5 of the Most Heartwarming Football Fairytale Success Stories

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For the past two years, world football has been stunned by the underdog success stories that have become a reality. 


Last night, Aizawl FC created history by becoming the first team from the North-east of India to lift the I-League trophy after picking up the single point they required from their final fixture. 


This record follows after a season in which sports fans around the world stood up and applauded Leicester City's magnificent achievement of clinching the Premier League trophy.


Here are five of the best success stories in the world of football:

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5. Wigan Athletic (FA Cup 2013)

Wigan Athletic's FA Cup victory in 2013 is one of the greatest stories of modern football. 

The club had been to the quarter-finals of this competition only once previously, in 1987. 


Their run had been brilliant but not many gave them a chance against favorites Manchester City in the final. Wigan, who were managed by Roberto Martinez, were brilliant throughout the game. 


With the game still deadlocked, a towering header from Ben Watson gave The Latics the lead in stoppage time.


The incredible dream had turned into reality, with fans erupting with joy as the ball hit the back of the net. During their run to the final, they did extremely well to beat both Everton and Millwall. 


That win saw City manager Roberto Mancini get sacked while Wigan themselves were relegated from the Premier League three days later.

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4. Western Sydney Wanderers (AFC Champions League 2014)

The anointment of Western Sydney Wanderers as the champions of Asia was regarded as the footballing story of the year in 2014. In two years, the club went from being founded to lifting the Asian Champions League during their first attempt ever.


Western Sydney Wanderers are only five years old, having been founded in 2012. In their inaugural season, they broke all records despite a slow start. Their undefeated streak of ten straight wins won them plaudits across Asia. This gave them direct qualification into the Champions League and not many rated them to go too far in the competition.


Head coach Tony Popovic, however, made history, as the team grabbed victories against Asian superpowers and finally beat Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal in the finals. History was made, as Australian football celebrated one of the unlikeliest success stories ever.

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3. Denmark (Euro 1992)

Denmark were crowned European Champions in 1992, an incredible achievement for a team that had not even qualified.


Yugoslavia had done well to qualify for the tournament, but with their country at war, they had to pull out of the European tournament. Denmark were given a chance to participate in the tournament. With less than a week to prepare, the Danes decided to give their all.


They somehow managed to get past the group stage, with a nail-biting victory over France despite losing to hosts Sweden. Denmark then stunned all of Europe, as they went on to beat the mighty Netherlands and sweep aside the Germans in the finals 2-0.


To many, their journey wasn't even supposed to begin, but the Danish players lifted the European trophy and became immortal in footballing history.  

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2. Aizawl FC (2016/17 I-League)

Regarded as the 'best thing to happen to Indian football' in recent times, Aizawl FC's I-League triumph is nothing short of a fairytale.


It was only last year when the club was relegated to the second division of Indian footall. However, they were offered a way back after Goan clubs Salgaocar and Sporting Club withdrew from the league due to their issues with the AIFF. 


A year on, they have been crowned champions of the I-League, as the North East club defied all odds to lift the trophy. 


Managed by Khalid Jamil, the team from Mizoram outperformed giants of Indian football like Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Bengaluru FC, to seal the title. A team of youngsters and unknown foreigners, the players etched their names in the history of Indian football. 


In a time where football in the country is steadily rising and issues surrounding its league dominates national media, a story such as this will help the sport get more attention.

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1. Leicester City (Premier League 2015/16)

The odds on Leicester City lifting the 2015/16 Premier League title were at 5000:1. The bookies believed that it was more likely for Kim Kardashian to become the next US President or Elvis Presley to be still alive, with the odds for both set at 2000:1.


The Premier League is one of the most watched leagues on this planet and the domination of the traditional top clubs was expected as usual. However, minnows Leicester surprised everyone as they steadily climbed up the table and cemented their spot at the top. 


They lost only three times that season, and won the league with a margin of 10 points over second-placed Arsenal. Match-winning performances from their stars Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante, apart from a total team effort enabled the Foxes to create history. 


What made their achievement even more remarkable was the fact that they were faced with the prospect of relegation a season earlier and had to string together a series of late wins to ensure they remained in the Premier League. 


Despite not being able to replicate their performances in the current season, the club's story goes down as one of the best in sporting history.

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