Opinion: The year of Leicester – the belittled Foxes

“The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person’s determination.” – Tommy Lasorda

Perhaps, there was someone who saw this coming.

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Someone who knew Claudio Ranieri, Chelsea reject Robert Huth and N’golo Kante’s arrival was the final jigsaw of the title winning puzzle.

Someone who used his life savings to place a bet on Leicester winning without even flinching.

Jamie Vardy

Someone who wasn’t surprised when Vardy equaled and set his consecutive goal scoring record.

Riyad Mahrez

Someone who wasn’t caught unaware when Riyad Mahrez became chief tormentor of Premier league defences and Kante, the best thing since Claudio Makalele.

Jamie Vardy given the red card against West Ham
Jamie Vardy given the red card against West Ham
 Leicester City's Leonardo Ulloa celebrates with his teammates after scoring the 2-2 equalizer from the penalty spot during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and West Ham United at The King Power Stadium in Leicester, Britain, 17 April 2016. The match ended 2-2.
Leicester City’s Leonardo Ulloa celebrates with his teammates after scoring the 2-2 equalizer from the penalty spot during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and West Ham United at The King Power Stadium in Leicester, Britain, 17 April 2016. The match ended 2-2.

Someone who didn’t skip a heartbeat when Jamie Vardy was suspended for two-straight games because he knew Leonardo Ulloa would be on hand to offer goals.

Manchester-United-v-Leicester-City

Someone who didn’t panic when Leicester drew at Old Trafford as he was certain Chelsea’s worst team in recent years will stop Spurs’ best team in history the next day.

Che vs Tot

Someone who tuned into the Chelsea vs Spurs game just after half-time, sure that he was about to witness Leicester City’s title winning moment.

Perhaps that person doesn’t exist because that person isn’t me.

Do you now believe in fairy-tale?

Leicester City champions

Leicester City are champions of the English Premier League and yes, deservedly so.

Winning the title couldn’t have come in a more dramatic fashion than it was when Chelsea hosted Tottenham in the title deciding game that had the whole world watching.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYsiw4Le60I

Forget Chelsea’s heroics, it’s Leicester’s time to be momentously celebrated.

Although different schools of thought argue as to how this season panned out.

Some say it’s the worst season ever because the ‘Big teams’ didn’t turn up.

While others say it’s the best we have had in years because of its intense competition and sheer unpredictability.

However you choose to see it, you will clearly agree that no one saw it ending this way.

Not since 1995 has any team outside Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City win the title.

For a team destined for relegation, according to most football reporters and an incredible odd of 5000/1 conferred on them by quite a huge number of bookmakers, not anyone gave the Foxes a chance of sniffing the title.

The scoreboard during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium in Leicester, Britain, Saturday, September 26, 2015. The match ended 5-2 in favour of Arseanal
The scoreboard during the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Arsenal at The King Power Stadium in Leicester, Britain,
Saturday, September 26, 2015. The match ended 5-2 in favour of Arseanal

When they lost 5-2 to Arsenal at the King Power stadium, it all but confirmed most people’s arguments: “they’ll fizzle out” “they aren’t experienced enough” and many other reasons were given even till a week ago but instead, it became only one of the three matches they have lost till this day.

And here they are, champions of arguably, the most competitive league in the world.

Leicester City’s triumph might just as well signal the beginning of a new era especially with the arrival of the new TV deal in the English Premier league.

Clubs usually with little financial clout can now afford to equip themselves with quality players -meaning there won’t be poor clubs anymore but a great disposal of top quality players across the 20 clubs.

If that’s the case next season, rarely will you find ‘Big Clubs’ go on streak of wins.

Expect competition at its premium.

This victory sends a message of hope to anyone around the world too scared to dream.

If a squad, worth less than the cost of a single player in Manchester City, could compete and edge other ‘rich’ sides to the title with two games left, there is no dream too big to achieve.

Former American professional baseball player, Derek Jeter once said “There may be people that have more talent than you, but there is no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.”

From the players, the backroom staff and supporters, Leicester City as a team have put in the hard work and have been rewarded for their diligence and persistence.

Go forth Leicester and shine…

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Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Adebiyi Tobi is a sports aficionado based in Lagos who can be reached via twitter @THETOBBI or by email [email protected]

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