Image Credits: Reuters/Steve Mason
In English domestic football, Chelsea claimed their fifth premier league title, whilst title holders Leicester City finished 12th, the worst ever premier league defence in the history of the division. Interestingly, the previous year Chelsea were defending champions of the Premier League and finished 10th, which was at that time the worst performance by a defending champion, and the league that year was of course won by Leicester City.
In international football more records were made, as Real Madrid became the first team to win the Champions League twice in a row by beating Juventus 4-1 in a thrilling match in Germany, securing their 12th title in the process. Despite their poor Premier League performance Leicester City were able to make it to the quarter finals of the Champions League, further than any other English team. The biggest European success for an English team in 2017 was Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Ajax in the Europa League final, which was their last title to date. The England under also did their country proud by winning the U-17 world cup.
Outisde of football, 2017 was a year for the record books. That year’s Wimbledon tournament was one of the most memorable in recent years as Rodger Federer won the Gentleman’s Singles for a record eight time, whilst Garbine Muguruza secured her second major title by winning the women’s Grand Slam. One of the most astonishing accomplishments in 2017 was Serena Williams securing her 23rd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open – whilst at least eight weeks pregnant.
There were also some major stories from the athletics world in 2017. Justin Gaitlin shocked the world by beating sprinting legends Usain Bolt and Christian Coleman in the 100 metres race at the World Championships in London, silencing the 60,000 spectators who booed him prior to the race. Mo Farah also announced his decision to switch to road racing form track athletics, and at the end of the year was knighted in the New Years Honours List for his services to athletics.
In August boxing history was made when five weight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr took on UFC lightweight champion martial artist Connor McGregor. The fight saw the second highest pay-per-view rate in boxing history, and ended in a technical-knockout win for Mayweather Jr in the 10th round. This extended Mayweather’s unbeaten record to 50 wins in 50 fights, leading to many calling him the greatest of all time. Earlier in April Britain’s Anthony Joshua beat veteran Vladimir Klitschko via 11th round technical knockout, after knocking him down three times throughout the fight, to defend his IBF heavyweight title and claim the vacant WBA (Super) and IBO heavyweight titles. Six months later, fellow Briton Lewis Hamilton would win his fourth world title at the Mexican Grand Prix, cementing his legacy as the UK’s most successful Formula One racing driver.