Foxes Crowned Champions As Spurs Impload!

Last updated : 03 May 2016 By Footy Mad - Editor

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Tottenham's failure to beat defending champions Chelsea in a dramatic 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge on Monday night means the unlikeliest of leaders have an unassailable seven-point lead over their nearest challengers with just two games of this fairytale season to go.

First-half goals from Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son looked like extending the title battle into next weekend but Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard were on target for Chelsea to finally down second-placed Spurs' charge.

The Foxes were 5,000/1 outsiders at the start of the season and among the favourites for relegation but in nine unforgettable months they have turned their 'Impossible Dream' into reality by claiming a first top-flight title in their 132-year history.

They could have sealed the trophy themselves with a win against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday but a 1-1 draw kept the door slightly ajar for Spurs, who then needed to win all their remaining three games and hope  Leicester took no more than one point from their matches with Everton at home and Chelsea away on the final day.

For Leicester to win the title is one thing, doing it with two games to spare makes this achievement even more impressive, especially considering they had long since blazed clear of the usual big-spending title contenders from Manchester and London.

Claudio Ranieri, who many doubted was the right man to replace Nigel Pearson last summer, is also celebrating a major league title for the first time in his 30-year managerial career although he may be one of the last to learn about this astonishing moment in football history having revealed he would be flying back from lunch with his 96-year-old mother in Italy during Monday night's Stamford Bridge clash.

Here, we'll have all the reaction, quotes and tributes as they come in along with plenty of features and statistics about this unprecedented fairytale story in football history.

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Leicester City Reaction

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri: "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."

Leicester captain Wes Morgan: "It's the best feeling of my career and I couldn't be prouder that it's as part of this team. Everyone's worked so hard for this, nobody believed we could do it, but here we are, Premier League champions and deservedly so. I've never known a spirit like the one between these boys, we're like brothers. People saw it last season when everyone expected us to be relegated, but we fought back to prove people wrong. This season's been a continuation of that. We've built on the momentum, but I don't think anyone believed it would come to this. Saturday can't come quickly enough. I can't wait to get my hands on the trophy."

Leicester striker Jamie Vardy: "It's an unbelievable feeling. I've never known anything like it. We were scrapping to stay in the league last season and on Saturday we'll be lifting the trophy. That gives you an idea of how much hard work has gone into this season from every single player and member of staff. It's the biggest achievement in the history of a great club and we all feel privileged to be part of it. It's even more special to have done it with these lads. Every minute of hard work we've put in on the training pitch has been worth it for this moment."

Leicester midfielder Andy King: "I thought I'd seen everything with this club, but I never thought I'd see this. It's difficult to put into words. The players deserve it, the gaffer and the staff deserve it, and the fans deserve it. It's been an unbelievable season. The story of where this team has come from to get to this point has been all over the world recently and I think the lads deserve great credit for the way they've taken it in their stride, stayed focused and kept delivering results - especially with a great side like Spurs chasing us so hard. We've been so consistent and just determined not to let the opportunity pass us by. We deserve this."

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Leicester defender Robert Huth (@robert_huth) posted: "What a game... makes me look like an angel! CHAMPIONS!!!"

Leicester forward Riyad Mahrez (@Mahrez22) wrote: "CHAMPIONS !!!!! thank u everyone !!!"

Foxes defender Liam Moore (@liammoore93) said: "Love this club love theses boys! Tough season personally but it's all about the TEAM. what a squad to be apart off #champions"

Foxes Title Tributes

Tributes from personalities in the world of football and wider sport...

Former Leicester striker and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker told Radio 5Live: "It's extraordinary. Sat watching with three of my boys. Couple of Leicester fans they are. It was just so emotional, so incredible. It looked like it was going to go to next Saturday. Then that extraordinary second half. I just can't get my head round it.

"I just think it's generally the biggest sporting shock. I can't think of anything that surpasses it. When it's your own team it's too extraordinary. Too difficult to put over in words. To be honest I got a bit emotional at the end of the game. I just couldn't hold it back. It was quite hard to breathe the last few minutes to be honest.

"I've followed them since I was a little kid. I was a season-ticket holder until I was seven years old. I saw them in a cup final - lose - that was the closest we ever got to big glory. Won the league cup a couple of times but this is just something else. This is actually impossible.

"There were no odds that I would have taken at the start of the season. No odds. You could have given me 10 million to one and I'd have said 'Nah, it's a waste of a quid'. It's extraordinary. I'm from there and I went to play for them for a couple of years. I even kind of part owned them for a while when they were in trouble. To see where they are now and to enjoy this moment especially with my family, it's incredible."

