Top 10 fallouts of 2017
Records were broken – Real Madrid are the first and only team to retain their crown in the new Champions League format (which began in 1993), while Manchester City are showing signs of eclipsing the Invincibles' unbeaten streak.
Underdogs toppled heavyweights – Monaco put Tottenham, Manchester City, and Borrusia Dortmund to the sword on their way to their first Champions League semi-final appearance in 13 years (since 2004), and Hearts ended Celtics’ 69-game unbeaten run.
Certain teams and players rose from the ashes like the mythical phoenix – Ashley Young, Raheem Sterling, Simone Zaza, Ciro Immobile, Valencia FC, Manchester City, Inter Milan, and Adrien Rabiot all seem reborn; their improved performances attest to that.
Players scored jaw-dropping goals – Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Olivier Giroud scored from scorpion kicks, Rooney scored from inside his half for Everton, and De Bruyne keeps thundering 'em goals in with his left foot.
All these are just some of the beautiful moments the football world witnessed in 2017.
However, the ugly side of the game reared its head on many occasions, as manifested in clashes among players, managers being at loggerheads, and clubs at one another’s throats. Now, let’s get right down to ten of the most unpleasant football moments of the year 2017.
#10 Leicester City and Claudio Ranieri
Ranieri achieved the biggest football miracle witnessed in the United Kingdom by guiding an almost-relegated Leicester City to their first Premier League title. This he accomplished not by spending boatloads of money, like the big European teams. Consequently, Ranieri was correctly lauded by the whole world for his feats.
Further to this, the season after that saw Leicester City deviate from a counterattacking brand of football (which brought them unprecedented success) to a more attractive style, which negated the strengths of the likes of Vardy, Drinkwater, and Mahrez.
As a result of this change in tactically blueprint, relationships soon deteriorated, and eventually, the senior men of the Leicester City dressing room met with the club owners and demanded Ranieri be removed from his managerial position.
So, that was how one of the most beautiful sporting stories ended in bitterness, backstabbing, guilt, and severed ties.