Nothing gives us chills quite like a great sporting moment. Maybe it’s the pure adrenaline and tension that’s finally released when we watch a tense moment turn into a momentous win, or maybe it’s the tribal spirit that has us all backing a team and the overwhelming sense of pride we get when the team does us proud. Whatever it is, we love it. Sure, there were no Olympics this year, and the media might have tuned out post-2012, but that doesn’t mean moments of sporting history should go under the radar. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the most wonderful, the most controversial, and the most astonishing moments in sport this year. The moments that got us tweeting, arguing, celebrating and partaking in intense discussion. The moments that made us proud and the moments that forced the sporting industry to clean up its act. These aren’t the best sporting moments of 2012, but the most memorable, so take note, share away and remember 2015 with nostalgia before we see what’s just around the corner in 2016.
It’s Lionel Messi, one of the world’s top footballers, versus Neuer, one of the most renowned goalkeepers. You’d think it’d be an epic battle right? Not quite. Barcelona won 3-0 to Bayern Munich in this Champion’s League final, but it was Messi’s second goal that had people talking. Messi casually, almost too easily, walked the ball past a tumbling Jerome Boateng, before chipping the ball into the goal without batting an eyelid. Some fans said Messi performed the feat with such ease that he made Neuer “look like a fool”, and the crowd went wild.
Tyson Fury, an unbeaten 27 year old Brit from Manchester fought Wladimir Klitschko on the 28th November 2015, a fight that was considered momentous as Klitschko is counted as one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time; but Fury was set to dethrone him. The fight ended a 9 year champion reign, which had previously belonged to Floyd Mayweather, and the titles fell to Fury. Well, that was until December 14th, when Fury succumbed to the complicated rules of boxing and was stripped of his title. It was because Fury declined a challenge to defend the title from Vyacheslav Glazkov, a number-one ranked fighter. The odds could easily be in Fury’s favour, but Glazkov put Fury in a difficult position, where he couldn’t be in fight with Glazkov unless he revoked the contract clause he gave to Klitschko for the right to a rematch. The fans want a rematch between Fury and Klitschko, but now they’re faced with the less appealing prospect of a fight between Charles Martin and Glazkov for the title. Confusing, right?
Jamie Vardy of Leicester City FC, a striker who has taken his team to the top of the league, broke records in 2015, by becoming the first player to score in 11 consecutive games in the Premier League. That’s a meteoric rise, considering 5 years ago Vardy was playing non-league.
This year Russia became the first ever country to be banned from international competition due to doping allegations. The ban came after the World Anti-Doping Agency put forward a number of claims about doping and cover-ups by the Russian sporting authorities. The bans could mean lifetime bans for many athletes, and could stop Russia competing in next year’s Olympics in Rio. The Russian Athletics Federation has accepted their ban and will not contest it, offering full cooperation with the authorities. Only further investigation will bring out the full extent of the truth.
There’s so much we can talk about here. So let’s quickly get out the way that we were the first sole host nation not to reach the knockout stages. Awkward. Then there was the drama of the controversial match between Japan and South Africa, where Japan opted not to score a last-minute penalty to equalise the match, but instead scored a winning try in added time. Cue angry and shocked fans. Not a single Northern hemisphere team got past the quarter finals, so things were just as disappointing for Wales, Scotland and Ireland too. But in happier news, New Zealand ended up retaining their title, and became the first team in Rugby to win 3 times.
It’s no lie to say England have been getting disappointing results in the World Cup, losing the faith of many fans; but England’s ladies team and improving year on year. In 2015, the ladies team finished third in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, providing some excellent gameplay and edge-of-your-seat moment for spectators. Subsequently, they’re getting a lot more TV coverage then before as the nation’s interest peaks. We’re looking forward to seeing where they finish in 2019.
Frome had a fantastic Tour De France win in 2013, and this year he became the first British rider to win the Tour twice. It was an intense uphill (literally) struggle to take the title though; Froome took the lead after the first uphill finish, but lost it when Tony Martin overtook at the end of the fourth stage. However, Martin suffered a crash, and Froome was back in pole position, successfully fending off challenges from the ‘Best Young Rider’ Nairo Quintana to take a well-deserved victory.
These are just a few of our most memorable moments in 2015, but what are yours? Tweet us and we’ll add the best suggestions to our list!