Bengaluru, Dec 22: The highlight of 2016 was the triumph of the underdogs Leicester City in the English Premier League.
The Foxes under the tutelage of Italian manager Claudio Ranieri weaved a fairytale which pleasantly surprised the entire football fraternity.
English Premier League, considered by many as the best league in the world due to the intense competition saw a brand new champion other than the traditional powerhouses after 21 years. Blackburn Rovers had last won the title in 1994/95.
Real Madrid won their second UEFA Champions League title in 3 seasons as they yet again defeated Atletico Madrid in the finals to lift the coveted trophy.
The Los Blancos lifted their historic La UnDecima cup (11th) on 29th May as Cristiano Ronaldo netted the winning penalty. Zinedine Zidane's men also won the club world cup later in the year.
English Premier League saw some major overhauling in almost all the major teams. Managers like Pep Guardiola, Antonio Conte came to the leagues, and Jose Mourinho made a comeback after being ousted last December by Chelsea.
Guardiola joined Manchester City, Antonio Conte joined Chelsea FC. Jose Mourinho was roped in by Manchester United after sacking Louis van Gaal.
Among personal achievements, the year began with Lionel Messi winning the FIFA Ballon d'Or award for the fifth time. The year ended with Cristiano Ronaldo replacing his on-field nemesis as he won his fourth Ballon d'Or.
Here are the photos of the highlights of the year 2016
The year started with Lionel Messi winning the Ballon d'Or title for the fifth time.
Zinedine Zidane (left) with Rafael Benitez
Zinedine Zidane was appointed as the Real Madrid manager in January 2016 replacing Rafael Benitez.
Real Madrid win UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid won the famous La UnDecima by beating Atletico Madrid in the finals.
Leicester City scripted history as they won the English Premier League title beating the heavyweights of the league.
After dominating the La Liga and Bundesliga, Pep Guardiola came to English Premier League as Manchester City manager.
Antonio Conte was appointed as the Chelsea manager after he left Italy after Euro 2016.
Jose Mourinho made a comeback in the English Premier League as Manchester United this June.
Steven Gerrard retired from all sorts of football this November after spending 2 seasons with MLS side La Galaxy.
If Lionel Messi had emerged triumphant at the beginning of the year, Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d'Or in December.
Real Madrid win club world cup
The year ended on a high for Real Madrid who won the FIFA Club World Cup a few days back.