Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Leicester City - A sporting fairytale like no other

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Leicester City players (from left) Danny Drinkwater, captain Wes Morgan, Shinji Okazaki and Riyad Mahrez celebrate a goal against Southampton earlier this season.
Leicester City players (from left) Danny Drinkwater, captain Wes Morgan, Shinji Okazaki and Riyad Mahrez celebrate a goal against Southampton earlier this season.

As a former player and now fan of the beautiful game I cannot remember a sporting fairytale like the one witnessed this morning - Leicester City have won the English Premier League.

From battling relegation last season to winning possibly the toughest sporting competition in the world Leicester City can hold their heads high and deserve all the praise that's coming their way.

Remember, this is not a one-off cup match, this is a season of 38 matches, and they've done it with two games to spare.

The entire sporting world is today celebrating with the Foxes - who were the epitome of the underdog.

With a team of almost no-names, odds of 5000-1, and a budget that would not be enough to buy one star player from teams such as Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United or Chelsea, they have done the almost impossible.

It's amazing in a footballing world full of multi-million pound stars that Leicester have done it with a team of players hardly anyone knew of last season.

Star striker Jamie Vardy was just a few years ago playing in the fourth tier of English professional football and cost the club one million pounds, as did another of their stars Danny Drinkwater.

Riyad Mahrez, named professional footballer of the year by fellow players last week cost an astounding 350,000 pounds and their most expensive player, the tireless N'Golo Kante cost 5.6 million pounds.

One cannot forget their manager Claudio Ranieri's tactical nous and how he has instilled in his players the will to win and a never say die attitude that all football fans can admire.

My footballing mates were also unanimous in their praise for the mighty Foxes, apart from those sour Spurs fans whose team handed Leicester the title by blowing a 2-0 lead against Chelsea this morning.

One thing is for sure, no-one can take this away from them - imagine Japan winning the Rugby World Cup.

Sure, Japan upset South Africa, but to achieve sporting parity with Leicester they would have had to have played out of their skins for the whole tournament to win it.

Leicester's achievement is like Rarotonga winning the America's Cup - it's this big an achievement that will be talked about for all time.

The benchmark has been set. Well done Leicester City, enjoy your moment in the sun.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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