Former Leicester midfielder Robbie Savage told Radio 5Live: "It's going to be one unbelievable night for Leicester. Those fans have been with that team through thick and thin. I was with Muzzy Izzet at the weekend he was scoring goals in League One not all that long ago and now they're Premier League champions. The greatest achievement in sporting history. I don't think anything betters this. It's incredible. They've proved a lot of people wrong. I was a massive sceptic of Claudio Ranieri. I didn't think they could win it but they've proved me and a lot of people wrong and they thoroughly, thoroughly deserve it. What an amazing night."

Chelsea captain John Terry: "Congratulations to Leicester because they have been superb this year. The rivalry with Tottenham means a lot but that still hurts us tonight losing the league title after the way we won it last year. It hurts passing the Premier League title to Leicester but credit to them, they've been superb. We've not been good enough but we'll be back next year. Claudio Ranieri is different class and I'm pleased for him 100 per cent. I spoke to him pre-season and wished him well and to do what they've done this season has been unbelievable and given hope to the smaller sides.

''Credit to Claudio because he's a great manager and a great person. Congratulations to Leicester and all their players because all season long everyone has been saying they'd lose the next one, they'll lose the next one but they never did and they've kept churning out results.''

Former Liverpool defender and Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher added on Sky Sports 1: ''I think there's no doubt that is the greatest achievement in the history of our game, I think it's unprecedented. 'I think in the past there's been teams who have come up and won the league but it was more of a level playing field then. Now, what Leicester have done is give inspiration to every football club, every manager, player, supporter all across the land that one day that could be them. 'Football had become a closed shop with the same teams winning year after year and you never believed a story like this could happen, but it has and you just think what that could do for the rest of football now and if it could change and you could see more of this more often. 'But it's a fantastic achievement and you can't quite believe it's happened. Statue for Ranieri in the morning I think, isn't it.''

Former Leicester striker Tony Cottee told Sky Sports News: ''It was a big decision when Nigel Pearson left and Claudio Ranieri came in and lots of people, myself included, were unsure whether he would be the right man but he's been absolutely fantastic. 'When he came into the club it would have been easy to make lots of changes but he's a clever manager and he obviously realised he had some good players with a good team spirit.

''He's obviously got some stand out players like Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy but they all work really well as a team and obviously they have had that little bit of luck that you need, as they haven't had too many injuries or suspensions. 'They've been the best team and that's the biggest compliment you can give them - not the best individuals, the best team. 'They were 5,000-1 at the start of the season and you couldn't really even see them finishing in the top half, let a lone win the league. 'It's great for football because everyone next season will start the season thinking well Leicester did it last season, why can't we do it this year?''

Leicester Supporters' Club chairman Cliff Ginnetta said: "He (Claudio Ranieri) should be honoured in some way for what he's done. I know some people will say he's only doing his job and is getting well paid anyway but we should, in some way, even if we only name a street after him, or even a park. We should do something and I hope we do. I was quite pleased when Claudio was appointed, we needed someone with a bit of nous, more tactically aware. Nigel Pearson had Plan A but I don't think there was a Plan B. With Claudio there's a Plan B and Plan C. We needed a foreign manager, they bring so much more to the game than English managers do. I was one of the few and it's great to look at these pundits and think 'what do you really know?'."

"Will we see Leicester carry on being successful? Yes, this is a stepping stone. This is our time and for the next few years Leicester will be one of the clubs up there. I'm not saying we'll win it every year but we'll be up there challenging."

"It all turned for us when we got relegated to League One. I remember that day at Stoke (after a 0-0 draw) in the car park, people in floods of tears and arguments going on between the fans. Being relegated united the club and it was one of the greatest seasons. We are now fans of the most famous club in the world. We're more famous than anyone at the moment and we're certainly getting talked about than any other club. It's daunting, everyone feels a bit taken back by it and we still don't believe it. It's a truly amazing story."

New world snooker champion and Leicester fan Mark Selby: "I didn't know until afterwards. One of the guys who was sat just to the left of me is a big Leicester fan, so after I got back to my seat he said to me it was 2-2 and Leicester were champions. I knew going out there that the game was kicking off, but I tried not to think about it too much because I didn't want it to distract from what I had to do. I can't believe it - I don't know what's more of a shock, me winning the title twice or Leicester becoming the champions. Hopefully in another two years I'll come back and win it again and Leicester will be Premier League champions again."

Kasabian guitarist Serge Pizzorno told the Guardian: "Winning the Premier League? After that, even if we get relegated and we're in the Conference in 10 years, I won't care. We'll always have that. When Claudio Ranieri was appointed as manager last summer I was buzzing. With my family being Italian, I was thinking: 'This was going to be incredible.' My prediction was that we could finish in the top 10 and we could win a cup. But everybody thought I was insane. I started getting texts from my pals - which I've saved - saying: 'What's going on? What are they thinking?' I first started thinking we could qualify for the Champions League when we were still top at Christmas, then carried on picking up points in January. I thought that if we kept everyone fit until the end of the season, I didn't see why we couldn't finish in the top four. As for next season: we all live in Leicester so all my pals are coming in and we're having a Champions League draw party - it's already on the calendar."

