So it actually happened. The impossible became possible. A dream became reality. Leicester won the league. And here are eight reasons why we're delighted.
Nice guys don’t always come second
For a lot of neutrals, wanting Leicester to win the league was as much about wanting Claudio Ranieri to triumph as it was about the team. He’s just so overpoweringly nice. He’s the wise Italian uncle you wish you had, so you could sit next to him at Christmas and listen to him impart life lessons. You get the sense he could make even motorways sound interesting.
Jamie Vardy’s movie needed a happy ending
Top Gun wouldn’t have raked in $350 million at the box office if Tom Cruise had freaked out during the final dogfight and crashed, weeping, into the sea. No, he had to overcome his demons and blast that MiG out of the sky, then have a party on the aircraft carrier. We all want to see a fairy-tale movie about Jamie Vardy’s unfathomable ascent to top-flight football (even though it’s sort of already been made in When Saturday Comes, starring Sean Bean), which culminates in a pizza-fuelled shindig at his house. Hollywood needed Leicester to win the league. And so did we.
It’s a lesson for us all
Everyone loves an underdog, but only because we know they never win. But now we know they can, the very foundations of what we all hold true are shaken. Football’s space-time continuum is in flux, and it is as exciting as it is terrifying. After this, what’s stopping Man City going down next season? And now England are definitely going to win Euro 2016. There’s even a strong chance Gabby Agbonlahor will play football again, even if it is in the Sunday Leagues.
A Player of the Year award wouldn’t have been enough
While Riyad Mahrez definitely deserved his PFA Player of the Year award, it would’ve left a bitter taste in the mouths of fans and neutrals alike if that was all Leicester won this season. They’ve been immense as a team more than as individuals, and winning the title is the pepperoni on the pizza of an amazing year.
Everyone loves seeing bookies lose
Bookies live to separate you from your cash. It’s what gets them up at dawn and keeps them up at night. So what could be more satisfying for anyone who’s made a stupid £20 bet on a 100-1 “dead-cert” than to see Britain’s bookmaking community feel our pain. Between them, bookies will be paying out over £20 million to shrewd (or lucky) punters – the biggest loss in British history on a single sporting market. If nothing else, Leicester’s monumental triumph has finally shown us that the bookie doesn’t always win.
Money isn’t everything
Number-crunchers recently worked out that Manchester United have spent more on new players in two seasons than Leicester have in their entire 132-year history. Doesn’t that taste nice? Like having a cheeseburger instead of caviar – no one really likes caviar but we pretend to because a ramekin of it costs the same as a ticket to Old Trafford. It makes us feel special. But Leicester have shown us that we don’t need to support rich teams like United, Chelsea or Man City to feel special anymore. We can eat cheeseburgers, save money and enjoy dinnertime again. Chin chin, Leicester. Chin chin.
Leicester is a city of magic
It was the final piece in Leicester’s magic puzzle. First they discovered Richard III in a car park, then came Claudio Ranieri, then Jamie Vardy. Even Mark Selby, who’s from Leicester, enjoyed a sprinkling of his hometown’s fairy dust by winning Snooker’s World Championship on Monday night. We all want to believe in magic, and maybe now we can.
Richard III needed this
When Claudio Ranieri finally falls off the twig (probably in his mid-hundreds), who wouldn’t like to see him buried in Leicester Cathedral beside Richard III? There’s no way he didn’t channel at least some of the undead power of old Crouchback this season, growing stronger and stronger with each game he won. It’s as if Richard’s ghostly hand was on Ranieri’s shoulder all along. Perhaps this was the king’s way of making up for the mess he made of the Battle of Bosworth over half a millennium ago. The pizza thing was probably his idea.
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