Review of 2017: We dish out the awards, honour the heroes and name and shame the year's villains

Winners all round: We dish out the awards for 2017 following an eventful year
Winners all round: We dish out the awards for 2017 following an eventful year

As 2017 draws to a close, we’re in the mood to remember as we review the year and raise a glass to those who made it what it was.

We talk about the good, the bad and the ugly as 12 months of football comes to its climax.

There were some unforgettable moments, and a few that some would rather we didn’t bring up.

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We’re dishing out our own awards for as great and the good of the Premier League and beyond are recognised.

From the best buys, to the worst, to rent-a-quote players to the GIFs that keep on giving.

Here’s to 2017… let’s hope for more of the same in the New Year!


Best player: David Silva

It really was touch-and-go between the magician and team-mate Kevin De Bruyne who have been so evenly matched but the 2016-17 City Player of the Year takes it. Thanks to his incredible 2017, the Spaniard is now a certified Premier League great. Next year could hold fantastic things.

Best game : Barcelona 6-1 PSG

Remarkable Premier League matches were few and far between in 2017, with maybe the exception of Manchester United’s 3-1 win at Arsenal earlier this month. But in the greatest Champions League match ever, Barcelona pulled back a 4-0 deficit in a spine-tingling 6-1 second leg success.

At 5-3 down in the 88th minute it looked all over but on one of the most emotional nights in football history had a stirring three-goal conclusion. Magical.

Knowing me knowing you: Zaha was great as Palace stunned champions Chelsea
Knowing me knowing you: Zaha was great as Palace stunned champions Chelsea

Surprise result: Crystal Palace 2-1 Chelsea

No wins, no hope. Crystal Palace were going down. Even in October it seemed certain. Champions Chelsea just needed to turn up at Selhurst Park against the side who had no idea where the net was but the unthinkable happened. It marked the start of Palace’s revival and the beginning of the end of the Blues successive title hopes.

Funniest moment: Robin Zentner

Words don’t quite do this justice. The Mainz goalkeeper Robin Zentne took a comfortable packpass during the Bundesliga match against Borussia Monchengladbach. Scanning the pitch in front of him he took his eye off the ball and it settled just behind him. With team-mates calling for a long-kick, he took aim and swung his foot – at the penalty spot! His air-kick went global.

Best goal: Olivier Giroud

Sky Sports are currently running a poll and as much as Wayne Rooney’s half-way line hail mary was great, was it better than Olivier Giroud’s scorpion stretch against Crystal Palace? It’s about which type of goal you prefer, but the Frenchman takes our award for starting the year off in such style.

Best own goal: Geoffrey Kondogbia

Unbelievable Geoff! The Inter Milan midfielder had one when they played Chelsea in one of those rubbish summer tours. He picked up the ball 40 yards from his goal and couldn’t be bothered to play forward. Instead trying to give his keeper something to do, it flew into the top corner. One of the best OGs of all time.

Best signing: Mo Salah

Forgetting for a moment he was in England before briefly with Chelsea, never has a foreign newcomer made such an incredible and instant impact. The attacking midfielder has scored 21 times in half a season for Liverpool since signing from Roma for £34m – less than what they paid for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain!

Thirst for action: Chelsea’s Danny Drinkwater got a rare outing on Wednesday night
Thirst for action: Chelsea’s Danny Drinkwater got a rare outing on Wednesday night

Worst signing: Danny Drinkwater

Not a bad player, but not a £35m player – and not a top level player either. The money involved is far, far, far too much for a midfielder who has enjoyed one good season. Struggled not only for form, but to get into the Chelsea side. Drinkwater is overreaching and will surely become the modern day Scott Parker at Stamford Bridge.

Hero of the year: Bradley Lowery

Never has one six-year-old touched the lives of so many. We may have lost the brave little cancer sufferer this year, but his smile won’t leave anyone. His family collected the Helen Rollason award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year and he has one from Yahoo Sport too.

Villain of the year: Diego Costa

There’s nothing worse than someone rich beyond belief deciding they can’t be arsed to do what it is that makes them so wealthy. Whether Chelsea manager Antonio Costa was right to text him and say he wasn’t in his plans is up for debate. The rights and wrongs of Costa sulking in Brazil and refusal to return isn’t.

Most improved player: Raheem Sterling

It’s fashionable to dislike the Manchester City winger. Being English, overpriced at the time of moving from Liverpool and not playing well for his country hasn’t helped, but Sterling just pips City and England team-mate John Stones as the most improved of 2017.

Most improved team: Burnley

Based on results in all of 2016, Burnley would have finished bottom of the Premier League if the season ended on Boxing Day last year. It’s all looking rather healthier for Sean Dyche a year on, its’ fair to say.

Party time: Bristol City have been great on and off the pitch in 2017
Party time: Bristol City have been great on and off the pitch in 2017

Best celebration: Bristol City.

This was the year when the football celebration changed forever. Championship City came up with the great idea of pre-recording their players doing crazy things and posting them as a GIF on twitter once they hit the back of the net. Plate spinning, bottle throwing and players brushing their teeth – it all changed in 2017 and the bar was set sky high at Ashton Gate!

Biggest flop: Renato Sanches

What? How? Are you sure? Just a few of the reactions when Swansea City completed a loan deal for Bayern Munich star Renato Sanches in the summer. He’s done something really memorable since arriving in Wales – passing to a Carabao sign which was the same shade of red the Swans were playing in at Chelsea back in November!

Quote of the year: Ronaldo

Who doesn’t love a bit of humility from one of the game’s most humble? “No other player has won as many individual trophies as me,” Ronaldo begun. “To be at the top and stay there, you must always have more talent than others. I don’t see anyone better than me. I always thought that,” he added.

“No other footballer does things that I am not capable of doing myself,” he continued. “People have the right to prefer Neymar or Messi,” he went on. “But I insist: There is no one more complete than me,” and on.