Jamie Vardy’s iconic moments for Leicester City and England

The former non-league player turned Premier League champion has enjoyed an almost Hollywood-style rise to the top of the game and is still banging in the goals.

Jamie Vardy has experienced an unconventional rise to the top, but he is now considered a Leicester City legend having won the Premier League with them in 2015/16 and the Golden Boot in 2019/20.

His playing style is what makes fans fall in love with him, with his determination, hard work and striking ability making him one of England's most iconic players.

Since joining Leicester City from Fleetwood Town in 2012, the striker has made some incredible memories. Planet Sport takes a look at some of the best.

Acclimatising to the Championship

When Vardy signed for Leicester from non-league Fleetwood, he jumped a huge four divisions, going from part-time to full-time in the process. After initially struggling, he made a real impact during the 2013/14 season, as Leicester went on to break their points record, with 102.

He scored 16 league goals as the Foxes took the second tier by storm. The season was capped by Vardy winning the Players' Player of the Year award.

Goal on his full Premier League debut

It came against the most successful team in the Premier League era as Vardy's Leicester team came from 3-1 down to defeat Louis van Gaal's Manchester United 5-3 at the King Power Stadium.

United's team featuring Angel Di Maria, Falcao and Robin van Persie, looked to have cruised into an unassailable lead. Di Maria's audacious goal to make it 2-0 looked to have stolen the headlines but the Foxes never gave up and Vardy and co did it the hard way.

With the game poised at 3-3, Leicester attacked on the counter, with Ritchie De Laet playing in Vardy who raced away from the defence and confidently sidefooted the ball past David de Gea.

First games in an England shirt

After helping Leicester escape relegation with a run of seven wins from nine matches in 2014/15, Vardy's contribution was recognised by England manager Roy Hodgson. He was awarded his first cap in a friendly against the Republic of Ireland, replacing captain Wayne Rooney for the final 15 minutes of a goalless draw.

Vardy's first international goal was one to remember. It came against Germany, with a superb backheel from a Nathaniel Clyne cross bringing England level. The Three Lions would go on to secure a 3-2 victory.

Three days later, Vardy's goalscoring form continued as he also netted in the 2-1 defeat to the Netherlands at Wembley. He finished off a well-worked move that included Adam Lallana and Kyle Walker, tapping into an empty net for his first home international goal.

5,000/1

Following their survival campaign, Leicester headed into the 2015/16 campaign as favourites for a return to the Championship. However, all form was thrown out of the window as Claudio Ranieri's underdogs went on to lift the Premier League title in one of the biggest sporting upsets in history.

Vardy certainly played his part, producing an impressive 24 goals during the campaign. A standout goal came against Liverpool at the King Power, with a dipping volley from 25 yards giving Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet no chance.

It is a goal Vardy still rates as his best. "I was looking all game and Simon Mignolet's been quite far off his line. As soon as Riyad [Mahrez] has played it through and it has bounced quite high, I took my chance and luckily it has gone on top of him."

Breaking Ruud van Nistlerooy's record

On their way to the title, Vardy became the first player to net in 11 consecutive Premier League matches, beating Dutchman Van Nistlerooy's long-standing record of 10.

He equalled the record by opening the scoring against Newcastle United in a 3-0 Leicester victory. Then, a week later he took the Premier League record for himself, scoring a typically poacher-like goal against Manchester United.

The run had produced 13 goals and put him top of the goalscoring charts and also helped him win Premier League Player of the Month in consecutive months. He was only the fifth player to win back-to-back awards.

Scoring in a major tournament

Vardy was named in England's Euro 2016 squad by Roy Hodgson following another successful season at club level. He made his tournament debut on June 16 in England's second group match against Wales, coming on as a substitute.

He would go on to score the equalising goal in a match that England would crucially win 2-1 with Daniel Sturridge scoring a late winner. Again, Vardy's goal was a typical striker's finish, bundling the ball in from close range in the 56th minute.

Netting in Europe for Leicester

Leicester City took part in their first ever Champions League campaign during the 2016/17 season, having won the Premier League the previous year.

They would go on to impress, qualifying from their group containing Club Brugge, Copenhagen and FC Porto, winning four of their six matches.

Perhaps surprisingly, Vardy did not manage a single goal during the group but he flourished in the knockout rounds, netting twice. His first Champions League goal came during the crest of a Leicester slump, after they were on a five-game losing streak and had been knocked out of the FA Cup by Millwall.

Against all odds, Leicester overcame a first-leg defeat and beat Sevilla 3-2 on aggregate to progress to the next round. They would face Spanish opposition yet again, this time in the form of Atletico Madrid.

Vardy once again showed that he was the man for big occasions, scoring in the second leg in a 1-1 draw. However, the goal was not enough to see The Foxes progress to the semi-finals.

100 club

The clinical striker endured a long wait between his 99th and 100th Premier League goals, due to COVID-19 putting his quest to join the 100 club on hold.

His century came in just 206 matches and he was the second oldest centurion to make his Premier League debut (after Ian Wright).

"It's a phenomenal achievement to come into the Premier League at such a late stage and be so prolific in such a short space of time. It's a privilege to work with such a top striker," said Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers after the goal against Crystal Palace in July 2020.

The goal was perhaps the easiest of his 100, Mamadou Sakho slipped while in possession, allowing Harvey Barnes to nip in and square the ball to poacher Vardy. The striker slid the ball into an empty Palace goal with his right foot to become part of an exclusive group.

The same season included more personal honours for Vardy, who won the Club's Player and Players' Player of the Season prizes, before also scooping the Premier League Golden Boot with 23 goals.

Another trophy in the cabinet

Leicester City experienced another successful season during 2020/21, thanks to victory in the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Rodgers' team defeated Stoke City, Brentford, Brighton, Manchester United and Southampton before beating Chelsea 1-0 at Wembley thanks to a Youri Tielemans wonder goal.

To add to the achievement, it is believed Vardy is the only player to have ever played in every single round of the FA Cup, including its preliminary stages and go on to lift the famous trophy.

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