Craig Shakespeare believes Leicester can be the Champions League's 'surprise team'

The new Foxes boss said the win ranked as one of the club's greatest nights

Miguel Delaney
King Power Stadium
Tuesday 14 March 2017 23:56 GMT
Shakespeare celebrates Leicester's famous victory
Shakespeare celebrates Leicester's famous victory (Getty)

Craig Shakespeare says Leicester City can be the “surprise team” of this Champions League, as his side sensationally beat Sevilla 2-0 at the King Power Stadium to win 3-2 on aggregate and get to the quarter-finals of the competition, in what he described as one of the greatest nights in the club’s history.

Appointed caretaker for the sacked Claudio Ranieri on the day after the 2-1 first-leg defeat in Seville, Shakespeare oversaw a transformed performance, where the Spanish side struggled to live with Leicester’s intensity.

Because of how the English champions overcame a side of such pedigree, who have won the last three Europa Leagues, the interim boss now feels they can go even further.

“Well we know there’s going to be some terrific teams, as there was in the previous rounds,” Shakespeare said. “Sevilla’s record is there for all to see.

“We might just be the surprise team but we know the quality of teams in there is getting down to the real serious business now.”

Asked where this ranked in Leicester’s history, Shakespeare felt it right at the top. The club has certainly never got so far in Europe.

“I think it has to stand right up there because of the quality of the opposition,” Shakespeare said. “We knew when draw was made, people went ‘ooh Sevilla’, we knew what they’re about. It has to stand up there.”

As regards whether he had a preference for the quarter-final draw, Shakespeare simply stated: “no”.

The 53-year-old did pay credit to Ranieri when asked, but said that the win immediately after his sacking against Liverpool was key to fostering confidence of this continental win.

“Of course, we spoke before, Claudio will always be fondly remembered by everyone at this football club, for what he and everyone achieved.

“The performance in the first leg, when Claudio was in charge, gave us the springboard for tonight.”

So, however, did the 3-1 win over Liverpool.

Shakespeare paid credit to Ranieri after the 2-0 win
Shakespeare paid credit to Ranieri after the 2-0 win (Getty)

“The home win against Liverpool, you could see the confidence. Then the Hull game was very important, to follow that. We gained more confidence.”

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