Just like many of you, I have devoted a fair amount of time watching Leicester City’s matches in the last few months. I enjoyed every bit of it, and particularly Ranieri’s epic press conferences, but I want to make clear I am not trying to pretend I am a fan. I adored them, make sure, but deep down my heart remains with the miserable Villans whom, these days, have nothing left to celebrate but corner kicks. Alas, I find it somehow pathetic to bandwagon now.
To be completely frank, I still do not even know where Leicester is. This in spite of the fact that I have read many articles and I wanted to list the best of them on my blog. This article, for instance, shows that Leicester’s rise is especially remarkable in the modern Premier League era. A deluge of money into the league has led to increasing inequality and stratification among teams. In fact, fewer and fewer teams outside of a “Big Four” — Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United in its current iteration — have any real hope of a league title.
This Guardian article reminds us of how noble of a person is Claudio Ranieri, a man of principles with a relaxed management style. “What Ranieri did that was special was to give a sense of empathy to his team. If you, as a person, can create an empathetic situation inside the changing room, then in the difficult moments your players will always give you a little something more.” Probably a good lesson for C.E.O.s around the world, as this other Economist’s articles suggests.
It is on a brilliant Italian magazine that I found the highlights of each single match played by Leicester in this the season. And on the same magazine I also read a simple summary of Leicester’s path to the title.
The most entertaining article to date, however, has been published on Il Foglio, mocking those Italian media that have described Leicester City, a society owned by one of the richest tycoons of the world, as the symbol of “the industrial cities of the East Midlands, one of the most multi-ethnic, taking us for a moment back to the early nineteenth century, when it was a stronghold of the Chartists: revolutionary advocates of a pre-Marxian socialism. Because that of Leicester is not a fable, but a social project that demonstrates how another football in the heart of the neoliberal society is possible“. The author reminds us that after all Ranieri is the coach of Leicester because of an orgy organized a year ago in Thailand and cleverly filmed by three former players of Foxes, including the son of former manager Nigel Pearson, who was fired for this reason just after.