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Leicester City are Premier League Champions

Leicester City are Champions of the Premier League. Image: @LCFC

Leicester City are Champions of the Premier League. Image: @LCFC

In what is being described as the greatest Cinderella story in sporting history, Leicester City have won the Premier League for the first time in their 132 year history.

Leicester started the campaign at 5,000-1 outsiders after almost being relegated last season.

But after a remarkable season which has seen them lose only three games, the East-Midland team have won the title with two games still to play.

Tottenham went into Monday night’s match against Chelsea knowing that they had to win all three of their remaining matches to stand a chance of overtaking Leicester.

The Foxes had the chance to secure the title on Sunday but were held to a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

But Tottenham’s 2-2 draw against London rivals Chelsea to confirm a stunning achievement for Claudio Ranieri’s side.

Spurs squandered a 2-0 lead at Stamford Bridge after a superb 87th minute equaliser from Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.

In a remarkable twist, the Chelsea winger who has said Chelsea do not want Tottenham to win the league scored a finely crafted goal to deny Tottenham a chance at the trophy.

Al Riddell has the match round-up.

For Leicester fans, the celebrations can finally begin after weeks of hoping that the once thought to be impossible would be made possible.

Hundreds gathered outside the King Power stadium.

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy lived up to the mantra that has been associated with him all season ‘Jamie Vardy is having a party’… by having a party. 

Fellow Leicester players gathered at his house to watch the Tottenham match.

Supporters also assembled outside the star’s home, while many more filled the city’s bars and pubs, or took to the streets to celebrate the historic moment.

Celebrations lasted long into the night.

Foxes right-back Christian Fuchs tweeted a video of Leicester players and staff celebrating Hazard’s late goal.

In response to Harry Kane’s recent tweet depicting a pride of lions ready to pounce, Vardy tweeted an image from Disney’s The Lion King, showing a struggling lion grappling and falling from a cliff.

Foxes goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has repeated the success of his father, Peter, by winning the Premier League.

Only four more FA Premier League titles, three FA Cups, one league cup and the UEFA Champions League to truly catch up with his dad.

But who would bet against Leicester now? They are currently 100-1 to win the Champions League next season.

After the match, Italian manager Claudio Ranieri released a statement via Leicester City:

I’m so proud. I’m happy for my players, for the chairman, for the staff at Leicester City, all our fans and the Leicester community. It’s an amazing feeling and I’m so happy for everyone.

I never expected this when I arrived. I’m a pragmatic man, I just wanted to win match after match and help my players to improve week after week. Never did I think too much about where it would take us.

The players have been fantastic. Their focus, their determination, their spirit has made this possible. Every game they fight for each other and I love to see this in my players. They deserve to be champions.

Figures from British and world football are speaking about about Leicester’s historic achievement.

Gianni Infantino, president of football’s world governing body Fifa, said Leicester’s ‘beautiful story’ was a ‘fairytale’.

Former Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers and England striker Alan Shearer said Leicester’s achievement was ‘the biggest thing ever in football’.

Shearer, who won the Premier League in 1995 with Blackburn, told BBC Sport:

For a team like Leicester to come and take the giants on with their wealth and experience – not only take them on but to beat them – I think it’s the biggest thing to happen in football.

Gary Lineker, Leicester City fan and former player, was one of a consortium of former players to save the club from going into administration 15 years ago.

He expressed his delight and disbelief.

And in a move he may come to regret, Lineker promised some months ago to present Match of the Day in his underpants if Leicester went on to win the league.

Many fans will not let him forget that promise in a hurry.

Leicester’s title triumph is expected to generate millions of pounds in additional income for the local economy with tourism boosted by the club’s higher global profile.

Leicester East MP Keith Vaz said:

This is a miracle which has captured the imagination of the sporting world and beyond. People in every corner of the globe now know where Leicester is.

Many are heralding this title triumph as a victory for team spirit and endeavour over the big spending powerhouses of the Premier League.

The Leicester team who lined up on Sunday cost just £22 million, a relatively tiny sum compared to the clubs who usually finish at the summit of the table.

In comparison, Man City’s weekend starting line up cost the club £281 million.

Man Utd have spent as much on players in the least two season as Leicester City have in their entire 132 year history.

Former Foxes manager Martin O’Neil who led the club to their previous highest Premier League finish of eighth in 2000, said:

Not only is it a brilliant story, but it gives everyone that little bit of hope again. That romance has not left football.

It’s been the talk of Europe, there’s no question about that. Everything about this season has been remarkable.

 

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