Having 1 in 5000 odds is a hard thing to grasp. Some estimate that the chances of the Loch Ness Monster being found are 1 in 2,000. More relevantly, the chances of the Philadelphia 76ers, the worst team in the NBA with a record of 10-72, winning the league were 1 in 500. They did not even come close. So how did Leicester City, an English soccer team with the odds of just 1 in 5000 of winning the English Premier League (EPL) manage to stun the whole world and do just that?
There are a number of factors that lead to the final victory but the simple answer is that they just turned around. Many stars stepped up, one example being Riyad Mahrez. Mahrez was crucial this season, weaving through defenders, making perfect assists, and scoring wondrous goals. It is no surprise that he went on to win PFA Player of the Year. Another rising star for Leicester this year, was striker, Jamie Vardy. Vardy was incredibly consistent this year as he blew up from a no-namer to a someone spoken about in households around the world. Vardy managed to find the back of the net every possible way, resulting in breaking the record for most consecutive games scored in league history, at 11. He had an award of his own as well with premier league player of the season. Another main reason for the shock of the century was the man in charge, manager Claudio Raineri. Raineri was absolutely fantastic this season, and by keeping the team healthy, to coming prepared with tactics every game, to the pizza incentive (the team receives pizza for their wins), he played a crucial part in the victory.
Obviously, Leicester had to play extremely well in order to be #1 out of 20 teams, but part of the reason Leicester won can be attributed to the disappointing seasons from many major clubs this year. One of the most notable of these lackluster seasons was Chelsea’s. Chelsea completely demolished the Premier League last year, winning by eight points. However, they did shockingly poor this season, already out of the title race halfway through the season and finishing completely average, 10th place out of 20, in a year they were probably predicted by most to win it all. However, if anyone who bet on Chelsea was told that they would have a bad season before hand, the second bet would definitely be on Arenal. This was supposed to be Arsenal’s year, with many other top tier clubs out of the picture. Looking at big games, against any of the other top 5 teams, Arsenal was looking really good, as they even beat Leicester both times they played. However, Arsenal’s crumbling against bad teams and poor ending to the season resulted in a second place, still ten points behind Leicester.
Whatever the reason, Leicester’s win was an amazing feat, an amazing story of an underdog, and something that will be talked about for years to come.