After Tottenham Hotspur Football Club’s Week 36 draw with Chelsea F.C., Leicester City F.C. clinched their first Premier League championship in the team’s 132-year history. This team’s progression from league reject to Premier League champions may go down as one of the most miraculous seasons in sports of all time. After nearly being relegated to the English Championship from the Premier League last season, Leicester pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, fired their manager Nigel Pearson, hired “washed up” coach Claudio Ranieri and hoped for the best. The events that followed surprised the players even more than their fans.
The number everyone is talking about is the 5000-1 odds against Leicester City of winning the Premier League at the beginning of the season. To put this in simpler terms, the Cleveland Browns, who currently have the worst Super Bowl winning odds, are predicted to have 250-1 odds of winning the championship. It may seem absurd to allow teams with such bad odds a shot at a soccer title, but outside the United States, teams do not have spending limits. Additionally, soccer teams are highly unpredicatable. Manchester United F.C., which is valued by Forbes at $3.1 billion, is fighting for a top five finish. Leicester thrived while Manchester United struggled. Leicester City is one of the smaller Premier League teams, valued between $100-200 million in an industry that pays international superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi over $50 million a year. However, the humble nature of the players, club and city of Leicester have created a very likeable team to fans everywhere — including rival clubs.
However, with the team’s recent success comes some growing pains that may prove detrimental to Leicester next season. Although the team will not have to worry about losing their manager, at least one or two of their star players will likely be picked up by bigger clubs during the summer transfer window. Additionally, the club will have to battle against titan clubs not only in England, but also France, Germany and Spain. Most players exceeded expectations such as center midfielder N’golo Kante, who was Leicester’s most expensive signing last season coming from France’s second tier league at$10 million. Additionally, Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez proved himself by winning Premier League player of the year and has since been linked with Real Madrid in Spain.
Fan favorite Jamie Vardy also advanced his case for a transfer by becoming a goal-scoring machine and setting the record for most games in a row (11) with at least one goal in Premier League history.
The team accomplished a feat that is harder than any type of record — cinching a miraculous comeback with a league title. Leicester repeatedly proved that they were not a fluke, showing fans just how amazing they are and can be.
In doing so, Leicester City played every game as the underdog and consistently won points which would help them extend their lead over the course of the season. This team’s future is uncertain, but it looks brighter than ever, as it only took one season to put the small club on the map. As more money, players and trophies flow in, Leicester will almost certainly continue to improve and perhaps repeat this season’s magic.