Seizing the Gilded Crown
May 19 2016
This is a memento; a making of history; the year is 2016 and Leicester City have won the Premier League title, the pinnacle of the domestic game. Exaggeration is synonymous with sport, the good is parlayed to great, the great to fantastic, the remarkable to unbelievable and on, upwards, into the stratosphere. Football is a sport of overstatement and Leicester deserve every superlative. Semper Eadem is the city’s motto; meaning “Always the same” however Leicester will simply never be the same again. The Foxes were 5000-1 to win the title and 3-1 to be relegated, football had entered an age in which the title was the preserve of a handful of clubs, this belief now lies battered, bruised and shaken. But just how did table topping Leicester lift the coveted premier league crown?
Leicester’s players are not greats, not legends. Marc Albrighton is no Peter Reid, nor is Riyad Marez Steven Gerrard or Jamie Vardy, Dixie Dean. These players will enter footballing folklore, but not as individuals, but as a team, the ultimate band of brothers. We will now recount to our children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren, the tale of how a squad of hapless players, governed by an inept Italian, stole a chair at footballs top table, forgot their manors, placed their feet on the counter and snatched the premier league crown.
Claudio Ranieri, the ‘Tinkerman’, the coach, the nearly man. And then this, an unprecedented feat, somehow convincing a group of second-class footballers that success is not to be admired but to be grasped. Leicester City has given us back all that we love about football: optimism, faith, and romance.
However, over time, in sport, even the greatest achievements fade. Each Ashes success becomes indistinguishable from the next; every golden triumph forgotten; even the gilded post-boxes of London 2012 peel and flake as the seasons pass. What remains is the truly exceptional. 1966. Arsenal’s Invincibles. Istanbul. And now Leicester, footballs biggest underdogs.
Written by Jack Connor