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Multiple Premier League title winner and father of goalkeeper Kasper, Peter Schmeichel: "Congratulations to @kschmeichel1 and his @LCFC teammates for winning @premierleague."

Ex-Leicester centre-back Gerry Taggart (@Gerry_Taggart): "@LCFC congrats to all for an unbelievable achievement and hopefully changing football for good and the good of the game #fearless #champions"

Full-back Paul Konchesky (@konch3), on a season-long loan at QPR from Leicester: "Absoulte buzzing for everyone involved @LCFC ! Congratulations to all the lads and staff very well deserved! #Champions"

Tottenham (@SpursOfficial): "Congratulations to @LCFC on winning the @premierleague"

Chelsea: "Guus (Hiddink) reports he has taken a phone call from Claudio Ranieri thanking him for how Chelsea played in the second half. #CFC"

Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard (@franklampard): "Up the Chels! Top finish from @hazardeden_10. Huge congrats to everyone at Leicester and particularly Claudio Ranieri. A gentleman who changed my life. #Ranieri #chelsea"

Serie A champions Juventus (@juventusfc), Ranieri's former club: "Good job, Mr. Ranieri & @LCFC!"

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli (@FinallyMario): "Leicester city.. champion. Congratulations to the players and to an amazing manager as RANIERI!"

Former Australia spinner Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne): "Well done, Leicester City. You showed all sportsman that dreams & fairytales can come true , if u truly believe, amazing story. Congrats"

Foxes Miracles Costs Bookies Millions

Leicester's 5,000/1 Premier League title triumph has prompted Sky Bet's biggest-ever outright payout, with punters scooping around £4.6million.

Sky Bet are the industry's biggest losers from the Foxes' most unlikely of victories, with a total of 128 customers backing Claudio Ranieri's men at their monstrous pre-season price.

The overall picture is blurred slightly by the fact that not all stakes are from before a ball was kicked, with plenty of punters eager to jump on the Leicester bandwagon over the course of the season.

The biggest winner of the lot was paid out two weeks prior to Leicester being crowned top-flight champions, the punter in question opting to cash out their £35 for just over £130,000 following the team's 2-0 win at Sunderland, while two other customers have received six-figure payouts.

Sky Bet handed out over £1million to customers who cashed out their bets before the deciding day, and the Leeds-based firm's Dale Tempest explained: "As Football League sponsor we've probably got the largest base of Leicester fans, which make up the vast majority of their early-season backers.

"It's incredible to think we were presenting them the Sky Bet Championship trophy less than two years ago.

"It's certainly understandable that some fans decided to cash out, take their money and enjoy the remainder of the season, but most did it at short odds so have still got the majority of their potential pay out."

Things could have been even worse for Sky Bet had West Ham pulled off a successful title bid. Slaven Bilic's impressive Hammers side, who also hit 5,000/1 after picking up six points from their opening four games, represented a £6.2million potential payout.

Find Sky Bet's 2016/17 Premier League odds right here

It's far from all bad news for the bookmakers, however, with the most unpredictable of seasons making it hard work for punters along the way.

"While Leicester backers are obviously going to be celebrating, it's been a tough season to pick winners throughout, with Chelsea in particular blowing accumulators," Tempest added.

"Leicester's title win will also kill off a lot of outright multiple business, but one speculative punter doubled them up at 5,000/1 with Bayern Munich to win the Champions League at 7/2."

That bet stands to win £45,000 from just a £2 stake and requires Bayern to overturn a 1-0 deficit from their semi-final first leg against Atletico Madrid this week.

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Leicester City's Title-Winning Stars

Here, we look at the men who won an historic title for the Foxes.


The goalkeeper kept five straight clean sheets during the run-in to help propel the Foxes to the title - after waiting until October for a shutout. .

He does not like to talk about the links to five-time title winning father Peter and has been an outstanding performer in his own right. 9/10


The full-back started the season as the club's first-choice right-back but slowly slipped out of favour.

He scored in the 3-2 win over Aston Villa in September but his last league start came in the defeat to Arsenal later that month and was loaned to Middlesbrough in February. 6/10


The 30-year-old signed before Nigel Pearson's exit in June and took his time to break into the team - making his first league start at Norwich in October.

A relaxed and funny individual the left-back has been a bargain after leaving Schalke on a free transfer. 8/10


He avoided jail in June, being sentenced to 300 hours of community work instead, after an attack on his ex-girlfriend.

His Foxes career looked to be drifting after just 18 appearances last season following a move from QPR but Simpson has become key at right-back for Claudio Ranieri. 8/10


At 32-years-old none would have thought the skipper would lift the title after only his second season in the top flight.

