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 By Michael Cox

Pep Guardiola, Diego Simeone top our best managers for 2017-18

The Exploding Heads reveal their end of season awards which include Ironic Banner of the Year, Manager Unveiling of the Year and more.

With the 2017-18 club football season at an end, we asked Michael Cox to rank the top 10 managers after another gripping campaign. Which tacticians are thriving and succeeding around the biggest clubs and best leagues?

1. Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)

After the disappointment of not winning the European Cup with Bayern Munich and an underwhelming first campaign in English football, 2017-18 confirmed that Guardiola remains the most exciting, methodical and innovative coach of his generation, taking...

Cristiano Ronaldo: 33 reasons to love or hate the 33-year-old

Editor's note: This piece has been updated since Feb. 5, 2015, when ESPN FC celebrated Ronaldo's 30th birthday.

If you're like me, you have a love-hate relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo. So what better way to celebrate the 33-year-old's greatness than to list the 33 reasons to love, or hate, CR7. Warning: Some things below cannot be unseen (in a good and bad way). 

Love Ronaldo 

If it wasn't for his vain celebration in the Champions League final after scoring his penalty vs. Atletico...

 By Tony Evans

Liverpool's Andrew Robertson hoping to mimic predecessor Alan Kennedy's heroics vs. Real Madrid

ESPN FC's Mark Ogden takes an early look at the Champions League final and assesses Liverpool's chances of winning their sixth UCL title.
The FC boys debate whether or not the SPI projection gives too much credit to Liverpool over Real Madrid.

Andy Robertson has become a cult hero at Anfield. The 24-year-old has made the transition from being a squad player to one of the team's mainstays in the second half of the season. His vigour, athleticism and appetite for the game have given Liverpool a much more solid look at left-back.

Robertson can get forward, too. He provides balance and width. The Scot is one of the campaign's success stories.

The season did not begin so well. Robertson started just two of the first 14 Premier League...

How 'Messi and Friends' led Northwestern's all-time leading scorer to chase his dreams in Iceland

Matt Eliason's dream of playing professionally appeared to be over, until a chance appearance in a friendly with Lionel Messi changed his life.

Thierry Henry laconically flicks a cross toward the penalty spot, to where Matt Eliason is waiting to chest it down. Cushioning the ball perfectly into the air, Eliason throws his body back and catches the falling ball sweetly, as his leg whips around over his head. The net bulges. On the other team, Lionel Messi can only look on in wonder.

If it sounds like a your-name-here dream for the Matt Eliason character, it was, sort of, though in many ways the reality of what followed that fantasy moment...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi was unparalleled in 2017-18, topping year-end Power Rankings

After their runners-up finish in 2014, the ESPN FC crew assess Lionel Messi and Argentina's chances of lifting the World Cup in Russia.
Following his record-breaking season, the FC crew debate whether Mohamed Salah has surpassed Neymar as the best player after Messi and Ronaldo.

We tabulated the votes from all our global editors throughout the 2017-18 Player Power Rankings to see who had the best season of them all. Could anyone match Lionel Messi's magic?

1. Lionel Messi

Why he's here: Messi played all over the pitch for Barca this season, in a campaign in which the Blaugrana did the Liga and Copa del Rey double, and still managed to win Europe's Golden Shoe race with 34 goals in La Liga; across all competitions, that number rose to 47, and he chipped in 21 assists...

 By Adam Hurrey

Guardiola's Pep talk, Evra kicks fan, Coutinho's leaked move: 18 things you may have forgotten from this season

The 2018 season is over for teams in Europe. But here are 18 things you might have forgotten happened.

1. Arsenal won a trophy -- and Sead Kolasinac was hailed as a cult hero

August's hopes and dreams are distant enough by now, but the curtain-raiser of the Community Shield traditionally does well to stay in the memory for more than a few weeks. After Sead Kolasinac had taken less than 50 minutes to acclimatise to English football -- scoring a later equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Chelsea that then...