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Leicester City players each given $140,000 sports car for Premier League title

The BMW i8 plug-in hybrid.
(David Undercoffler / Los Angeles Times)

To the victor go the spoils, particularly in English soccer.

Leicester City’s players have been riding high this off-season after an improbable run led them to a Premier League title last season. Now they will also be able to ride low after Foxes owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha purchased a fleet of BMW i8 sports cars for the players as a title bonus.

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Nineteen blue BMWs were lined up outside Leicester’s King Power Stadium on Friday morning, waiting to be picked up by the players.

During their unlikely run to a title last season, Coach Claudio Ranieri rewarded his players for shutouts by taking them out for pizza. The team’s Thai owner has taken that to a whole different level. With the i8’s base price listed at more than $140,000, the big beamer bonus will set Srivaddhanaprabha back more than $2.6 million.

When asked whether he was receiving a car, Ranieri smiled and joked to the Associated Press, “Some gifts are only for them? Not for me? I want to speak with my owner.”

Leicester City opens its season with a game against Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on Sunday in the annual match-up between the winners of the Premier League and the FA Cup. The Foxes’ first Premier League game is on Aug. 13 against Hull.

Ranieri’s focus is on the upcoming season.

“I forgot what happened last season,” he said. “Now my focus is on the new season. We're ambitious but know it will be very hard.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

shotgun.spratling@latimes.com

Twitter: @ShotgunSpr


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