The year 2016 remains a memorable year in sports! It brought smiles, defining sports moments of excellence and somewhat jerked our tears as well.
It could not be said better about 2016 in sports than that it was a theatrical show which never fell short of entertainment. From one tournament to another in any sports, it remained a spectacular feast to watch.
The sports fraternity has been remarkably eventful all through 2016 and we shall never forget some special moments it brought. We had Pakistan Super League (PSL), ICC T20 World Cup, 2016 Formula 1 Championship, UEFA Champions League, Premier League, Euro 2016, Rio Olympics, UFC and etc.
20 Most Memorable Sports Moments of 2016
Looking over the bygone months, we certainly have enough moments that make 2016 a memorable year. So, let’s find out what were some of the best sports moments of 2016
1. Leicester City winning the Premier League
History was made! Who could have ever thought that the reigning English champions would overcome the odds as high as 5000/1? In the light of Leicester’s spectacular feat, key players like Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante, Danny Drinkwater and not to forget their credible manager Claudio Ranieri bore every moment that conspired for their ultimate success. Leicester shocked the world and provoked us all to think that with little resources they had had during the tournament, they made it all remarkably worthwhile. Easy to say that it remains the best story of 2015, certainly a fairytale one and you rooted for their victory, unless you’re an Arsenal fan, of course.
2. Pakistan’s own cricket league!
Pakistan makes history with PSL 2016. A hugely anticipated event held in Dubai had our entire attention. It was brilliant for any Pakistani to watch a cricket league involving world class players and a remarkable showdown. The likes of popular players certainly upheld the credibility of PSL and the teams representing major cities came out brilliantly throughout the tournament. PSL’s success was extraordinary eventually and the debut season surely goes down as one of the best of many to come.
3. Portugal wins Euro 2016
You never saw that coming! Who did? It goes down as one of the shocks of 2016 in sports. In the beginning of the tournament in France, it didn’t seem like Portugal would eventually clinch it as other teams as good as France, Germany, Spain, England and etc were the favorites and realistic contenders for anyone. Yet, Portugal made history. Gradually advancing towards the final with each game played under huge stress. There came a moment when Cristiano Ronaldo ruled out of the match and all hopes imminently sunk. But, a substitution in the last 10 minutes changed everything.
4. Marvellous Misbah
Day 1 of England versus Pakistan Test cricket series, Misbah ul Haq steals the show. Not only the Pakistani skipper put an effort past 100 runs on his first visit to the iconic Lord’s but also ignited a spectacular and new trend of celebration by doing push-ups. It wasn’t done yet as the Pakistani Cricket team performed push-ups eventually when they defeated England in the Test series.
5. Lionel Messi’s shocking retirement
The Argentine and FC Barcelona superstar released a statement claiming his retirement from International football after an appalling defeat to Chile in the final of Copa America. Messi’s decision stunned football fans across the globe. It sparked questions and hesitation to accept his drastic decision. Football pundits questioned his credibility at such a stage where he stands and also what the decision would bring to his reputation. However, months after, Messi decided to come out of retirement and captain Argentina again. His past decision simply reeked of logic and sense that you would expect from a player of his standards.
6. Michael Phelps Cupping Therapy
A huge number of athletes were bemused by an unfamiliar discoloration of skin during Rio Olympics. It was non-contagious cupping that seemed to captured everyone’s attention. While Cupping remains an ancient therapy having a broad range of favorable results, it inspired many Olympians to adapt to the usage of such therapy. Michael Phelps was a big reason for setting the trend of cupping.
7. Ronaldo’s Moth
During the Euro 2016 finale between Portugal and France, Cristiano Ronaldo was under limelight as the world expected the 4 times Ballon d’Or winner to pull out something fantastic for his team. But, Ronaldo fell injured after a harsh and shocking tackle attempted by France’s Dimitri Payet in the early moments of the game. Despite suffering through pain, Ronaldo strived to continue, pushing through every nerve but it came all down to him eventually. He was pronounced as injured and not in condition at all to continue. While Ronaldo lied down halfway on the pitch, a Moth stole our attention when it buzzed around his eyelids. Social media went into frenzy and images of that Moth circulated all over.
In fact, Ronaldo’s Moth has several Twitter accounts.
