Leicester City have officially qualified for Champions League football for the first time next season following their 2-0 win over Sunderland and Manchester United’s 3-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.
The victory at the Stadium of Light took Claudio Ranieri’s men onto 72 points, and with United losing at White Hart Lane the Foxes cannot now finish any lower than fourth in the Premier League — which books a place in the final qualifying round.
The Foxes last played in Europe in the 2000-01 UEFA Cup, and never previously got beyond the first round in continental competition in three campaigns.
Their debut appearance came in the 1961-62 European Cup Winners’ Cup, when they beat Glenavon in the preliminary round before losing 3-1 on aggregate to Atletico Madrid in the first round. They then lost to Atletico again, 4-1 on aggregate, in the 1997-98 UEFA Cup.
In 2000-01, they were knocked out 4-2 on aggregate by Red Star Belgrade.
Leicester will have to wait until next weekend for the chance to confirm their place in the group stage via a top-three finish.
If Leicester win the Premier League they will be seeded in next season’s Champions League group stage draw along with the champions of Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Russia and the title holders.
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