In Pics: Leicester City and 5 Other All-Time Big Sporting Upsets

Which one’s your pick?

Published
Sports
3 min read
(Photo: AP)

Leicester’s achievement of winning the Premier League title is one of the most unlikely of sporting feats and stands in comparison with some of the greatest upsets in sports history.

The prospect of Leicester being champion was something few predicted a year ago when the team was scrapping to avoid relegation from the Premier League. Leicester’s previous best finish in England’s top soccer league was second in 1928-29.

At the start of this season, some bookmakers offered odds of 5000-1 on Leicester winning the title. Here’s a look back at some other memorable sporting surprises:

In this Sunday, July 4, 2004 file photo Georgios Karagounis, left, and Theodoros Zagorakis of Greece run with the trophy after their team’s 1-0 victory over Portugal in the Euro 2004 soccer championship final. (Photo: AP)<a></a>
In this Sunday, July 4, 2004 file photo Georgios Karagounis, left, and Theodoros Zagorakis of Greece run with the trophy after their team’s 1-0 victory over Portugal in the Euro 2004 soccer championship final. (Photo: AP)

1. Greece at Euro 2004

Greece’s previous appearance at a major soccer tournament, the 1994 World Cup in the United States, ended horribly. The team returned home after losing all three games, scoring no goals and conceding 10. But none of its opponents at the 2004 European Championship proved capable of breaking Greece down. The Greeks won their three knockout matches, including the final against host Portugal, by the same scoreline, 1-0, playing a defensive and counter-attacking style that coach Otto Rehhagel had instilled in his team.

 In this July 1, 1985 file photo, Boris Becker, of West Germany, dives to make a return from his opponent Joakim Nystrom, of Sweden, in the men’s singles third round play at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon. (Photo: AP)<a></a>
In this July 1, 1985 file photo, Boris Becker, of West Germany, dives to make a return from his opponent Joakim Nystrom, of Sweden, in the men’s singles third round play at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon. (Photo: AP)

2. Becker’s Wimbledon Win

In 1985 at Wimbledon, Boris Becker won his first title at the All England Club. At 17 years and 227 days, he became the youngest Grand Slam champion. He was even younger than the Wimbledon junior champion that year. Becker was also the first German to win Wimbledon and the first unseeded player to lift the trophy. Overall, Becker made the Wimbledon final seven times, winning three.

 In this Sept. 10,1972 file photo, Soviet Union basketball team player, Aleksandr Belov scores the winning basket to push his team past the United States 51-50 during the summer Olympics in Munich. (Photo: AP)<a></a>
In this Sept. 10,1972 file photo, Soviet Union basketball team player, Aleksandr Belov scores the winning basket to push his team past the United States 51-50 during the summer Olympics in Munich. (Photo: AP)

3. Soviet Union’s Basketball Victory Over USA

One of the great rivalries in sports also delivered some huge shocks. In 1972, the Soviet Union basketball team beat the Americans in the gold medal game at the Munich Olympics. There was controversy at the end and allegations of cheating, but the result meant the United States men’s basketball team lost for the first time at the Olympics. Eight years later in Lake Placid, the U.S. hockey team won the gold medal, beating the seemingly invincible Soviets in the final group stage in the “The Miracle On Ice.”

In this Sunday, Feb. 11, 1990 file photo, James “Buster” Douglas, stands over Mike Tyson who fell on his back after taking a series of blows in the 10th round of their world heavyweight title fight in Tokyo. (Photo: AP)<a></a>
In this Sunday, Feb. 11, 1990 file photo, James “Buster” Douglas, stands over Mike Tyson who fell on his back after taking a series of blows in the 10th round of their world heavyweight title fight in Tokyo. (Photo: AP)

4. Buster KO’s Tyson

Few gave James “Buster” Douglas a chance when he flew to Tokyo in 1990 to take on Mike Tyson, one of the most dominant world heavyweight champions in history. Yet Douglas was in no mood to join the list of those felled by Tyson, and eventually won in the 10th round with a knockout. Douglas’ reign didn’t last long, losing later that year to Evander Holyfield. And although Tyson did become world champion again, he was never quite the same.

In this Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 file photo, Japan teammates celebrate with the crowd after defeating South Africa 32-34 in the Rugby World Cup Pool B match at the Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton, England. (Photo: AP)<a></a>
In this Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015 file photo, Japan teammates celebrate with the crowd after defeating South Africa 32-34 in the Rugby World Cup Pool B match at the Brighton Community Stadium, Brighton, England. (Photo: AP)

5. Rugby’s Big Shock

Japan was rated 1,000-1 to win last year’s Rugby World Cup. It’s only win in tournament history was in 1991. The opener was against South Africa, the two-time champion the Japanese had never previously met. Then they went toe-to-toe with the Springboks, who led into injury time. The Japanese turned down a potential tying penalty kick, and went for a try. They pulled it off, and the biggest shock in rugby history.

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