All on the line for flagging Foxes, but not Brendan Rodgers' biggest day

All on the line for flagging Foxes, but not Brendan Rodgers' biggest day
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers. Picture: Adam Davy/NMC Pool/PA Wire.  

The stakes will run into the tens of millions when Brendan Rodgers leads Leicester into their Champions League decider with Manchester United on Sunday, but for the Foxes manager, nothing will ever eclipse a single game he won with Swansea nine years ago.

Rodgers first became a household name in English football circles when he led Swansea into the Premier League by winning the 2011 play-off final against Reading.

It was the start of a managerial career that saw the 47-year-old go on to lead Liverpool and Celtic before taking over at the King Power in February 2019.

Tomorrow, victory will carry Leicester into next season’s Champions League, a competition worth over £100 million to Liverpool when they won it last season and worth multiple millions just for participating.

Not that the meeting with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team can better that day at Wembley nine years ago.

“That in its own right was an important game — that game at Swansea City was the biggest game I will ever be involved in because it was a life-changing game,” said Rodgers.

“Even though I’ve had big games after that and won trophies, that game will always be the biggest of my career.

“I’ve been involved in finals and won trophies and won repetitively, but this is another game and another opportunity to finish off the season and make a very good one a great one. That’s what I’m focusing one — not that it is bigger or less or more.” 

Leicester, so impressive over the first half of the campaign, have run out of steam alarmingly since the turn of the year, winning just four league games in 2020.

Victory tomorrow may well be needed to assure Rodgers of upgrading the guarantee of a place in the Europa League into the Champions League — a goal he admits is significant.

“It certainly helps clubs from a financial perspective,” he said. “Any team that goes from where we have been and then has that injection of money that comes with the Champions League, it helps.

“But also from a footballing aspect it’s great — you’re going to play against the best players and that can only help. Having these teams come here will be amazing,  especially if we can get supporters.

“It brings a festival of football back to the city so from the club’s perspective it’s great. Financially it’s also huge for the city, it brings so much revenue into the city as well. Across the board, every aspect so it has a huge effect.

“We recognise the opportunity and we will give it everything we can to achieve it.”

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