title clash by a solitary goal to Iraq's Air Force Club.

Germany, Brazil clinch gold at Rio; Juventus, PSG, Bayern dominate

Among the other major footballing events of the year, Germany clinched the gold medal in the women's tournament at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. The formidable sides of USA and Brazil both failed to win a medal, with Sweden finishing second and Canada taking the bronze. In the men's section, Brazil pipped Germany in the final to take the gold medal, while Nigeria won the bronze.

Wales and Iceland, on the other hand, grabbed the attention of the football world with their extraordinary showing at Euro 2016. Wales reached the semis of the tournament, eventually losing to Portugal, while Iceland made it to the last-eight, where they went down to hosts France.

In Italy, Juventus won their fifth consecutive league title, while Paris Saint-Germain sealed the French league title, their fourth straight win, by a whopping 31 points.

In Germany, Bayern Munich lifted their fourth consecutive league title, with the Manchester City-bound Pep Guardiola being replaced by Italian tactician Carlo Ancelotti at the end of the season.

Tragedy strikes

Tragedy, however, struck the football world on November 28, when all but three players of Brazilian club Chapecoense were killed in a plane crash when they were on their way to Colombia for the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final. They were subsequently awarded the title following a request by fellow finalists Atletico Nacional to South American football governing body CONMEBOL

Topics : Football Cristiano Ronaldo Dos Santos Aveiro Lionel Andres Messi Tottenham Hotspur Juventus Bayern München Leicester City
Highlights
  • Cristiano Ronaldo had a remarkable 2016
  • Leicester City won the Premier League title for the first time
  • Bengaluru FC stamped their class in AFC Cup
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