Yearender: Underdogs of 2016

The year 2016 has very much been the year of the underdog after the world witnessed some astounding triumphs across a variety of sports. Here are our top 5 picks.

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<h3>Leicester City</h3><br/>Hands down the most remarkable achievement in modern sport history, Leicester City Football Club defied all odds to become the Premier League champion at the end of the 2015-16 season. Tipped for relegation at the start of the campaign, the Foxes thrilled fans and neutrals alike with their counter-attacking football while also maintaining a sturdy defence. Having a squad value of just above £50 million (less than that of two-thirds of the division), Leicester finished above all the other expensively assembled squads to win its first ever Premier League title.
<h3>Danny Willett</h3><br/>He had competed at the Masters just once previously in his career and he ended placed 38th. The man from Sheffield had never even made the top five at a Major. But, after a dramatic finale, Danny Willett became just the second Englishman after Nick Faldo to have the iconic green jacket on his back at Augusta. Defending champion Jordan Spieth held a five-shot lead going into the last three holes but dropped six shots to give Willett a stunning triumph.
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<h3>Portugal</h3><br/>Portugal was 20/1 to win EURO 2016 and nobody gave it much chance, neither in the beginning nor in the knockout stages and definitely not in the final against host France. But, Fernando Santos’s blend of youth and experience brought home the country’s first ever international title. Playing without a recognised centre forward (Ronaldo and Nani playing up top), Portugal won just one match in regulation time throughout the tournament. But, this was a proper team effort with all the players knowing exactly what was expected of them and carrying it out to the last detail. Inspired performances along the way from the likes of Pepe, Nani and of course Cristiano Ronaldo propelled the Selecao to an unlikely and completely unexpected European glory.
<h3>Monica Puig</h3><br/>Puerto Rican tennis player Monica Puig went on a giant-killing run to win her country’s first gold medal at the Rio Olympic Games. Ranked 34th in the world at the time, Puig defeated two Grand Slam winners, Petra Kvitova in the semifinals and Angelique Kerber in the final. The 22-year-old’s victory is the biggest upset in singles in Olympic tennis since Nicolas Massu of Chile won the men’s singles gold in Athens 2004.
<h3>Chicago Cubs</h3><br/>The Chicago Cubs ended its 108-year drought to win the 2016 World Series after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7. The Cubs, which last won the World Series in 1908, brought an end to the longest title drought in baseball. In the process, it also became the first club to overcome a 3-1 series deficit since the 1985 Kansas City Royals.