One more year added to a long lost journey that came in with thunderclouds and retained its effects that somewhere scared some but blossomed many in the face of victory. The sports world has its fair share of ups and downs out of all the happening in the world. Sports fans had their taste of thrills and disappointments through some of the most significant events, news, and clashes that happened in the year 2018.
Here’s top 10 sports news that shook the world in 2018:
- France, the new world champion:
Indeed 2018 had the best World Cup ever, even though some of the significant and fan favorite teams like Argentina, Portugal, England, Germany failed miserably. It was the year for underdogs like Croatia and Iceland that took the world into shock and hope. Out of the 32 teams, the finale had France and Croatia lock horns for the first time. While France had already claimed a World Cup win back in 1998, it was Croatia that won hearts with their debut in the final. Although Belgium Football team came at number one position in the end-of-the-year FIFA global rankings with 1727 points, France was the one to take the cup of victory back home. This gave Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba enough spotlight to become a worthy contender for Ballon d’Or title. Luka Modric from Croatia was also appreciated for his contribution to the team.
2. Jose Mourinho sacked out of Manchester United:
Honestly, Jose Mourinho had it coming. After a million dollar transfer of Pogba to Manchester United, he was made to sit on the bench by Mourinho which triggered the management and called it a season end to Mourinho. This has sent a wave of a threat to rest of the club’s coach to drop the idea of impartiality and focus on player’s and team improvement.
3. Croatia’s Luka Modric wins Ballon d’Or award 2018:
Croatia’s midfielder Luca Modrich (33) has won prestigious honor of football, Ballon d’Or. He was rewarded for his key role in Croatia’s historic run to FIFA World Cup final and his club Real Madrid’s third straight Champions League Trophy. With this, he ended a long-running tenure of Messi and Ronaldo for almost a decade. He was followed by Cristiano Ronaldo who stood second, Mbappe stood fourth, followed by Messi on fifth and Mohammed Salah from Liverpool on sixth.
4. Gautam Gambhir’s retirement from cricket:
Gautam Gambhir who played a total of 58 Test matches, 147 ODI and 37 T20s for India, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. He had played his last international one-day match against England in Rajkot in 2016 and his last match was for Delhi in Ranji Trophy against Andhra Pradesh on 6th December 2019.
5. Athlete Hima Das appointed as first Youth Ambassador of UNICEF India:
The ‘Dhing Express’ of India and Asian Games gold medallist sprinter Hima Das was appointed as first ever youth ambassador of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) India. She was also appointed as Sports Ambassador of Assam to inspire budding players of northeastern state to aim big and achieve heights where the tri-color blooms with proud. She is also currently working with Indian Oil Corporation in Guwahati as an HR officer. She was the first Indian Athlete to win a gold medal in a track event at IAAF World U20 Championships held in Tampere.
6. Rahul Dravid inducted into ICC Hall of Fame:
Former India captain Rahul Dravid was officially inducted into International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Hall of Fame. With this Dravid became fifth Indian cricketer after Bishan Singh Bedi (inducted in 2009), Sunil Gavaskar (2009), Kapil Dev (2010) and Anil Kumble (2015) to be named on the elite list. He was presented by legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar at Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Rahul Dravid holds World Record for being excellent slip fielder and finished his Test career in 2012 with 210 catches.
7. Jeremy Lalrinnunga wins India’s maiden gold medal at Youth Olympic Games:
Weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga brought home India’s maiden gold medal at 2018 Youth Olympic Games held in Buenos Aires, capital of Argentina. He won the medal in the men’s 62 kg category by lifting total of 274 kg weight to finish on top. In 2018, he broke two National Records claiming Bronze medal (Junior) and Silver Medal (Youth) in Asian Championships. So far this was India’s fourth medal in 2018 Youth Olympic games.
8. PV Sindhu seventh in Forbes list of highest paid women sportspersons:
India’s ace Shuttler and Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu (23) was ranked seventh on Forbes List of highest-earning women sportsperson in the world. The list was topped by tennis legend Serena Williams with total earnings of $18.062 million including $62000 as prize money followed by Caroline Wozniacki (Tennis) and Sloane Stephens (Tennis).
9. India wins SAFF U-15 Women’s Championship by defeating Bangladesh:
In the final match of South Asian Football Federation U-15 Women’s Championship held in Thimpu, Bhutan, India dismantled Bangladesh by 1-0 score. Sunita Munda scored the goal that helped the Indian U-15 team clinch the title. Earlier in the semifinal, India defeated Nepal 2-1. SAFF has a total of seven participating nations Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan. Earlier it was Bangladesh who won SAFF Cup beating India. Looks like the revenge was taken.
10. India’s Sunil Chhetri becomes the second highest international goalscorer:
Beating the likes of Lionel Messi or Ronaldo is a thing of beauty that sounds impossible, but reaching near to the likes of those is an achievement. Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri (33) became the joint second highest international goal scorer during a match between India and Kenya in Intercontinental Cup summit clash in Mumbai, Maharashtra. In the match, Sunil scored the 64th goal of his career and ended the match with two goals. Sunil became the only Indian to feature in 100 international matches after former skipper Bhaichung Bhutia.
Sunil and Messi are currently in a joint 21st position in an all-time list of goal scorers. Chhetri is just one goal below former Chelsea FC and Ivory Coast footballer Didier Drogba (65 from 104 matches).