FIFA president Gianni Infantino and former Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho, has congratulated Leicester City for their historic English Premier League title triumph. Infantino believes Leicester City’s win is a fairytale that will be celebrated by football fans worldwide.
Claudio Ranieri’s team were crowned as champions on Monday night when nearest rivals Tottenham failed to secure the victory they needed at Chelsea to take the race into the final two weekends of the season.
Leicester, who were 5,000-1 outsiders for English football’s top prize at the start of the season, will now rub shoulders with European football’s elite in the Champions League next term and former UEFA general secretary Infantino believes they are thoroughly deserving of their status.
“It’s a fairytale. It’s one of these beautiful football stories that only football can write and no one would have believed possible at the beginning of the season or throughout the season,” Infantino told reporters at the UEFA Congress in Budapest.
“Not only does it make the Leicester fans very happy and very proud but all football fans because this is the magic of football.
“So big, big, big congratulations to the club, to Ranieri, to the players and they have their place in the Champions League on sporting merit.”
Infantino was an architect of UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, which means clubs competing in European competitions must spend within their means or face sanctions from the European governing body.
Meanwhile, former Chelsea boss, Mourinho watched his old side come from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with Tottenham on Monday, a result which guaranteed that the title will go to the King Power Stadium.
Mourinho, who lifted the trophy with Chelsea last season before departing the club in December after a dismal run of form, described it as a “magic moment” in the career of his counterpart Ranieri.
“I want to congratulate everyone connected to Leicester; players, staff, owners and fans.
“I lost my title to Claudio Ranieri and it is with incredible emotion that I live this magic moment in his career.”
Mourinho scoffed at Ranieri’s success rate earlier in his career, claiming the Italian – the man he replaced at Chelsea in 2004 – was “considered a loser” at Stamford Bridge.
The former Real Madrid and Inter head coach continues to be linked with a return to the Premier League ahead of next season, with Manchester United reportedly considering his appointment.
‘Messi okays Olympics snub’
Argentina coach Gerardo Martino has stressed Lionel Messi agreed with the decision to leave him out of the squad for the Olympics as it would have been too much for the Barcelona star to play at both the Copa America and the Games in Rio.
Messi guided Argentina to the gold medal in 2008, but there will be no repeat of that successful campaign come August as he will play at the Copa in the United States instead.
“I always felt that it would be an exaggeration to have Leo play at the Olympics again, especially if you bear in mind there’s the Copa America first,” Martino told reporters.
“It would have been a different matter had there not been a Copa before the Olympics. I discussed it with Leo and he agreed with me.
“It’s a bit like what has happened to Neymar. It seems like Brazil have made the decision to only take him to the Olympics and not the Copa.
“We felt that it was a better option to strengthen the team for the Olympics in defence.”