How did the athletes light up social media in 2017?

Away from the fiery battles showcased on the field of play, athletes across sports took to social media to display their lighter vein.

Virat Kohli, Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney made the news with their social media posts.

Away from the fiery battles showcased on the field of play, athletes across sports cooked up a storm on social media. From Wayne Rooney's taunt to Serena Williams' accidental revelation, we take a look at some moments from our athletes that lit the social media on fire.

Rooney returns to haunt the Citizens

Wayne Rooney may have returned to his boyhood club Everton during the summer, but that didn't stop the ex-Manchester United forward from haunting his former side's cross town rival. In only his first return to Manchester, Rooney scored the opening goal at the Etihad Stadium, which was almost identical as the one he scored four seasons back, to evoke painful memories among a few City fans.

The forward took to Twitter to express his delight at meeting some old friends again.

Mithali has got this

Padding up and awaiting your turn in a World Cup match can be an excruciating experience for quite a few batters around the world. Not for Mithali Raj though. The Indian skipper seemed unfazed reading her favourite book by the boundary ropes. She then went out and recorded her seventh consecutive score of 50 or more.

LeBron's three pointer

It's an annual tradition for the NBA championship winning team to get invited by the President to the White House. Golden State Warriors' point-guard, though, declined the invitation, much to the displeasure of the President Donald Trump, who in turn took to Twitter to withdraw the invitation.

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James wasn't having any of that, biting back at Trump's response, which prompted tweeple to have a field day. Twitter later announced that James' post was the most retweeted tweet from an athlete in 2017.

Southampton Twitter's FOMO

Football clubs' social media teams are finding new ways to announce its new signings to generate excitement among fans. It ranges from Manchester United's Hollywood presentation of Romelu Lukaku to Sevilla's kidnapping of Jesus Navas to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.

Southampton Twitter took the mickey out of all those posts with an over the top exaggerated announcement of Stuart Taylor.

Defoe's farewell to 'best friend'

Bradley Lowrey, who suffered from neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer among children, was well known among football fans for his admiration of his hero Jermain Defoe - the England and Sunderland forward. In the last one year, Defoe went from being Bradley's hero to best friend.

When Bradley passed away in July, Defoe took to Twitter to share his final heartfelt farewell.

Floyd's perfect record

Floyd Mayweather, after a two year absence, was challenged for one final boxing bout with MMA fighter Conor McGregor. Floyd defeated Mcgregor after the referee stepped in to stop the fight in the tenth round.

The victory added further gloss to his enviable record and Floyd didn't have to say much when he took to Twitter after the fight.

Friends across border

Pakistan had just thrashed arch-rival India in one of the greatest sporting achievements of this year. Moments later, India captain Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh and Pakistan's Shoaib Malik appeared to share a friendly moment with each other.

ICC's media team captured the moment and shared it on Twitter to remind everyone that sportsmanship is beyond politics.

The dream team

2017 was a great year for Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal fans. Not only did they get to see both their favourites win two Grand Slams each, they also got to see them team up for the first time during the Laver Cup.

And it's not just Federer who could get used to seeing that partnership again. One can only hope for the two of the greatest tennis superstars to be on the same side of the court again in 2018.

Ronaldo's personal delight

Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo has had a great year on both professional and personal front. He won the La Liga and Champions League double with the Spanish club and won his record equalling fifth Ballon d'Or. He also had his fourth child, his first with girlfriend Georgina Rodríguez in November.

Hamilton's makes Santa's bad boy list

The 2017 Formula 1 champion Lewis Hamilton ended the year on the wrong note. He was caught on the wrong side when he was heard saying to his nephew "boys don't wear princess dresses" in an Instagram post over the Christmas break. Hamilton then removed the video and apologised via Twitter.

Kohli's new innings

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli married his long-time actor girlfriend Anushka Sharma in a private ceremony in Italy. Kohli took a break from the game at the end of the Test series to tend to his special date.

Serena's accidental announcement

Fresh from winning the Australian Open, Serena Williams made an unforced error off the court when she accidentally revealed her '20 week' baby bump picture to the world through Snapchat.

Williams later clarified that, "I have this thing where I’ve been checking my status and taking pictures every week to see how far along I’m getting.”