The greatest underdog story has finally come to its magnificent end.
Leicester City FC were confirmed as Premier League Champions yesterday night as Chelsea held Leicester’s closest challengers, Tottenham, to a 2-2 draw. Spurs draw against last year’s champions ended their hopes of winning the first League title since the inception of the Barclays Premier League.
The Leicester players watched the game that could see them win the title at Jamie Vardy’s house and here are the celebration captured by Christian Fuchs at the final whistle.
Former Foxes striker and lifelong fan Gary Lineker has expressed his elation after Leicester’s remarkable season and has called the Foxes League win as “the biggest sporting shock in sporting history”. The former England striker has expressed his shock at Leicester’s season claiming “there were no odds I would have taken”. Well the odds the bookies gave Leicester’s title hopes were 5000/1 and who could blame them considering Leicester narrowly escaped relegation last season.
Many pundits have compared the Foxes triumph to Blackburn Rovers League win in the 1994/95 season however former Leicester striker, Tony Cottee, like many others agrees that Leicester’s win was even more surprising because they didn’t buy big name players like Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton. Taking nothing away from Blackburn’s remarkable achievement, Leicester’s inconceivable win has enabled them to be recognised as one of only six teams to have won the Barclays Premier League since its inception in 1992 the others being Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers.
The players have truly won the hearts of the nation by their hard work and determination. The league and the fans were blessed with exciting and entertaining performances from Claudio Ranieri’s team. It would be unfair to name a hand full of players as the reason for Leicester’s triumph but Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante and Kasper Schmeichel undoubtedly played a big part in making the impossible dream a reality.
Ranieri’s men will be playing in the Champions League next season and will also be defending their League title however the Italian has played down the pressure on his team to perform miracles’ next year by saying a top ten finish is their priority. This may sound astonishing to many people considering his team have just won one of the most competitive leagues in the world but the so called tinker man has been doing this throughout the whole season. You may think this is to keep the pressure of his players or he could really be a very pessimistic man but whatever the reason we can’t argue that it hasn’t worked.
Leicester City’s win is not only good for them and their fans but it also great for football in general. Seeing a team almost get relegated from a league and come back the next year and win it with almost the same personal, gives the rest of the teams’ confidence and proves that in football anything is possible.
However, the most important lesson the Foxes extraordinary season has taught us is that in football to win the league you don’t need to spend millions of pounds all you really need is a team willing to play with passion for the manager and the team, along with a manager that instils confidence in his players. In a time where footballers are often scrutinised for behaving like celebrities and not having enough passion for the game Leicester are a welcome change and a great example to the footballing world.