From the £1.5m signing whose saves will go down in folklore to the 19-year-old academy graduate playing his first game in front of fans… the Leicester City FA Cup final heroes
- Leicester City were crowned FA Cup champions after 1-0 victory over Chelsea
- Youri Tielemans’ strike half an hour from time proved enough for the triumph
- The Foxes team is littered with fairytale stories which makes more special
Leicester City sensationally won their first FA Cup Final since 1969 with a 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Wembley.
Youri Tielemans’ wonder strike with half an hour to play proved enough to earn the Foxes a fairytale triumph in front of fans once again.
The Foxes team is littered with remarkable and fairytale stories which makes the triumph all the more special.
Here, Sportsmail picks out the FA Cup Final heroes who guided Leicester to glory on Saturday…
Leicester City were crowned FA Cup champions with a 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Wembley
Kaspar Schmeichel is the £1.5million signing who once again proved he is a Foxes legend
The saves from Chilwell and Mount will pass into FA Cup folklore but the Dane has produced stops like those all season, which has been arguably the best of his career. Jamie Vardy is Leicester’s best-known player but Schmeichel is in many ways the heartbeat.
WESLEY FOFANA (£31.5m from St-Etienne, 2020)
One of the signings of the season. A £31.5m fee seemed a lot for a 19-year-old with only one full season of senior football behind him, but Fofana was superb at Wembley and is probably worth treble that now.
JONNY EVANS (£3.6m from West Brom, 2018)
The fact Brendan Rodgers was prepared to risk him when carrying a heel problem shows his importance. The Leicester boss has called Evans, who had to go off before half-time, ‘the brain’ of his defence and he continues to play a vital role in a young back line.
CAGLAR SOYUNCU (£19m from Freiburg, 2018)
Though the Turkey defender has not been as influential this season as he was last, he stood up superbly when Chelsea were chasing the equaliser. Still prone to unforced errors but has the raw material to become a top-class centre back.
Caglar Soyuncu was back to his effective self at Wembley as he thwarted the Blues attack
TIMOTHY CASTAGNE (£18m from Atalanta, 2020)
Like Fofana, the versatile Belgian was one of the best transfers of last summer. Slotted in seamlessly after moving from Italy and has proved effective at wing back or full back, left or right, even filling in on the right of a back three after Evans went off on Saturday.
YOURI TIELEMANS (£40.5m from Monaco, 2019)
Vying with Schmeichel to be Leicester’s player of the season. While so many key players have suffered injuries, Tielemans has kept going — playing 49 games in all competitions, plus nine for Belgium. The winner at Wembley crowned an outstanding campaign.
Youri Tielemans capped off a stunning season with a wonderful winner from distance
WILFRED NDIDI (£15.8m from Genk, 2017)
After missing some of the early season through injury, the Nigerian has proved himself one of the best holding midfielders in the country and formed a superb partnership with Tielemans.
LUKE THOMAS (Academy)
What a story. The FA Cup final was the 19-year-old academy product’s first senior game in front of a substantial crowd, and he followed his brilliant volley in the 2-1 win at Old Trafford last week with a solid display at Wembley.
Luke Thomas played his first senior game in front of fans and put in a solid display
AYOZE PEREZ (£30m from Newcastle, 2019)
Not one of Rodgers’ main men but the Spaniard has knuckled down after he was one of three dropped for a Covid breach before the defeat at West Ham in April.He was full of running for 82 minutes at Wembley.
KELECHI IHEANACHO (£25m from Man City, 2017)
Although he did not have his best game in the final, Leicester would not have been there without him. Iheanacho scored four times in the competition, including the winner in the semi-final, and deserved the new three-year deal he signed last month.
JAMIE VARDY (£1m from Fleetwood, 2012)
Proof dreams do come true. Fourteen years ago, Vardy was playing in the preliminary round for Stocksbridge Park Steels. Now he is a Premier League champion and has a Golden Boot and an FA Cup winner’s medal.
Jamie Vardy’s continued success at the highest level is proof that dreams do come true
MARC ALBRIGHTON (Free from Aston Villa, 2014)
One of the few left from the title-winning squad of 2015-16, Albrighton is as important off the field as on it, setting an excellent example to his younger team-mates. Typically reliable after replacing Evans.
JAMES MADDISON (£22.5m from Norwich, 2018)
Injury hampered his start and finish to the campaign but the playmaker was sensational in mid-season — a key part of Leicester’s pursuit of a Champions League place. Hopefully his hip issues are behind him and he can recapture top form next season.
HAMZA CHOUDHURY (Academy):
If this was his last appearance, what a way it was for the local boy to go out. Has struggled to establish himself under Rodgers but if he does leave, will always have his winner’s medal.
WES MORGAN (£1m from Nottingham Forest, 2012)
Rodgers has only used him sparingly but always understood the importance of the title-winning captain in the dressing room. Would be fitting if his final act in a Leicester shirt was to see them over the line.
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