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Aug 02, 2017 at 05:33

In a truly fantastical turn of events, we witness the rise of an underdog at Barclays Premier League. Shreyash Nigam writes

Last year, if someone told you that Leicester City were going to finish top 4, you would’ve laughed at them, called them stupid. For a team that were at the bottom of the league for a good part of last season and barely escaped relegation, even finishing 10th this season would’ve been an achievement. But the foxes, as they’re lovingly called by their own fans, stunned the entire world, with their amazing 2015-16 season.

First some context. Leicester city is a small football club based in Leicester, England that plays in the first tier of English football – Barclays Premier League. Their 2014-15 season was nothing short of a disaster. At the start of this season, everyone thought that Leicester were doomed for relegation. Almost everyone predicted them to finish in the bottom 3. Most bet that their manager, Claudio Raineri, would be the first one to be sacked. Their chances of winning the league were 5,000 to 1.

But every once in a while, miracles happen and one did happen for Leicester. Here is a team, with almost 1/10th the budget of the big teams. A team full of rejects, players who were deemed surplus for these bigger teams. A team whose season would’ve been considered a resounding success if they’d even finished mid-table but as of the writing of this article (16th March, 2016) this team is at the top of the league, with a five point cushion.

Since 1995, the Premier League title has been shared between 4 teams only, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City. Big clubs, with huge amounts of money capable of spending hundreds of millions of Pounds to acquire the best players in the world. So for another team to challenge the premier league title, let alone a club as small as Leicester, was something nobody could’ve predicted. To just understand how amazing this feat is, take this statistic into consideration- Leicester city’s entire squad value is £50.6 million. That’s £2.4 million less than Kevin De Bruyne’s value, for whom Manchester City paid £54 million and almost £240 million less than the value of the squad of the current title holders, Chelsea. Astonishing, no?

At the start of the season, we all thought that all of this was just luck and that they would return to the bottom of the table soon. But they haven’t. Less than 8 games are remaining and Jamie Vardy along with the whole city of Leicester is still having a party! A 1-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur, 2-0 against Liverpool, and 2-1 against Chelsea are all testament to this. Not to mention, the 3-1away win against Manchester city. The richest club in the land and they tore them apart on their own patch!

I do not know whether they will actually win the league. But the way things are going, it would be no surprise if Leicester snatch the title and honestly, I hope that they do because after all, who doesn’t love an underdog story?

Shreyash Nigam