Team spirit was key says Leicester's Captain Morgan
LONDON: Leicester City captain Wes Morgan, the personification of their astonishing transformation, said on Monday it was indomitable team spirit that secured their Premier League title success and he cannot wait to get his hands on the trophy on Saturday.
"It's the best feeling of my career and I couldn't be prouder that it's as part of this team," Morgan told the club website (www.lcfc.com) after Tottenham Hotspur's 2-2 draw at Chelsea ensured Leicester would be champions for the first time.
"Everyone's worked so hard for this, nobody believed we could do it, but here we are, Premier League champions and deservedly so."
Morgan, who spent 10 years in the lower divisions with Nottingham Forest and tasted the Premier League for the first time aged 30 last season, added:
"I've never known a spirit like the one between these boys. We're like brothers. People saw it last season when everyone expected us to be relegated, but we fought back to prove people wrong. This season's been a continuation of that.
"We've built on the momentum, but I don't think anyone believed it would come to this.
"Saturday can't come quickly enough. I can't wait to get my hands on the trophy," added the centre back, who will hoist it in front of the club's fans in the home game against Everton.
The Leicester squad gathered to watch the game at the home of striker Jamie Vardy, named Footballer of the Year earlier on Monday, and video phone footage posted by defender Christian Fuchs showed them exploding with joy at the final whistle.
Manager Claudio Ranieri had originally said he would not be around to see what turned out to be the decisive game at Stamford Bridge as he was having lunch with his mother in Italy.
However, he changed his plans to fly back to be on hand at the club where the Chelsea fans, with whom he was always popular despite being sacked after the arrival of owner Roman Abramovich, chanted his name.
"Claudio is a great manager and a great person," said Chelsea skipper John Terry. "To do what they've done this year has been unbelievable and given hope to the smaller teams.
"All season long people kept saying they'll lose the next one, lose the next one (but) they kept winning and churning out results.
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said: "First of all I congratulate Leicester and Claudio Ranieri and his players and supporters. It was a massive season for them -- we just need to be stronger next season."
Leicester's fairytale success has caught the imagination of fans the world over and congratulations began pouring in moments after the final whistle sounded at Chelsea.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi tweeted: "The reason why we all love football," Congratulations again Leicester City!
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany said: "Congratulations to the new Champions of England, Leicester City. Respect."
FIFA president Gianni Infantino echoed the comments of many when describing Leicester's "beautiful story" as a "fairytale", while former Leicester and England striker Gary Lineker added: "Leicester City have won the Premier League. The biggest sporting shock of my lifetime, and it's only my team."
Lineker had previously promised to present BBC's Match of the Day in his underpants if the 5,000-1 shots won the title.