This year is almost over, and though it may not have been a World Cup year, 2015 produced some major highs and some terrible footballing lows, while making a few heroes and villains along the way.
But who will be heading into 2016 looking fondly back on the year that was? And who just can’t wait for Big Ben to chime at midnight on December 31, and end their year of misery?
There’s a special place on both of these lists for one man, and we can’t imagine what he’ll make of 2015 when all is said and done.
Elsewhere, a certain Colombian forward might not be too sad to see the end of the year, as might a want-away striker in the West Midlands, while it’s been an unforgettable 12 months for Leicester City…
Jose Mourinho – Took Chelsea to a fourth Premier League title and the third under his leadership, producing some stunning football from Eden Hazard and co.
Leicester City – A Premier League table of the calendar year shows Leicester sitting fourth. They topped the table on Christmas Day and their marauding displays have delighted fans all over.
Odion Ighalo – The Watford man has netted 30 goals in 2015, including a stunning 14 times in the Premier League for last season’s Championship runners-up.
Asamoah Gyan – The former Sunderland man bagged himself a transfer to Shanghai SIPG in the summer in the Chinese Super League. Oh yeah, he’s on over £220,000 a week. Nice work if you can get it.
Home Nations – England will be joined at Euro 2016 next summer by Northern Ireland and Wales. Michael O’Neill’s men brilliantly topped Group F for a first tournament appearance since 1986, while Chris Coleman’s Welsh side will be making a first major finals appearance in 58 years.
Barcelona – Literally the biggest winners of 2015. The Catalan giants became the first team to win two European trebles, and added the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup to the rapidly expanding trophy cabinet at the Camp Nou.
Jose Mourinho – Oversaw Chelsea’s worst ever start to a Premier League season and the worst by a reigning champion side. Reportedly fell out with players and sacked club doctor Eva Carniero. Departed the club just seven months and two weeks after securing the title.
Radamel Falcao – Scored once in 2015 for Man United and also managed one for Chelsea. A pale imitation of the man who netted 52 La Liga goals in just 68 games for Atletico Madrid.
Dutch National Team – Won’t be competing at Euro 2016 after a disastrous qualifying campaign saw them finish fourth in Group A, losing five of their 10 matches.
Massimo Cellino – Ending the year by trying to ban TV Cameras from Elland Road. Court accusations and appeals have dogged Cellino’s year while leaving the Leeds faithful still awaiting a return to the Premier League.
Saido Berahino – Threatened to not play for West Brom following a failure to secure a move to Tottenham in the summer. A bad thing to say when your boss is Tony Pulis.
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