London (AFP) – Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri hailed his players’ “determination” and “spirit” after their improbable Premier League title triumph was confirmed.
“I’m so proud,” Ranieri said, in comments published on the Leicester website. “I’m happy for my players, for the chairman, for the staff at Leicester City, all our fans and the Leicester community.”
The 5,000-1 outsiders, who narrowly escaped relegation last season, were confirmed as champions for the first time in their 132-year history after second-place Tottenham Hotspur could only draw 2-2 at Chelsea.
It was a personal triumph for 64-year-old Ranieri, who had never previously won a top-flight title and whose appointment last year met with derision in some quarters.
“I never expected this when I arrived,” the Italian added.
“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.”
Leicester will be presented with the Premier League trophy following their final home game of the season against Everton on Saturday.
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