Leicester’s Lovely Miracle

By Riccardo M.

That’s it. They’ve done it. Leicester city are officially champions of England after having won their first premier league title in its history. Comments? Well, what can we say? Calling it one of the most tremendous accomplishments in the history of football is not enough. What a team. What a manager. What a club!

If we take a look at the economic side of the team and the financial aspects, Leicester City is now worth £54.4 million, and its most expensive player, Jamie Vardy, costs £10 million. By comparing these numbers to those of English top clubs, the numbers are outstanding: Tottenham Hotspur’s team value is of £161.1 million pounds and Erik Lamela is worth £30 million, costing the most out of all players. Arsenal’s squad goes for £251.9 million and Mesut Ozil is at the top of the table based on money, costing £42.5 million. But that’s not it. Manchester City has an incredibly expensive squad: £418.8 million. Between players such as David Silva, Sergio Aguero and many more, Kevin de Bruyne costs £54 million pounds (basically as much as Leicester City in general) and earns the title as most expensive player. Slightly under eight times as much as Manchester City’s squad, Leicester was able to complete the miracle.

But how can we mention success without pronouncing the name “Claudio Ranieri”, the king of Leicester. The king of English football, but not only. Ranieri is an experienced, 64-year-old English manager with a rich career on his shoulders. He has managed 16 different teams so far and two in the premier league: Chelsea and Leicester City. Being Italian, he also has quite an abundant past in Italian football. Out of the 16 teams he has managed, half of them were Italian. He has personally revealed to still have a significant connection with Cagliari, a team where he was able to win the Serie C1, the promotion to Serie B, the Coppa Italia Serie C and the promotion to Serie A. The man managed Chelsea FC from September 2000 to June 2004, quite a long period of time, although he was not able to win any trophies. He brought the team to the Champions League semi-final and the FA Cup final but his work at Chelsea was not entirely successful or satisfactory. On the 13th of July 2015, without completely knowing it, Leicester took its first step into making history by signing Claudio Ranieri as their new manager. After not participating in the Barclays Premier League for 11 years, he made a return that will make him remembered as a legendary football manager worldwide.

Before this dream even started, Leicester’s line-up seemed to be the usual relegation side, without any particularly important names to consider. A 4-4-2 formation with Schmeichel in goal, Fuchs playing left back, Huth and Morgan as the two center backs and Simpson right back. In midfield Albrighton on the left wing, Riyad Mahrez playing right wing. The two center midfielders Kanté and Danny Drinkwater. The two playing (or rather scoring) as strikers would be Ulloa and obviously the top goal scorer Jamie Vardy. It is funny to imagine how many (if not all) of these players have great chances of being called by some top European clubs in this summer transfer window, knowing that each and every one of them have a story behind their arrival at Leicester City. It is also funny to know that only six clubs have been able to win the Barclays Premier League from when it began: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Blackburn, and Leicester. Wow.

Before coming to Leicester City, Jamie Vardy had quite a difficult past. He had an unfortunate encounter with the police when he was younger as he was “trying to protect a deaf friend” according to the Daily Mail. What about Riyad Mahrez? He was not even close to being as recognized as he is now before his arrival at Leicester City. So, I feel like I must conclude simply by saying wow. What an amazing, hardworking team!

 

The Boys are Back at It Again – DoDDS European Soccer Champions

Špela K. – Sports

Throughout the entire season one could notice the energy of every player on the soccer team on the field. It was not just talent that was visible, it was also determination. The boys’ soccer team proved themselves worthy of the highest ranking in the division long before arriving in Germany for the championship tournament. They were able to win every game except one, which they tied. However, in Germany, they did not come to tie any games, they came to win.

During the Group tournament play, the team was able to win all three games with ease, qualifying them for the semi-finals. The semi-final game, against the International School of Florence, was more dramatic as they were the team they tied during the regular season. By the end of regulation time the teams were tied 1-1 and were bound for overtime. Because the first ten minute overtime did not give any goals, the teams had to play for another ten minutes. However, even these extra ten minutes did not provide any of the teams to score and therefore the teams had a penalty shoot-out. With a less heart-clenching retelling than the actual experience of the event, the Royals won the shootout 5-3, giving them the win and a spot in the final championship game.

The championship game, which was against AFNORTH, a team the Royals played and beat in the Group play 3-0, was less stressful. The scoring came easy and by the end of the first half, the boys were winning 4-0. In the second half, three more goals before the end of regulation time allowed the game to finish seven minutes early due to the mercy rule. The team proved that last year’s loss in the final game penalty shoot-out was nothing but a little bump in the road and that they are the best team in our division.

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