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Andrea Bocelli to serenade champions Leicester City


Leicester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Leicester City will celebrate their dream Premier League title in style on Saturday with a pre-match party involving world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli.

The Italian singer will serenade the Foxes’ title-winning players before Saturday’s home game with Everton, after which they will collect the Premier League trophy following a fairytale triumph that was clinched on Monday.

Bocelli will perform at the King Power Stadium as a personal favour to his fellow Italian Claudio Ranieri, Leicester’s title-winning manager, and other special guests at the game will include the club’s famous ‘Ice Kings’ of the 1960s.

Ranieri was applauded on Thursday at his first pre-match press conference since his side were crowned champions, as more than 100 journalists raised glasses of champagne to toast the popular 64-year-old.

And he revealed plans for Bocelli’s performance were born around two months ago, long before Ranieri conceded publicly that his side were title contenders.

“He called me one-and-a-half or two months ago and he was so happy at what’s happening to Leicester,” said Ranieri. “About singing, he said ‘why not?’

“Then I give all my info to the club and they made all the arrangements and everything –- for all of Leicester and the community.

“I met him a long time ago at his concert at Wembley. I met him, I was not sure if he remembered me.”

Bocelli will begin the afternoon’s celebrations on Saturday while the ‘Ice Kings’ — the Leicester side who narrowly missed out on the old First Division title in 1963 — will be presented to the crowd at half-time.

Leicester captain Wes Morgan will receive the Premier League trophy after the game.

Thursday’s light-hearted press conference continued a week of celebrations for Leicester, who were confirmed as champions when second-placed Tottenham Hotspur could only manage a 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Monday.

Ranieri and Leicester’s players were given a heroes’ reception in the city on Tuesday after the squad celebrated their triumph at striker Jamie Vardy’s house on Monday.

Ranieri, who had not previously won a domestic league title in his long coaching career, said: “I enjoyed all the season.

“In the beginning I felt something special, but of course I could never have imagined this.

“We worked so hard. I know all the players, clubs and managers worked so hard but only one can win and this year it happened to me.

“It is my karma because I worked so hard to achieve all my things.

“It has a special flavour, I’m very happy and want to say thank you to all my players, the chairman, staff and fans. They were amazing.”

Leicester’s Robert Huth will miss Saturday’s game after admitting a Football Association charge of violent conduct for pulling the hair of Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last weekend.

The FA rejected Huth’s claim that the standard three-match ban was excessive and he will miss the final two games of this season and the first fixture of next term’s campaign as well.

Fellaini, who reacted by striking Huth with an elbow, was also banned for three games.

“OK, he (Huth) made a foul, but also Fellaini has long hair –- it’s impossible to grab him without grabbing his hair,” said Ranieri. 

“The reaction was worse from him (Fellaini).

“If you want to do this for pulling a shirt you have to send off all the players and only the managers would be left on the pitch.”

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