Since the existence of this website, therefore since I have had the priviledge to be able to communicate directly with those that follow me, each end of the year I enjoy sharing with all of you my passion for sport, and to re-live the greatest achievements that have been written into it’s history, not only of the last 12 months, but in many cases forever. Treat it as a game, as ever there is no intention there being a ranking ( i would need one hundred places! ) and indeed the ten selections are not in order of merit.
So, are you ready? I’ll be waiting for your comments on my social media…
- LeBron James: He never had anything more to prove, he is already in the olympus, yet he still had a dream to realize, win in his home. Return to where it all began, and celebrate with his people: Done. As a number one, always decisive. It was in his destiny.
- Gregorio Paltrinieri: 2016 an Olympic year, there are many achievements that were realized during the Rio Olympics, so why not start with Gregorio Paltrinieri, his Gold medal in the 1500metres was historic, obtained as a dominator. It’s clear by now that he is one of the greatest athletes in the world: Luckily he is Italian!
- Cristiano Ronaldo: To win in the same year, The European Championships ( even as an outsider, with Portugal, that never before had won, a super citation also for them! ), The UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup with Real Madrid, is an achievement worthy of the Golden Ball, actually even more!
- Michael Phelps: Who really thought he was finished after London 2012? Nobody? Great, you were right, Michael still had another path to follow, to surpass ( his ) fable. With 23 Gold medals, he became, in Rio – The Olympics that celebrated yet another monumental legend in Usain Bolt – the athlete with the most titles in the modern olympics. There’s nobody like him.
- Claudio Ranieri: It was Leicester’s, the greatest achievement of the year, one of the greatest surprises in the history of sport. The signature that will remain, is Italian, that of Claudio Ranieri, that knew how to make believe that dreams can become reality.
I hope too that Antonio Conte will lift the same trophy, at the end of the present season.
- Tania Cagnotto: She had achieved everything in her career, except for an olympic medal, taken away by a whisker at the London 2012 Olympics. She had one last chance, before calling it a day. The final penalty…hit or miss. And Tania scored! The last act of a great sporting story, that deserved to finish like so.
- Chicago Cubs: In the united states there were those that called them the “loveable losers”. They won their last World Series in 1908, even though they are one of the most historic and best supported teams in MLB. You can immagine what they felt, when, after 116 years they were once again crowned champions! A story worthy of a film, for sure someone will have already thought about it…
- Bebe Vio and Alex Zanardi: I unite the names of these two Italian champions, not only for their achievements in Rio ( a first time for Bebe, a confirmation for Alex ), but also to thank them, because through their achievements they have defintively established that Paralympic sport is, simply and extraordinarily, sport. Without differences, with categories, if not excellence.
- Kobe Bryant: It’s a year of great farewells in my beloved NBA, phenomenons like Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and – allow me – as a fan of the Lakers and in love with this sport, of one of the players whom has thrilled me the most, of all time. Thank you Kobe, you deserve all the applause that you have received, in every arena that celebrated the last season of The Black Mamba.
- Chapocoense; My last citation is unfortunately, dramatic. A terrible story, that of the Brazilian footballers taken away following a plane crash, whilst travelling to play their final, the one they had earned, the one they had always dreamt about, they leave us as Champions: Força Chape!
Happy 2017 to all, may it be a great year for sport!