Leicester City have just completed the most incredible, against the odds, championship title in England. The Foxes refused to fall away and the unthinkable became the inevitable as they ran away with the title in some style. Although they are by far the greatest against the odds victory, Leicester are not the only team that beat the odds to win their league, here we look at five other sides that won the title when very few would have given them a chance.
Montpellier – 2011/2012
Before Leicester City there was a team that were fired to the league title on the back of a striker that had risen through the ranks from Non-League to League One. That team was Montpellier and that striker was Arsenal scapegoat Olivier Giroud. This was the year that PSG became the oil tycoons that they are today. The minnows , whose annual budget was less than what PSG spent on their marque signing Javier Pastore, ended the season as champions largely thanks to the 21 goals from Giroud.
FC Twente were managed by Steve McClaren, the same Steve McClaren that had been ashamed in his management of England, and were up against a rich resourced Ajax Amsterdan led by the ridiculous Luis Suarez. Although Twente had emerged as challengers in 2009, they were still not bookies favourites by any means and found themselves behind AZ, the defending champions, and Ajax the bookies favourites. But led by McClaren and the superb form of future Fulham star Bryan Ruiz, Twente won the title on the final day by just one point. McClaren moved to Wolfsburg and once again began his descent into nothingness.
Verona – 1984/1985
In 1985, Verona was more renowned for being the city where Romeo and Juliet fell in love rather than any of its sporting achievements but this was soon to change. The club had only been promoted to Serie A two years earlier – finishing fourth and sixth respectively – but no one could have predicted what was to come though as the Gialloblu stunned the world by winning their one and only Scudetto. The sheer scale of this achievement shouldn’t go unnoticed though because after gatecrashing Diego Maradona’s Napoli debut and finishing the opening day on top of Serie A, they never moved from that position for the rest of the season.For the first time in 15 years the Scudetto had a home that wasn’t in the cities of Turin, Milan and Rome. A Shakespearean tragedy this was not.
Wolfsburg – 2008/2009
Wolfsburg have recently been in the news significantly for their shock victory over Real Madrid in the Champions League (Which inevitably they lost), but its 7 years ago that they made bigger news. Led by the most deadly attacking duo in Europe, Grafite and Dzeko, Wolfsburg managed to secure the league title on the final day of the season, beating the Bavarian giants Bayern Munich by 2 points. The striking duo combined for 54 goals in the league to rocket to their one and only title. Very few gave Wolfsburg the chance, but the young side did a Leicester in securing the Bundesliga.
Fifty-five years after Os Belenenses became the first team to break the hegemony of Portugal’s big three – Benfica, Porto and Sporting CP – Jaime Pacheco’s Boavista struck a second blow on behalf of the Liga’s smaller clubs. It was a squad made in Pacheco’s image – one which battled for every ball like their lives depended on it. A 1-0 win against then leaders – and city rivals – Porto midway through the season sent the Panthers top and a 3-0 home triumph over Aves sealed the title with a fixture to spare.
Football, you got to love it!