Leicester celebrated winning the Premier League yesterday – their first top-flight title in their 132-year history.
The Foxes were crowned thanks to Monday night’s clash between Chelsea and Tottenham, the 2-2 draw at Claudio Ranieri’s former stomping ground Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea fans, who have a soft spot for Ranieri despite him being sacked 12 years ago after owner Roman Abramovich arrived, chanted his name as some of his former players relinquished the title Jose Mourinho led them to last season.
Ranieri says: “It’s an amazing feeling and I’m so happy for everyone.
“I never expected this when I arrived. I’m a pragmatic man, I just wanted to win match after match and help my players to improve week after week. Never did I think too much about where it would take us.
“The players have been fantastic. Their focus, their determination, their spirit has made this possible.
“Every game they fight for each other and I love to see this in my players. They deserve to be champions.”
His squad gathered to watch the game at striker Jamie Vardy’s house, named Footballer of the Year earlier on Monday, and video phone footage posted by defender Christian Fuchs showed them exploding with joy at the final whistle.
Captain Wes Morgan, the personification of their 12-month transformation from relegation survivors to champions, said it was their indomitable team spirit that saw them through.
The big defender says: “Everyone’s worked so hard for this, nobody believed we could do it, but here we are, Premier League champions and deservedly so.
“I’ve never known a spirit like the one between these boys.
“We’re like brothers. People saw it last season when everyone expected us to be relegated, but we fought back to prove people wrong.
“We’ve built on the momentum, but I don’t think anyone believed it would come to this.
“Saturday can’t come quickly enough. I can’t wait to get my hands on the trophy.”
Vardy, who has been transformed from a shot-shy striker last season into an England international, said: “It’s the biggest achievement in the history of a great club and we all feel privileged to be part of it.
“It’s even more special to have done it with these lads. Every minute of hard work we’ve put in on the training pitch has been worth it for this moment.”