test draft – Article – Sport360

2017 was a year when enduring legends restated their class, slapping down a host of brash young challengers and showing that age was just a number.

Whether it was a pair of 36-year-old tennis legends re-discovering their best form or a century old football club re-born under a new manager and sweeping all before them.

But the year was not just dominated by experienced masters as one precocious young leg spinner from Afghanistan showed.

Here are our picks for the International Sports Awards of 2017.

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR

Roger Federer

With an illustrious career already behind him, most pundits believed they had seen the best of the 36-year-old, but then they don’t know FedEx.

After taking half of 2016 off to heal from a serious knee injury the Swiss Master surprised everyone but himself by winning the Australian Open in January, then followed that up with his eighth Wimbledon title.

By the end of the year he had won the most number of grand slams since 2009, most titles since 2007, and had his highest win percentage since 2006.

Form may be temporary but Federer is permanent.

Federer won two Grand Slam titles in 2017 to take the award.

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR

Serena Williams

After starting the season with an underwhelming performance in Auckland, Williams showed her true form by winning the Australian Open for a record seventh time.

It was her 23rd Grand Slam singles title, surpassing Steffi Graf’s record of 22 – and she was eight weeks pregnant at the time.

Williams won a record seventh Australian Open crown.

INTERNATIONAL TEAM OF THE YEAR

Real Madrid

With a team comprising some of the most high-profile (and most well paid players in the world) managing gigantic egos is a daily challenge.

Even more credit then to Los Blancos for putting aside those egos and working towards the good of the team.

When you have this much talent, and the team are willing to work hard for each other as well, then prizes must surely follow – and follow they did.

Five trophies came in 2017, including back-to-back Champions Leagues, La Liga (first since 2011-12), the Supercopa de Espana, the UEFA Super Cup and the Club World Cup claimed in the UAE last month.

The best, by some margin.

The Los Blancos swept up the trophies in 2017.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Zinedine Zidane

With five trophies in just one year it had to be Zizou. Taking over after the underwhelming Rafa Benitez era, Zidane stepped up from the Real reserve team to one of the most high pressure coaching jobs in the world.

He quickly transformed the mis-firing Merengues from a team of superstars to a superstar team and the accolades, and cups, followed.

Zidane led Real Madrid to five trophies in 2017.

INTERNATIONAL YOUNGSTER OF THE YEAR

Rashid Khan

At just 19, the young Afghan leggie stunned the cricketing world in June when he took seven wickets for 18 runs in an ODI against the West Indies.

It was the fourth-best ODI bowling figures of all-time and he became the first player from an associate nation to take seven wickets.

He’s already played in the IPL and is set for a top career for the next decade.

The Afghan teenager's stock continues to grow in international cricket.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Venus Williams

The older Williams sister reached the final of two Grand Slams and returned to the WTA Finals for the first time since 2010.

Kylian Mbappe

The 19-year-old was exceptional for Monaco as they reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and won Ligue 1.

British & Irish Lions

The best of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales trekked to New Zealand to try and achieve the impossible. They almost did it and played some great rugby along the way



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