He has been at the heart of Leicester's success and has capped his own rise after previously spending 10 years at Nottingham Forest. 9/10


He won the title as a bit-part player with Chelsea in 2004 and 2006 but has been a mainstay in a defence which has been often overlooked.

They tightened up during the second half of the season and his experience and understanding with Morgan has been exceptional. 9/10


He played a key role in Leicester's early burst, scoring in the 2-1 win at Norwich, but injury restricted him in the second half of the season.

He made a first start since November in the 4-0 win over Swansea but was often used as a late substitute by Ranieri. 7/10


An absolute steal of a summer buy for a reported £5.6million from Caen the deep-lying midfielder was unknown when he arrived at the King Power Stadium.

But a string of outstanding performances saw him nominated for the PFA Player of the Year and he made his debut for France in March. 10/10


Another of Leicester's star performance during a season which has also seen him make his England debut and force his way into Roy Hodgson's thoughts for Euro 2016.

Understated but absolutely vital, the former Manchester United trainee admitted he has an almost telepathic understanding with Vardy. 9/10


The Wales international has found it hard to break the midfield strangehold of Kante and Drinkwater but it is clear Ranieri trusts him.

He has been picked ahead of summer signing Gokhan Inler and showed himself as an able deputy in the middle. 7/10


He joined on a free transfer from Aston Villa and, after an understated but hard-working first season, the winger has excelled.

Early-season form brought talk of an England call-up and while Mahrez and Vardy grabbed the headlines he was always available for the Foxes. 8/10


The winger - a £400,000 buy from Le Havre in 2014 - he scored 18 goals and created 11 more for the Foxes to be crowned PFA Player of the Year.

His goals dried up in the second half of the season but he had already done the damage and remained a huge threat. The Foxes face a fight to keep him. 10/10


The Swansea loanee may have failed to start a game but he scored one of the most important goals of the season.

His late winner in their 3-2 comeback victory over Villa in September can be pinpointed as a turning point in both clubs' seasons. 6/10


The winger initially rejected a move to Leicester last summer before making a U-turn and joining from Birmingham in January.

He has been used sparingly off the bench but has shown enough to justify the Foxes' £3.7million outlay. 7/10


The Japan international has proved a fine foil for Vardy upfront, taking the knocks and creating extra space while Vardy gets the goals.

He has only scored six times himself and was a long-time target when Nigel Pearson was in charge but has netted at crucial times - including the winner in the 1-0 victory over Newcastle in March. 7/10


Last season's 13-goal top scorer played second fiddle to Vardy and Okazaki but he was still a useful asset to Ranieri.

His 89th-minute winner in their 1-0 victory over Norwich was crucial and a brace while deputising for the banned Vardy against Swansea put them on the brink of the title. 7/10


He set a new Premier League record by scoring in 11 straight games and ran riot during a phenomenal season, becoming Leicester's third PFA Player of the Year nominee, even if he blotted his copybook with a late ban.

The 29-year-old penned a new improved contract in February and is a certainty for England's Euro 2016 squad just four years after he was playing non-league football for Fleetwood. 10/10

*Others who made less than 10 league appearances - Gokhan Inler, Joe Dodoo, Yohan Benalouane, Daniel Amartey, Marcin Wasilewski, Andrej Kramaric.

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Claudio Ranieri's Best Quotes

Here, we look at some of the Italian's most memorable quotes from the season.

1. Ranieri offers his player the promise of pizza before they finally kept their first clean sheet of the season in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in October.

"I told them, if you keep a clean sheet, I'll buy pizza for everybody. I think they're waiting for me to offer a hot dog too."

2. Ranieri reacts to being told a Leicester butcher - W Archer & Son - had created a sausage in his honour.

"I pay for pizza, you pay for the sausage. I am the sausageman."

3. The Italian gave his squad bells as a Christmas present to remind them not to slip up in training.

"From the beginning when something was wrong I've been saying: 'Dilly-ding, dilly-dong, wake up, wake up!' So on Christmas Day I bought for all the players and all the staff a little bell. It was just a joke."

4. In December, Ranieri compared his side to Tom Hanks' film character when they were two points clear at the top.

"Why can't we continue to run, run, run? We are like Forrest Gump. Leicester is Forrest Gump. I give you the headline there."

5. The Foxes play Leicester rockers Kasabian before their games - with frontman Tom Meighan a regular at the King Power Stadium.

"I told my players 'when you go on the pitch and you hear the song from Kasabian, that means they want warriors'. I want to see them as warriors for the fans. Kasabian are a fantastic rock band from Leicester and I think the guitar man, Serge, is Italian."

6. Claudio Ranieri admits he will be the last person to know if Leicester are crowned champions on Monday because he will be returning from lunch with his 96-year-old mother in Italy.

"I want to meet my mother. She is 96 years old and I'd like to go to have lunch with her."