8. Dressed for the beach by choice
Before London Olympics began in 2012, a ruling was passed about women’s uniform for beach volleyball. Cultural uniforms were allowed if any athlete decides on. Some competitors in Rio Olympics 2016 made history by emerging leggings, match tops, and the hijab. It instigates the idea of diversity and openness the entire world has adapted to and garnered everyone’s attention.
That is right, Pog was back! After being sold to Juventus in 2011, Manchester United managed to re-sign their youth product Paul Pogba for a staggering 89 million Pounds, breaking the world record transfer fee this time. Pogba was heavily linked to his former club before it all happened. It came during summer transfer window and Pogba was all willing to join his former side.
10. La Undecima
Real Madrid went down winning UEFA Champions League for a record 11th time in 2016. Rivals Atletico Madrid met them once again in the exciting finale at San Siro, Milan. Sergio Ramos once again outshined for his side by scoring. Atletico was already familiar with the threat of Ramos due to his 2014’s UCL finale last minute goal. The game stretched to penalties where Real outclassed Atletico.
11. West Indies winning T20 WC
It was held in early April when England and West Indies came face-to-face in Kolkata. West Indies won the match eventually by 4 wickets and became the first team in history win the competition twice. The honor was huge for the entire West Indies as they became the first to win men’s & women’s competitions on the very same day.
12. Rosberg did it finally…
Nico Rosberg won the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship, his first ever with Mercedes AMG Petronas. It was an altogether entertaining season for an F1 fanatic like me. Rosberg overcame the stronghold of teammate Lewis Hamilton despite Hamilton suffering through various setbacks throughout the Grands Prix. Rosberg’s first 4 victories in early 2016 sent him an advantage as well. Rosberg was put to a real test in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when he toiled under harsh driving conditions as well as the pressure exerted by Hamilton who rather wanted to win.
13. Quetta Gladiators scores 200+ runs against Lahore Qalandars and wins
It was nerve wrecking by every minute it went on. Certainly, the face-off that made PSL 2016 memorable in all terms. Lahore managed to put pass a staggering scoreline during their batting and it was expected that the defeat of Quetta would come up in this match. Lahore put all efforts to qualify for the next round but Quetta, oh Quetta… The Gladiators taught them a lesson. It was formidable how Gladiators scored past 200 runs and sealed the victory. The last over of the match held everyone on their feet.
14. Usain Bolt and Olympic medals, better love story than Twilight
It’s hard to believe he is a human. How could he manage to run like that? It’s almost unbelievable that how smooth he remains about the pressure that mounts on him. The Jamaican is the fasted man in history. Bolt made history as he became the leading sprinter to notch 3 successive gold medals in 100, 200 and 4×100 meter races during the Rio Olympics. Famously called “triple-triple”, it is highly doubtful whether any athlete would try to match that record.
15. Manchester United wins the FA Cup
Louis Van Gaal’s tenure at Manchester United might be infamous. It is highly stressed that we must not forget the vital FA Cup victory that came during his reign. Louis Van Gaal’s Red Army, as he liked to call the team managed to defeat Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium, London and also brought down the drought of not winning the competition for 10 years.
16. Afridi’s bowling at its best
Shahid Afridi may be called the best all rounder Pakistan has. You may have your issues but stats reveal so. During PSL, Afridi took 5 wickets for only 7 runs against Quetta Gladiators. That’s 5 batsmen scoring just 7 between them. The remarkable achievement took our attention by storms as praises were hurled for Pakistan’s one of the best cricketers.
17. Michael Phelps has gold medals in his home more than you’ll have eggs in your refrigerator
Michael Phelps is the greatest swimmer of all times. Enough said. His performances are a beauty and magnificence you may not find elsewhere. He put his talent and remarkable efforts to show in 2016 during Rio Olympics when he won 6 more gold medals. His tally of gold medals from all times has now gone up to 23 – an astonishing Olympic record.
18. Jose Mourinho – Manchester United manager
He’s a celebrity! An iconic figure, Jose Mourinho becomes the manager of the biggest club in the world, Manchester United. The match looks perfect as both the manager and the club suit each other’s caliber. After Chelsea sacked Mourinho in 2015, United chased him and Mourinho saw it as a dream come true to manage Manchester United.