Leicester City is dreaming about a first Premier League title. The Foxes’ success has been build on an amazing story and no one would have believed they would lead the likes of Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool at this point in the season.
Therefore, we recount five key moments in Leicester’s amazing story, going from England’s third-tier to title contenders in a span of seven years.
1. Getting Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez
Leicester won The Championship in 2014, promoting to the Premier League for the first time since 2004. Reinforcements were needed and their biggest transfers were Leandro Ulloa (£7.7m from Brighton), Danny Simpson (£1.9m from QPR) and Esteban Cambiasso (free transfer from Inter).
At that point, Vardy was already a Leicester player, joining the Foxes during the summer of 2012 from Fleetwood Town for the gorgeous fee of £1 million.
Mahrez came more than two years later. The Algerian joined Leicester during the winter transfer window in 2014, with the club paying less than £0.4m to French side Le Havre for the creative midfielder. Leicester’s big transfer at this moment was Andrej Kramaric, for whom they spend £6.9m.
— Leicester City (@LCFC) 11 januari 2014
2. Avoiding relegation with an amazing run
During the 2014/2015 season, Leicester looked to be relegated for a very long time. They were ranked in last place from matchday 13 until matchday 32. They lost 2-0 on the road to Manchester City on matchday 28, their sixth loss in their last seven matches…
— Premier League (@premierleague) 6 februari 2016
However, something clicked in the Foxes’ heads. They beat West Ham, West Brom, Swansea, Burnley, Newcastle, Southampton and QPR, while getting a draw against Sunderland. Winning seven of their last eight league games and finishing 14th in the table, avoiding relegation after just one season in the top-flight.
3. Appointing Claudio Ranieri
Leicester had to perform better during the current season, with the Foxes aiming to secure another season in the Premier League as soon as possible. Next season, the new lucrative TV deal kicks in and no one wants to miss out on those financial benefits. So Leicester bought Mainz’s Shinji Okazaki for £8.5m, Caen’s N’Golo Kanté for £6.9m, Atalanta’s Yohan Benalouane and Napoli’s Gokhan Inler for £5.4m, and Stoke’s Robert Huth for £3.2m.
Still, Leicester’s most important move was getting Claudio Ranieri to coach them. The 64-year-old had been out of work since he left the Greek national team, but gained loads of experience coaching the likes of Chelsea, Juventus, AS Roma and Fiorentina.
— The Lads (@LadsOffThePitch) 6 februari 2016
4. Beating Sunderland on matchday one
Leicester’s season started with a home encounter against Sunderland. They celebrated a 4-2 against a team they would presumably have to battle all season to avoid relegation. Mahrez and Vardy scored the Foxes’ three first goals in the opening 30 minutes of the match. A sign of things to come…
Since, Leicester have lost just twice, getting beated 5-2 at home by Arsenal and 1-0 at Liverpool. Their believe in a miracle season really started to come when Vardy and Mahrez led their team to a 2-1 win against Chelsea.
5. That goal against Liverpool
After the loss at Anfield, Leicester wanted revenge and got it. Liverpool were send home with a 2-0 loss. The match will forever be remembered by Vardy’s stunning volley goal to leave everyone speachless. The striker made a pass from, who else, Mahrez bounce once and hit it with his best effort of the season.
Then on Saturday, the Foxes beat Man City 3-1 at the Etihad… If Leicester pull this one off, it will be the biggest stunt in football this century!
Jamie Vardy’s super goal vs. Liverpool (1-0) pic.twitter.com/PrivtF7Rxg
— OKWUCHI (@XISVVCX) 2 februari 2016