And so it was a fairytale ending to the Premier League soccer season. Leicester City FC is the champion of England—even though the team wasn’t playing tonight (May 2).
Chelsea came back from 2-0 down to tie Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge, which meant that, mathematically, the second-placed North London team could not catch up on points to Leicester. Leicester’s next match is at home against Everton on May 7, where they will be awarded the title.
But the celebrations have already begun. The team was watching tonight’s game in the home of star striker Jamie Vardy.
Leicester has never won a top-division league in the club’s 132-year history. The club was almost relegated last year and had been listed as 5,000-to-1 odds to win the title at the start of the season, meaning there were better odds on Bono becoming the pope and Piers Morgan taking over as Arsenal manager.
The achievement came against far larger clubs with far greater budgets.
Chelsea was last season’s champion, but after a terrible year culminating in the sacking of fan-favorite manager José Mourinho, the club spent most of the season contending with relegation and irrelevance. Instead, it will be Leicester’s manager Claudio Ranieri who is winning his first-ever league title at the age of 64. (Ranieri was fired by Chelsea in 2004 and replaced with… José Mourinho.)
Ranieri might have missed this incredible night, though, as he was flying back to England from Italy after visiting his 96-year-old mother.