Leicester City Completes Most Historic Season in Sports History

Alden Glass

On Monday afternoon, the former player of the year for the Barclay’s Premier League, Eden Hazard, scored the goal that gave new crowned league MVP Riyadh Mahrez his first ever BPL title. With a two goal comeback against second placed Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea ensured Leicester City would maintain their seven point lead in first place. With only six more points up for grabs this season, this guaranteed Leicester the first BPL trophy in their 132 year history.

Leicester had a chance to clinch the title Sunday morning in a game against struggling Manchester United, but came out with a hard fought point from a draw. In many ways, Leicester’s success this season is a result of the struggles of the big four teams. I do not want to detract from their accomplishment or devalue it, but the terrible form of teams like Chelsea and Manchester City, as well as typical inconsistency from Arsenal, played a large role in this season. Chelsea looked hungover from their success last season, while Manchester City and Arsenal alternated between fearsome beasts and mewling kittens far too often. However, Leicester’s hard working, counter attacking soccer proved a tactical masterpiece from Coach Claudio Ranieri that the league could not handle. They demonstrated an alternate approach to the possession, attacking based soccer that has been the predominant strategy in the last ten years.

In the last two decades, the Premier League has been dominated by the big name and high spending clubs like Arsenal, Chelsea and the Manchester clubs. In fact, in the past 20 years, only these four teams have won titles. For the title race to be decided between Leicester City and Tottenham is nothing less than astonishing. After being bottom of the table as late as April last season, Leicester won seven of their last nine games to narrowly escape relegation and they never looked back.

The worldwide support for the Foxes demonstrates a frustration felt over the correlation between titles won and money spent. Even though Leicester are a foreign owned and financed club, they lacked players of star caliber that were considered to be worth shells of money. They are the embodiment of the underdog story. After one of the least exciting title races in history last season, where Chelsea practically locked up the title in March, this year was much needed. The Premier League likes to brand itself as an even league where anyone can beat anyone each weekend. This season certainly helped to reinforce that image. Newly promoted Watford and Bournemouth defied expectations with mid-table finishes, and teams like West Ham and Stoke City demonstrated that beautiful soccer was possible without hundreds of millions of dollars. More than anything, Leicester’s improbable win is important because it reignites the passion in every set of supporters. If Leicester can go from bottom to top in 13 months, every single fan is now asking “Why can’t we do the same?”