Ranieri, Hodgson, Lineker hail Vardy and Leicester

Date published: Friday 13th May 2016 8:18

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri praised the team ethic that helped deliver the most spectacular Premier League title win to the King Power Stadium.

But the Italian also reserved special commendation for Jamie Vardy, the man who has scored 24 league goals this season to fire Leicester to the championship.

“I was told that Riyad Mahrez was our light, but Jamie was our gun, he was out in front and fought against everyone,” he said.

“We fight behind him, we didn’t want to leave him alone to press. Everyone behind him was a family.

“I was very happy when he scored the 11th successive goal against Manchester United. Very well done.

“He was unlucky with the last penalty (against Everton) but every champion makes a mistake. In the last match he can fight against Harry Kane (for the golden boot) why not? Believe Jamie.”

Vardy is now set to travel with England for the European Championship having scored his first international goal in the recent 3-2 friendly win over Germany.

Although Roy Hodgson has delayed his squad announcement until Monday, the England boss had written his programme notes before the decision was made to cancel Thursday’s press call and all-but intimated Vardy would be involved.

“I can’t recall an English player in recent times who has enjoyed such a spectacular season – both as an individual and as part of a Premier League-winning team,” he wrote.

“This afternoon I named my squad of 23 who will travel to France and represent England in Euro 2016.

“For all of those 23 players named – but this year in particular the strikers – they are at the pinnacle of their game, have seen off fierce competition for their squad place and proved their worth over a sustained period of time.

“And Jamie – there is no need to pinch yourself, you’re not dreaming.”

Former Leicester striker turned BBC pundit Gary Lineker also took to the stage to praise a man who has joined him as one of the city’s favourite sons.

“I still can’t really get my head around the fact that Leicester City, the team I have watched and supported since I was the height of N’Golo Kante have gone on to win the Premier League,” he said.

“If they had written it as fiction they would have torn up the script as impossible. Now we hear Hollywood are captivated.

“A young man who lands himself in trouble but redeems himself and goes, in four years, from playing non-League football to the team that win the Premier League title and then goes on to score the goals that lead England to Euro 2016 glory – it hasn’t happened yet.

“Jamie’s game is not just about goals, this fella is tough. Any player than can run for 90 minutes, even with a bandage on his arm, is good for me. The likes of Bayern. Barca and Benfica won’t know what has hit them next season (in the Champions League).”

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