The biggest sporting moments of the twenty teens
The twenty-tens produced many memorable moments on the sporting pitch across the globe. From the Brazilian football side being embarrassed at home, to the Australian Cricket team experiencing one of its darkest ever days, and an AFL club ending a 37- year Premiership drought.
While there are certainly many more defining moments that have occurred, here are the top five moments from the last decade that have stood out the most to me. Beginning with an unlikely triumph, that will forever be remembered by English Premier League fans.
1. Leicester City wins the English Premier League
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Labelled by many as one of the biggest upsets in sporting history, Leicester City, despite having been given odds of 5000-1 by bookmakers at the beginning of the campaign, managed to take out the English topflight in the 2015-16 season. The Foxes finished 10 points clear of runners-up Arsenal, with the result being even more commendable given Leicester lacks the financial resources in comparison to clubs such as Manchester United and Manchester City.
Many questioned the club’s appointment of Italian manager Claudio Ranieri at the beginning of the season, after he had been sacked from his previous managerial role, following a poor spell with the Greek National Team. However, Ranieri completed what would be the signing of season, securing the signature of the highly unknown, now French and Chelsea superstar N’golo Kante.
With Kante dominating the midfield and linking up with the likes of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, with the latter scoring 24 goals, Ranieri pulled off what would be the biggest underdog story of the Premier League era. This secured Leicester’s first top division title in their 132-year existence, through slick, counter-attacking football.
2. Germany shock Brazil 7-1 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup
David Luiz in tears above says it all, as Germany demolished Brazil seven goals to one on Brazil’s home soil. Brazil were looking to win the tournament for the first time at home, after losing to Uruguay when they last hosted the tournament in 1950.
Despite superstar Neymar being injured and captain Thiago Silva missing the match through suspension, Brazilian fans believed the home advantage would be enough to see their side through to the final. But Joachim Löw’s Germany proved too strong for the home side and would go on to win the tournament after their mammoth semi-final win.
Although Brazil started the match well, their game took a turn for the worse after Thomas Müller was left unmarked to score the opener in the 11th minute of play. They were trailing 5-0 at the half-time interval and a second-half double from André Schürrle put the final nail in the coffin for Brazil, as Germany went on to secure one of the most extraordinary World Cup victories of all time.
3. The Sandpapergate scandal
One of Australian cricket’s darkest days and labelled the ‘Sandpapergategate scandal’ by the media. In March 2018, Australian batsman Cameron Bancroft was caught on live television ball-tampering, with footage revealing he had been illegally applying sandpaper to alter the state of the ball, during Australia’s third test against South Africa at Newlands.
The fallout from the scandal was huge and after an investigation was conducted by Cricket Australia, it was revealed vice-captain David Warner was the culprit, having come up with the plan and instructing Bancroft to carry it out. As a result, Warner was handed a 12-month ban from international and domestic cricket and will never hold another leadership position again. Shockingly, captain Steve Smith was also given a 12-month ban and a further 12-month ban from holding a leadership position, after it was revealed he was aware of the plan but failed to intervene and Bancroft was slapped a nine-month suspension for his involvement.
Coach Darren Lehman soon resigned and as a result, then CEO James Sutherland announced a cultural review would be conducted into Australia’s professional cricket teams. This kick-started a new era for Australian cricket, under the leadership of Tim Paine and coach Justin Langer.
4. NSW end their eight-year State of Origin drought
For eight long years, the New South Wales Blues had been dominated by an outstanding Queensland Maroons side, which featured the likes of Jonathan Thurston, Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, and Greg Inglis. But in 2014, the Blues led by gutsy captain Paul Gallen, ended their State of Origin drought, defeating the Maroons 6-4 in a nail-biting thriller, in game two of the series at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.
This was thanks to a 71st minute try from halfback Trent Hopkinson after he threw a superb dummy to breach the Maroons defence, scoring the only four-pointer of the match. The number seven successfully converted his own try, with the Blues defence managing to hold out the Maroons attack until full-time.
The victory meant the Blues took an unbeatable 2-0 lead into the third and final match at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium and lifted the shield in enemy territory.
5. Richmond claims their first AFL Premiership in 37 years
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After 37 years, Richmond fans finally got see their side secure an AFL Premiership after defeating the Adelaide Crows 108-60 in front of a packed house of over 100,000 people (mainly Tigers fans) at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Tigers trailed by 11 points to the Crows at the end of the first quarter. However, the Melbourne side took control once play resumed, with Dustin Martin winning the Norm Smith Medal for best on ground, after putting in a man of the match performance to lead his side to a historic victory.
This capped off a stellar season for Martin, who prior to the match took out the Brownlow Medal, the award handed to the leagues Best and Fairest Player.
Richmond supporters did not have to wait long to witness their club lift another premiership, as the Tigers managed to claim the title once again in 2019, after thrashing the Greater Western Sydney Giants 114-25. With Martin once again claiming the Norm Smith Medal.
There you have it, the biggest sporting moments from the last decade. Which moment stands out the most to you?