03 May, 2016
This is What's Trending Today.
The Leicester City soccer players gathered at a teammate's home Monday evening. They were anticipating the result of another game in the English Premier League.
For the first time in 132 seasons, Leicester City, also known as the Foxes, was positioned to finish the season as the champion of England's top soccer league.
But the first half of the match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea did not look good. If Tottenham won, Leicester's celebration would have to be put on hold for at least one more week.
At halftime, Tottenham was ahead, 2-0.
Gary Cahill scored to make it 2-1.
Then Eden Hazard got the equalizer with just seven minutes to play.
When the referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the game, the Leicester City players went crazy.
Because of the tie score, Tottenham cannot overtake Leicester for first place.
The result set off celebrations in England and beyond.
People around the world followed the story of Leicester City this season. Thailand is one place that caught fever for the Foxes.
That is because the owner of the team is from Thailand, and his company, King Power, is the sponsor. Most Thai soccer fans like the famous English teams like Manchester United or Chelsea. But not anymore.
In fact, a Buddhist monk at a temple in Bangkok blessed the team earlier this season and predicted it would win the championship. Now the monk and his temple are considered magical and holy by Leicester City fans.
Sports experts say Leicester is one of the most unlikely teams ever to win a major championship. The Foxes played so well, they won the title with two games to go.
Leicester started the season as a 5,000-to-1 underdog. Just seven years ago, the team was in the third division of English soccer.
Thanks to the play of top goal-scorer Jamie Vardy and the direction of manager Claudio Ranieri, the Foxes took over first place in the league at the end of December 2015.
The Foxes built a 5-point lead in the standings by February and continued to play well late in the season to clinch the title.
And that's What's Trending Today.
I'm Dan Friedell.
Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.
Have you been following the progress of Leicester City this year? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on 51VOA.COM.
Words in This Story
league – n. a group of sports teams that play against each other
title – n. the status or position of being the champion in a sport or other competition
unlikely – adj. used to say that something probably will not happen
clinch – v. to make (something) certain or final
anticipate – v. to think of something that might happen in the future
equalizer – n. a goal in a sport like soccer or hockey that ties the score
comeback – n. a new effort to win or succeed after being close to defeat or failure