Fearless Foxes:Leicester City-The Biggest Football Cinderella Story Of All Time

leicester-city-lifts-trophy

Football is an unpredictable sport and anything can happen,in the history books of the sport there were many incredible stories and results from the Miracle On Grass in the 1950 FIFA World Cup where the USA beat England 1-0,the success of Ipswich Town in the early 1960s,Derby County winning winning twice the old First Division title in 1972 and 1975,the success of Nottingham Forest in the late 1970 and early 1980s under the legendary Brian Clough,Aston Villa conquering England and Europe under Ron Saunders in the early 1980s,Hellas Verona winning the Serie A in the 1984-85,Sampdoria making its name in the late 1980s and early 1990s under Vujadin Boskov and other fairytales like the rise of Sevilla and Borussia Dortmund in the modern era.But this story is no ordinary story it is a football fairytale in the age of wealthy Arab sheiks and Russian oligarchs and even in their wildest dreams and imaginations couldn’t believe they could defy the odds and do the impossible.It is a story for a Hollywood film and the story in this case has a happy ending.It has been said that the fox is one of the wisest animals,our story is about a group of foxes who pulled one of the biggest upsets in football and wrote their names in history books of football.Leicester City was during the 1990s and early 2000s bouncing between the Premier League and the old Division One with sporadic success in 1997 and 2000 when under Martin O’Neill they won the League Cup,but after that O’Neill left the club for Celtic where he guided them to a UEFA Cup final in 2003.Leicester went in a period of decline besides that in 2002 they moved into their current home the King Power Stadium after spending 111 years at Filbert Street,in 2004 Leicester was again relegated from the Premier League in the rebranded Championship League besides it jumped to the Premier League a year earlier.With Micky Adams fired Leicester began years spending in football wilderness which resulted in relegation from the Championship League into the 3rd tier of English football which is League One in 2008 under Ian Holloway and that squad featured a young Andy King.That was one of Leicester City’s lowest points in its history,but the club stayed only for a single season and under Nigel Pearson it was promoted immediately in its first attempt in the Championship by being champions of League One with a 2-0 victory against Southend United with two games in hand.Pearson would lead the club until 2010 when he left the club for Hull City while Leicester finished 5th which was enough for the promotion playoffs in which they faced Cardiff City where they were beaten in penalty shoot-outs.The same year marked a change in ownership of the club when Milan Mandaric,the Serbian-American businessman who was once the owner of Portsmouth and bought Leicester City in 2006 sold the club to the Thai-based King Power group and the  Srivaddhanaprabha brothers.Building on their success on the previous season Leicester City entered the 2010-2011 season as favorites for promotion but under Paolo Sousa the club suffered a disastrous start in early October and Sousa was immediately fired while Sven-Goran Eriksson was hired to take over the bench and stabilize the club,in the end Leicester finished 10th which was far away from the promotion playoff spots at the end Eriksson was released from the club and Nigel Pearson was brought back and with only one goal:promotion to the Premier League.It took three more seasons which included a heartbreak defeat against Watford in the last minutes of the playoff semifinals in 2013 before Leicester City achieves direct promotion to the Premier League in 2014.

Meanwhile the club brought a group of players who will write history:in 2011 Kasper Schmeichel who is the son of famous goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel was brought from Leeds United,in 2012 Danny Drinkwater was brought from Manchester United,Wes Morgan from Nottingham Forest and a relatively unknown Jamie Vardy was brought from Fleetwood Town which in that time played was just only promoted in the Division Two of the Football League and together with club’s top scorer for three consecutive seasons David Nugent Leicester City finally achieved promotion to the Premier League as the champion of the Championship for the first time in a decade in 2014 which was the same year when they brought another unknown player-Riyad Mahrez from the Ligue 2 side Le Havre,Leonardo Ulloa from Brighton & Hove Albion and Danny Simpson from QPR.In its first Premier League season in a decade Leicester City spent most of it in the relegation places,but thanks to a late strong rally in the season which saw them winning 7 out of their 9 final matches and from possible 27 points collecting 23 Leicester pulled the great escape and survived in its first season in the Premier League.

But trouble was ahead for Nigel Pearson besides that he led the club to survival the conflict between him and the club’s management lasted for the whole summer,Pearson was fired from the club while the club’s captain and 2015 Leicester City Player of The Year Estaban Cambiasso who was signed as a free agent left the club after only a season for Olympiakos.The club hired the Italian journeyman Claudio Ranieri who coached a number of Italian and European clubs which included the likes of Roma,Chelsea and Juventus,while his last job with the Greek national team ended in a embarassing defeat by the Faroe Islands.Many various comentators and experts put Ranieri in the hot seat and declared him that he will be one of the first managers to be sacked,while the odds of winning the Premier League for Leicester City were 5000-1,Ranieri’s job was only to keep the club from being relegated.But no one could ever predict that Leicester City will be the champion of England,with the collapse of Chelsea early in the season,Liverpool having an awful start having sacked Brendon Rogers with repleacing him with Jurgen Klopp,Manchester United trying to find itself in the post-Ferguson era,Manchester City waiting for Guardiola and Arsenal being Arsenal.The stage was set for the biggest football fairytale of all time.In the off-season Leicester brought players like N’Golo Kante,Shinji Okazaki,Robert Huth,Christian Fuchs and Gokhan Inler.Leicester’s start of the season was a 4-2 victory against Sunderland and in their next ten matches their only defeat would be against Arsenal and by matchday 10 Leicester was positioned 5th which was one of their highest places in a long time and on the 5th of December against Swansea City Jamie Vardy which would score 24 goals in the season and finish by a goal behind eventual Golden Boot winner Harry Kane equaled a record of scoring in 12 consecutive matches set by Jimmy Dunne from Sheffield United who in the 1931-32 season has set that record.Match after match the whole football world saw a potential shocker and a fairytale story which could inspire other clubs as well,Leicester continued to climb at the top of the Premier League and after a 1-1 draw with relegation threatened Aston Villa which was in mid-January,Leicester reclaimed their spot at the top of the Premier League and never looked back.The dream for Leicester City for a very long time,with much suffering for the clubs and the fans was achieved.With winning close and crucial matches,with building a squad without famous names,with smart spending in the squad by the club management and some luck which followed them through the whole season Leicester City became the biggest football fairytale story of all time and they returned the faith,optimism and romance which the sport of football lacked in the last decade.Leicester City deserved to be the champion of England and football fans across the World (including me) loved it,while their names and club’s season will be written in football history books forever.

 

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