In the world of sports, upsets are getting harder and harder to come by. As money becomes an increasingly important factor the big teams are getting bigger and more successful while the small teams can only look on in awe. Yet every so often a small team does more than that. Every so often a small team steps up and takes a swing at the biggest trophy it can. Rarely, very rarely, it works out. When Leicester won the premier league title in 2016 they may have achieved the most unlikely sporting victory, ever.
Leicester had barely survived relegation in 2014-2015 and was given 5000-1 odds of winning the Premier League in 2015-2016. The squad was geared and ready to try and survive in the Premiership, or so it appeared. Instead, they went on to defeat clubs the size of Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea. While the Leicester City team in total cost about £22 million to put together this was a mere tenth of the cost of the Manchester City team. This is what makes it so difficult for smaller teams to compete. As the TV rights and merchandise that top clubs receive means that small clubs can never compete financially with the big ones.
Leicester chose a team of rejects and bargain purchases. This was best epitomized by their striker Jamie Vardy. Vardy was released by Sheffield Wednesday at the age of 16 for being too small but rose through non-league football until Leicester purchased him for 1 million pounds. Riyad Mahrez who went on to win player of the year cost £400,000 from the French second division. On paper, the team should not have performed anywhere near as well as it did. Yet, it did.
While any team can win one game in a season the league is created to avoid flukes. To win you must be consistent and deserving across 38 games. Leicester was more deserving than anyone that year. Since then they have gone on to perform well each year and while they have yet to repeat their success, they are now a far more respected team. Many of the Premiership-winning players have moved on to other clubs but Jamie Vardy and a wealth of new talent continue to show what they are made of.