Seeing grown athletes cry in sports is not a new thing to those who have been watching sports for a very long time. Legends such as Pele, Maradona, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Tiger Woods have all cried at least once in their lives for achieving a dream, winning a trophy, or losing out on something important to them.
However, it’s not every year you see the three best football players cry in the same year, and we have to thank 2016 for that.
Antoine Griezmann – The rising star with his famous hotline bling celebration shook the footballing world with his tenacity and drive this year. The 25-year-old talisman was at the forefront of the attack for both club and country and his goals led Atletico Madrid and France to the finals of the UEFA Champions League and the Euros 2016 respectively.
Being in two finals was enough to see him dethrone Neymar as the third best player in the world, but losing the UEFA Champions League finals again was enough to see him shed tears.
Lionel Messi – The 5-time Balon d’Or winner, who has won everything winnable on the club level but still has no senior international trophy to his name, saw his hopes and morals crushed when his missed penalty in the Copa America, saw Chile lift the trophy for the second time at Argentina’s expense. Bested by Alexis Sanchez (who also won the best player in the tournament) on both occasions.
The emotion was too great that Lionel Messi retired from international football, but thanks to the pleas of millions of fans, and a few legends, he is back in the national team and we will get to see him play in the World Cup come 2018.
Cristiano Ronaldo – The 2016 Balon d’Or winner broke down in tears twice on the same day, in the Euro finals against France. The first was when he injured himself on the pitch in the opening minutes of the game and had to be subbed off. The second was after the referee blew the final whistle and Portugal won the Euros and Ronaldo’s first international trophy on the senior level.
Credit must be given to him because he did come back with his injured leg to assume the role of coach and spur his team on to victory.