Leicester’s title victory is one of the most remarkable events in sporting history.
England’s Ashes win in 2005, a goalkeeper playing with a broken neck and Leicester in 2015. Claudio Ranieri, Jamie Vardy and their accomplices have made stunning sporting history against the odds, against the bank balances and against the money dominated football narrative.
No one could’ve dreamt of this in Leicester, the manager was going to take them down – according to most ‘pundits’, the players were no good and the club didn’t belong in the top flight. They have won the title from absolutely nowhere and they have done it with a team of players who have hardly even played in top level football.
We have Leicester City in the Champions League next season and Vardy, once of Fleetwood Town, could be about to play against Sergio Ramos or Gerard Pique. Madness.
Its a magnificent tale. We know the heroes, but some have been overlooked.
So, which FIVE are the truly unsung names?
Ulloa has only started seven league games this season, which is a testament to how often Okazaki and Vardy led the Leicester line.
However, the Argentine’s six goals have been as pivotal as anyone’s.
His most recent contribution was a brace in the drubbing of Swansea, but the ground-shaking winner against Norwich at the King Power was the moment that so many started to believe Leicester could really do this. And who can forget that 94th minute penalty against West Ham…
Operating in the shadow of Jamie Vardy, Okazaki has played the crucial role of linking the gut-busting drive of N’Golo Kante to Vardy’s tireless runs.
Dropping off into a second striker position, Okazaki has not scored the goals of Vardy, but he’s been integral to the way that Leicester play. Working as hard as anyone, The Japan international has aided Vardy’s running with pressing up the pitch.
Just to top it all off, Okazaki got the match winner against Newcastle back in May to set up the title push.
Leicester go against the vogue for full-backs. Ranieri keeps his wide defenders relatively restrained and allows the wingers to attack the opposition in the wide areas.
Fuchs has added experience and defensive nous to the Leicester rearguard and was one of their most shrewd signings. His four assists show that, when allowed to venture forward, he can provide mean delivery, too.
Playing on the opposite wing to Riyad Mahrez, Albrighton was never going to get the same level of attention as the Player of the Year.
A mainstay of the Leicester team, Albrighton has provided six league assists for the Foxes and been as integral as anyone in keeping the side ticking over throughout the campaign.
Unsung? Not quite.
However, Ranieri doesn’t seem to have been basked in quite the glory he deserves. The Italian should be a footballing legend. His reputation was in tatters when he arrived at Leicester, and people thought he would relegate the club. Yet he has transformed them into the most remarkable footballing unit.
It is not simply down to luck, Ranieri has utilised a limited squad with brilliant tactical nous and he certainly deserves further acclaim. World manager of the year, perhaps.