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Calling the Shots: Leicester City – A Football Fairytale
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Calling the Shots: Leicester City – A Football Fairytale

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The English Premier League was for a long time dominated by what we call the Top Four, which includes Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City, but today a small, low-budget and undervalued team is about to make football history.

This is the story of Leicester City.

Leicester City are living a dream that is about to come reality

Leicester City are living a dream that is about to come reality

The Underdogs

One year ago, Leicester City were desperately fighting to climb out of the relegation zone, anxiously trying to break the malediction that saw many teams get promoted to the English Premier League to then fall back into the Championship.

Today, Leicester City are no longer fighting for survival, but rather for silverware.

The club, led by the underestimated Claudio Ranieri who managed first-class clubs such as Inter Milan and Chelsea, is currently dominating the English Premier League with four games left to play and a squad of players who are ready to give everything for the club and its values.

It could quite possibly be the greatest sporting upset of all time. From where they were a year ago, it’s a quite staggering story
– Gary Lineker – English Football Hall of Famer

With only a couple of games left, the fight to the English Premier League title is on, between the miscalculated current leader and trailing Tottenham Hotspur.

However, all eyes lay on Claudio Ranieri and his players, most of them unknown to the world of football, to transform their dream into reality and show the sport of football that passion can beat money.

The beautiful game and its emotions

The beautiful game and its emotions

Leicester City is a small fish in a sea of sharks if we compare the club’s financial investment with the capability of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, but the club’s outstanding performance this season has shown that you do not need a team of world-class superstars to come out on top.

When Leicester City defeated Manchester City (3-1), what was most important to highlight was that a $22 million team has outshone a $230 million squad.

Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante… the names are unfamiliar but these players, along with their teammates, have been dominating the rest of the league and have shown incredible improvements in such a short period of time.

Players like Jamie Vardy, who was a factory worker six years ago, have shown a never-dying desire to prove doubters wrong and achieve the impossible.

Players who play as if they had nothing to lose, players who dare to overcome the greatest of challenges and players who put the team and fans first. This is what the sport of football needs.

Leicester is a fantastic example that football is not only about just spending the money. It’s the quality of work, and it’s important to think that the quality of the work can get you there.
– Arsene Wenger – Arsenal Coach

Leicester’s latest series of wins have not only secured them a comfortable lead at the top of table, but also a ticket to the Champions League over a decade after their last European campaign. The team will now face the best teams in the world such as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus… but once again, the little fish will not be intimidated.

Leicester City back on the European stage

Leicester City back on the European stage

A Leadership Revolution

Claudio Ranieri was appointed Leicester coach in July of 2015 after the club’s escape from relegation. The objective of the club at the start of the season? 40 points.

The team smashed that objective with full momentum, led by a coach who is an expert of counter-attack football and teamwork.

This Leicester team also brings to light a new form of leadership in sports. A leadership that values every single player in the squad with no exception. A leadership that values teamwork and believes in growing talent.

This is the leadership of Claudio Ranieri.

The tears of coach Claudio Ranieri after a crucial win

The tears of coach Claudio Ranieri after a crucial win

Goal machine duo Vardy-Mahrez was recruited by Leicester City for a price of just under $2.3 million combined. Experts now believe that the worth of the duo has multiplied by 30 in the span of a season.

I told them when we keep a clean sheet I will pay them a pizza. I think they wait until I say “OK, pizza and a hot dog”
– Claudio Ranieri – Leicester Coach

These two players have made global headlines after their scoring streak but it is extremely important to highlight that it is an insult to the team’s work if we do not mention all of the players in the Ranieri’s squad.

It is very obvious to see on and off the pitch that the club does not need to manage different egos and characters; this team is united in force.

Risks and Rewards

In the corporate world, we are taught that taking risks through various investments and decisions is dangerous, but rewarding if done correctly.

Well, Leicester City’s Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is about to see how rewarding his investment is after he took control of the club for £39 million in 2010.

Leicester’s value will shoot to £436 million, a 63 percent increase on their value at the end of last season, if they finish the season in their current position and lift up the English Premier League they so deserve.

Thai Duty-free king Leicester owner

Thai Duty-free king Leicester owner

Leicester’s exemplary recruitment strategy that enabled the team to transform their team without the need of spending millions on a single player has been praised by English teams to the point where their strategy is now being copied.

For Arsenal, that also meant luring away Leicester’s own scout Ben Wrigglesworth with the objective of scouting and recruiting upcoming underrated talent that could bring a boost to the club’s overall performance.

The idea that first-class organizations are now copying Leicester’s strategy is remarkable. Nothing is impossible.

The Leicester journey was so unpredictable that a club fan who bet $70 on the Foxes to win the Premier League at 5000:1 odds is about to cash out $100,000.

The club has successfully shut down its doubters with their consistent results that have transformed the team into a winning machine.

The Leicester example will happen more and more because the English clubs will get £100 million from television next year. They can buy anywhere in the world what they want.
– Arsene Wenger – Arsenal Coach

The story of Leicester City is simply beautiful. It does a lot of good to the sport of football, but also to the world of sports in general. The story of an underdog team achieving the impossible is what sports needs and deep down, every football fan in the world wants to see Leicester lift the English Premier League at the end of the season.

Only a few games remain, but the team’s hard work throughout the season will soon pay off. We, as sports enthusiasts, will soon be able to say that a small fish in an enormous sea has achieved the impossible.

This is the story of Leicester City.