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What Makes Leicester City So Beautiful to Watch?

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The Foxes play beautiful football also - Counter Attacking has its merits

Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

In this era of Barcelona-mania and obsession with possession, Tiki-taka is the most beautiful thing, the right way to play we are repeatedly told. Plaudits are given by members of the media and influential voices on social media for "playing the right way." It's not whether you win but how you win we are told. The pragmatism that characterized a by gone era of football is frowned upon.

This is why when teams that have been easy on the eye have been promoted from the Championship such as Burnley in 2009, Blackpool in 2010 and especially Swansea in 2011, neutrals have fallen in love with the slick play and maintaining of possession these types of sides have brought to the Premier League.

Table-topping Leicester City plays football in an entirely different manner. Historically a top-flight side, the club had fallen on hard times in the last decade. Despite massive investment from the Thai ownership, it took longer to reach the Premier League than expected. Then last season, the club needed a great escape to survive the drop.

Enter Claudio Ranieri, the Italian Manager best known for leading and ultimately failing at big clubs in Spain, England, Italy and France. It's been a long time since the Ranieri has led a side of Leicester's humble stature - and for that reason he's created a team that concedes possession easily and looks to play on the break.

The Foxes are ranked 18th in possession in the Premier League. Yet they sit atop the table. Why? Ruthless and yes, beautiful counter-attacking moves. Setting up with the excellent N'Golo Kanté as a holding midfielder, and having two excellent wingers in Riyad Mahrez and Marc Albrighton allows the Foxes to win possession in midfield and quickly move the ball side to side. Mahrez probably has the best foot in the Premier League outside of our own Alexsander Kolarov and he combined well with Jamie Vardy, one of the paciest strikers in the league.

Counter-attacking perfection is just as easy on the eye from my vantage point as all of that possession Barcelona and Bayern maintain. The ease at which the Foxes disposes the opposition, and the crispness of quick passing and fluid movement going forward has led Ranieri's side to score some eye-catching goals this season.

So enjoy Leicester City's play when they aren't facing of with our Blues. For some of us the beautiful game does not have to be all Tiki-taka all the time.