Happy Eden Hazard day, everyone. On this day, 4 years ago, Leicester City capped off their 5000-1 miracle season as the Belgian sunk Tottenham Hotspur’s Premier League title hopes.
We could all use a little cheer right now, so let’s try to recapture some of the magic by reliving that incredible season.
The 2015/16 campaign started out with a lot of upheaval in Leicester; long time/twice manager Nigel Pearson left and was replaced by Claudio Ranieri, fresh off a stint as Greece manager so bad that he probably should have just retired there and then.
In the middle of that circus, you could have missed a few low-key transfers.
A pretty good haul for less than we spent on Danny Ward.
The signings, and previous season’s momentum, certainly paid off. The Foxes were flying, but struggling to find the defensive consistency their new Italian manager was looking for.
Luckily Claudio had an excellent plan to fix that, although it would be more than a month until he had to pay up.
Of course, you don’t need many clean sheets when Jamie Vardy is on it. I think I’ve talked enough about his goals, so I’ll just leave you with this.
The Foxes’ incredible form meant that their win over Chelsea on December 14 ensured them the top spot on Christmas day, having been 20th 12 months before.
It may seem strange looking back, but that was a huge deal at the time. We’re talking “fan-made tribute video” big. This was as good as it was ever likely to get.
Things started to wobble soon after Christmas, as the Foxes went three games without scoring. They needed something to wake them up.
And that’s all it took. Don Claudio cast his spell of wakefulness and they bounced right back, courtesy of the most beautiful goal ever scored.
Unfortunately, all the work was apparently for nothing. The pundits just knew the bubble was about to burst. Leicester, we were told, had yet to beat anyone good.
Throwback to when Vardy scored this beautiful goal against Liverpool— - (@FDLM30) March 14, 2020
We already missed football
Strangely, after that game, the narrative became about how difficult it would be for us to see off all the “little” teams ahead of us.
For what I assume is the first time ever, they were wrong. Instead the Foxes became the kings of the 1-0 win, pulling off five in the next six games.
It seemed that nothing could stop us, but one red card for Jamie Vardy and suddenly our plans were in ruins. Could anyone put us back on track?
Never. In. Doubt. The next week was a comfortable win even without our key striker.
4-0 to the one-man team - the fans never miss a chance to take it personally
Still the title wasn’t confirmed though. After a draw against Manchester United, we’d have to wait a whole week longer for our confirmation.
Or would we?
#OnThisDay In 2016 - We were crowned champions of England for the first time in our history after Tottenham bottled a two-goal lead to draw with Chelsea!— LCFCFoxes.com (@LCFCFoxes_com) May 2, 2020
Here’s Eden Hazard’s goal that ignited celebrations across Leicester! #LCFC pic.twitter.com/jybzrfgQXz
An incredible moment for Leicester City, but let’s get the right commentary on it.
Chelsea held on, and we were confirmed as Premier League champions. It went down well in Leicester.
And indeed at the Vardy Party.
And all that was left to do was...celebrate some more! Five days later, the King Power Stadium would see one of the most memorable events in football history as Andrea Bocelli serenaded his friend Claudio and his incredible team before they lifted the trophy.
An unforgettable moment at King Power Stadium.— Leicester City (@LCFC) May 7, 2017
Andrea Bocelli - on this day last year pic.twitter.com/X50b8wX3Ph
Thousands and thousands took to the streets for the victory parade as the party continued on throughout the summer (Captain Morgan was unable to play for Jamaica after his excessive celebrations).
The individual scenes of jubilation are too many to mention, but I’ll just leave you with some of my favourites.
Holy crap... the Leicester City trophy celebration/parade is insane. pic.twitter.com/jltGn6Hxg9— D.J. Switzer (@wrongsideofpond) May 16, 2016
A wild, unforgettable ride. Topped off, of course, by a second fan-made tribute. This time with a slightly better story to tell than simply top at Christmas.
I hope you’re all doing ok out there. There are bigger things than football going on, but that doesn’t mean you can't enjoy it. The Champions League could be right around the corner again, so in the words of our own Claudio Ranieri “Keep dreaming!”