Miracle in Leicester: Foxes crowned champs

Jamie+Vardy+%28left%29+and+Claudio+Ranieri+%28right%29+congratulate+each+other+after+drawing+Manchester+United+1-1+to+help+secure+their+improbable+English+Premier+League+title.+Photo+from+www.express.uk.co+
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Miracle in Leicester: Foxes crowned champs

Jamie Vardy (left) and Claudio Ranieri (right) congratulate each other after drawing Manchester United 1-1 to help secure their improbable English Premier League title. Photo from www.express.uk.co

Jamie Vardy (left) and Claudio Ranieri (right) congratulate each other after drawing Manchester United 1-1 to help secure their improbable English Premier League title. Photo from www.express.uk.co

Jamie Vardy (left) and Claudio Ranieri (right) congratulate each other after drawing Manchester United 1-1 to help secure their improbable English Premier League title. Photo from www.express.uk.co

Jamie Vardy (left) and Claudio Ranieri (right) congratulate each other after drawing Manchester United 1-1 to help secure their improbable English Premier League title. Photo from www.express.uk.co

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This is an opinion-editorial piece by Evan Lazarus.

Underdog Leicester City won the English Premier League title for the first time in their existence as a football (American soccer) club Monday—and they didn’t even have to kick a ball. Tottenham, their closest rival, failed to beat Chelsea, thereby advancing Leicester to the title.  

Begin by noting that before the Barclays Premier League began Leicester City had 5,000:1 odds of winning the title and desperately yearned for 17th place. After hoping to avoid relegation (not place in the bottom three teams out of 20), the Leicester City Foxes defied all odds by capturing the 2015-16 English Premier League title. Leicester City’s title win is one of the craziest sports stories in a long, long time.

According to William Hill, an English sports bookmaker, the following things were more likely to occur than Leicester’s title run; Kim Kardashian becoming president in 2020, Elvis Presley being alive, and Barack Obama playing cricket for England after he leaves Oval Office. Graeme Sharpe, Hill’s spokesman, estimated that the Foxes winning the title would eventually cost the English sports books more than $14 million in payouts.

Coming in fourth place in the league would have been an incredible achievement for a team like Leicester, let alone winning the whole thing. Even crazier is their predicament last season; Leicester did so poorly they were almost sent back to England’s second tier league. It’s a stupendous, unbelievable and storybook turnaround.

With new manager Claudio Ranieri, Leicester City set out to succeed with a team built around zero superstars. The emergence of 29-year-old England forward Jamie Vardy, who has played in all five divisions in England, and the Frenchmen N’Golo Kante, who has played in all three levels of the French Soccer association before finding his home in Leicester, have merged together to form a powerful attack for the Foxes. The Foxes had what’s called a “Cinderella” roster. Out of 20 teams, they spent the seventeenth least amount money on players: a shocking 48.2 million euros. The powerhouse of Manchester City spent more money on one player, Kevin De Bruyne, this summer than Leicester spent on their entire team.

Consistent performances by Leicester’s players allowed for great results. Ranieri made a total of 27 changes to the starting eleven this season. The average for any other team is 95 changes. This means that the Foxes avoided, with some luck, injuries throughout the grueling 38-game season.

Leicester sure knew how to play in tight games. They won fourteen games this year by a one-goal margin. However, the play style of Leicester was not overpowering. They held an average of only 42 percent ball possession but came out with 77 points to secure them the title.

From a team that spent the majority of last season rooted to the bottom of the table and among the favorites for relegation this term, a combination of team spirit, hard work and talent has transformed them into champions. Claudio Ranieri and his players have captured the imaginations of football fans around the world with one of the most brilliant and unlikely sporting triumphs ever seen.

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