TUESDAY AUGUST 22, 2017
 
Blog SPORTS EXTRAS
2016: THREE SPORTING HIGHLIGHTS SO FAR
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The year 2016 has been a fantastic one already for sport – particularly for the underdogs. Ranging from Leicester City’s phenomenal Premier League title success in soccer to Andy Murray’s third Grand Slam victory at Wimbledon in tennis, it’s been a pretty unpredictable year. We took a look at just three of our standout moments so far in 2016...

Peyton Manning signs off with another Super Bowl ring

The end of an era: Peyton Manning has officially retired from the NFL. The former Denver Broncos quarterback ended his career on a high as Gary Kubiak’s men produced a dominant defensive performance to topple the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl back in February and Manning was clearly overcome with emotion at the final whistle. We all knew it was his final shindig but for the first time it looked like he had finally realised that his time was up too.

Von Miller was rightfully crowned as the Super Bowl MVP and the defensive star was a nuisance from start to finish; forcing regular season MVP Cam Newton into a number of mistakes that cost Carolina dearly. But for Manning, it was the dream ending to an immense career. It won’t be long before we see him as a first ballot Hall of Famer and his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks of all-time will live long in the memory... 

The Cavaliers FINALLY win the NBA Championship

The Cleveland Cavaliers are the NBA champions. While the Golden State Warriors surpassed the Chicago Bulls’ record for most victories in a single season, the Cavaliers came up trumps when it mattered most and finally brought the people of Cleveland a major title. LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving were instrumental in their triumph as they pipped Stephen Curry’s men to the crown in Game 7. It truly was a spectacular series and one that will live long in the memory...

Unfortunately, the Toronto Raptors were unable to reach the NBA Championship game as LeBron and co pipped Dwane Casey’s men 4-2 in the Eastern Conference finals. However, it could be their turn for NBA glory next year. The Raptors are currently 30/1 in Bet365’s sports betting markets and they certainly have enough quality to topple the defending champions next time around. Having said that, Cleveland will rightfully head into next season as THE team to beat – and it’s hard to see them slipping up too often.

Portugal’s Eder strikes in injury-time to win the Euros

Against all of the odds, Portugal did it. They went into the dragon’s den and defeated France on their own patch – and they did it without talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid star and three-time Ballon d’Or winner was forced off through injury after less than 30 minutes but Portugal kept calm and held their nerve to force extra-time. And with the match heading for penalties, substitute Eder rifled home a spectacular effort from 25 yards to secure an incredible victory.

Prior to kick-off, most people believed that France would run away with it but Portugal boss Fernando Santos executed his brilliant gameplan to perfection. While Didier Deschamps was stuttering over proposed substitutions, Santos was tweaking his side ever so slightly and preparing for one final assault on the French goal – and it paid off. The Portuguese enjoyed their moment in the spotlight and rightly so but now, all eyes turn to their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign...

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