Isports Athlete of the Year: Cristiano Ronaldo

By Eric Antoine, Posted: 12/29/16 01:10AM EST
Portugal v France - Final: UEFA Euro 2016
PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 10: Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal (c) lifts the Henri Delaunay trophy after his side win 1-0 against France during the UEFA EURO 2016 Final match between Portugal and France at Stade de France on July 10, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)(Photo : Getty Images Sport)

It was another amazing, action packed year in the world of sports for 2016, filled with drama and excitement from around the globe. Major competitions such as the Olympics, the European Cup, and the Ryder cup left sports fans on the edge of their seats(when they weren't standing), and introduced new favorites to go along with the familiar ones.

 With so many sports stories and athletes, it was hard to chose the five finalists, but it had to be done. So without further ado, lets have a look at the finalists and the winner for Isports Athlete of the Year.


5th Place: LeBron James

He came back to Cleveland on a mission, with one goal in mind, to bring an elusive first ever NBA Championship to the city. Mission accomplished, as LeBron led the Cavaliers to a dramatic NBA Finals victory over the seemingly unbeatable Golden State Warriors in a 7-game thriller, after being down 3-1 in the series.

LeBron won his third NBA title and claimed the Finals MVP award. He was selected as an NBA All-Star and signed one of the most lucrative sponsorship deals in sports history. Quite a year for LeBron James and the city of Cleveland.


4th Place: Usain Bolt

The Jamaican once again proved why he is one of the top athletes ever to compete at the Olympics. Bolt captivated a world audience at this year's Rio Olympics  by winning  the 100 metres, 200 metres and 4x100 metre relay, something he has now done in three straight Olympic competitions.

He is also the record holder in the 100 metres (9.58sec) and 200 metres (19.19), and has won 11 world titles in an illustrious career spanning over 12 years of complete dominance. If 2016 was indeed his last full competitive season, Bolt went out on top, in style.


3rd Place: Nico Rosberg

The German driver finally got over the hump to claim his first Formula 1 Championship. After missing out and finishing just behind his teammate Lewis Hamilton during the previous two Formula 1 seasons, Nico managed to win 9 races in 2016 to finally finish on top.

 The battle went down to the final lap of the final race, which Hamilton won, but Rosberg managed to hold on to the points lead, and the championship. If Hamilton hadn't of had mechanical issues earlier in the season, he could very well have won his third straight title, but Rosberg showed the mental fortitude and the heart of a champion to bounce back from finishing just behind his teammate in previous years.


2nd Place: Andy Murray

What a year for the Scot! Murray finished 2016 with his ninth title of the season at the ATP World Tour Finals to cement his position as the number one ranked player in the world, finally surpassing Novak Djokovic. He had an 82-10 record, including a 22 and 26 match winning streak.

Although Murray lost the Australian and French Open finals, Murray bounced back to win Wimbledon for the second time in his career, and then defended his Olympic gold medal in an emotional final in Rio.

 
Isports Athlete of the Year: Cristiano Ronaldo

No athlete has accomplished so much in a single year as the Portuguese superstar did in 2016. Ronaldo helped Real Madrid win the Champions League title scoring the winning penalty, followed by the Club World Cup in Japan, where he registered a hat-trick in the final. He helped guide his country to their first major trophy, winning the European Cup with Portugal, and he won the Ballon D'or and the Globe Award as the world's best player.

 In total, Ronaldo picked up 9 individual awards in 2016.

"Collectively and individually, it was probably my best year so far," Ronaldo said. "We won the Champions League with Real Madrid, we won a major title with Portugal's national team for the first time, I won the Ballon d'Or, the Club World Cup. I cannot ask for more."

"The people who still doubt me, Real Madrid and the national team, they now have the proof. We won everything," he added. "So it has been an amazing year and I am very happy with it. I want to thank my teammates from the national team and Real Madrid." 

Indeed it was an amazing year for Ronaldo, one that will be almost impossible to match in a single calendar year for any player, in any sport.

And now he can add the Isports Athlete of the Year to his list of achievements in 2016.

 



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