Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri believes that it will take up to 20 years for an unfancied team to emulate his side’s achievement by winning the Premier League.
Leicester defied odds of 5,000-1 to prevail ahead of the division’s glamour clubs, captivating fans around the world and turning their previously unheralded players into household names.
Ranieri’s side are only the sixth team to have won the Premier League, as the English top tier was rebranded in 1992, and the Italian does not foresee another unlikely champion emerging anytime soon.
“Big money makes the big teams and usually the big teams win, but now we can only say 99 percent,” he said, in comments published by several British newspapers on Wednesday.
“How many years after Nottingham Forest (in 1978) and Blackburn (in 1995) have another team won? Next season will be the same, for the next 10 or 20 years will be the same.
“The richest will win or who can pick up the best players to make a team. If 20 owners have the same money for the players, only one can win and three will go down. That is football.”
Leicester have become particularly popular in Italy, Ranieri’s homeland, and Thailand, which is where owners King Power are based, but Ranieri said he had received messages of support from around the world.
“Now the second team in Italy is Leicester,” he said. “In Thailand, the first team is Leicester. I’ve received letters from Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil — everywhere (saying) ‘Leicester, Leicester, what a legend.’
“Everyone knows the Premier League.”