What has happened in football since Leeds were last in the Premier League?

It’s official! Leeds will be playing Premier League football next season, it has been a long wait (16 years) but Bielsa’s men have done it.

Leeds have been there or there abouts all season, but that has been the case many times since their last stint in the top flight, but finally they have done it…

So to celebrate, The Groundhoppers Guide have put together 16 things that have happened in football since Leeds were last in the Premier League, which was the 2003/04 season.

Let’s have a look!

1- Four new teams have won the Premier League.

When Leeds were last in the Premier League, just three teams had ever won the competition founded in 1992, Manchester United, Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers.

Chelsea won their first PL title in 2005

But since then Chelsea have won five PL titles, Manchester City have won four, while Liverpool and Leicester have won one each. So since Leeds were last a PL side, the amount of teams who have won it has more than doubled.

2- 6060 Premier League games have been played, and 16,220 goals have been scored.

And only one of those 6060 games have been won by this weekends opponents for Leeds, Derby County!

The Premier League has averaged around 1,000 goals per season, meaning that a whopping 16,220 goals have been scored since they last competed in the PL, and plenty of them have been scored by former Leeds players.

3- Arsenal have lost 129 Premier League games.

The last time Leeds graced the top flight, Arsenal went the entire season unbeaten to win their third Premier League title. But since then they have not won another title and have lost 129 games in the process.

Arguably Arsenal’s worst Premier League loss

I’m sure if you told Leeds fans that Arsenal would lose 129 more Premier League games before they were back in the big time, they’d not have believed you!

4- Marcelo Bielsa has won….. nothing

Well, not exactly nothing, but since the 2003-04 season Leeds’ current manager Marcelo Bielsa has only won an Olympic Gold medal during his time as manager of Argentina in 2004. But winning an Olympic Gold medal doesn’t exactly give you too much credibility in the footballing world.

Bielsa has received a lot of plaudits since 2004 though, including impressive stints as manager of Chile and then Athletic Bilbao. But none of this will matter to Leeds fans now as he has been the man to guide them back into the Premier League!

5- Leeds have had 16 different managers

And they are… Kevin Blackwell, John Carver, Dennis Wise, Gary McAllister, Simon Grayson, Neil Redfearn (3 times), Neil Warnock, Brian McDermott, David Hockaday, Darko Milanic, Uwe Rösler, Steve Evans, Garry Monk, Thomas Christiansen, Paul Heckingbottom and Marcelo Bielsa.

These were all men tasked with returning Leeds back to the big time, but Bielsa is the only one to achieve that.

6- The entirety of Lionel Messi’s career (so far)

Lionel Messi made his Barcelona debut in October 2004, meaning the entirety of his career has been while Leeds are out of the Premier League, so next season will be the first time Messi has played when Leeds are in the top flight.

A young Messi in action

Messi has won 34 major trophies and six Ballon D’ors during this time, not bad…

7- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 622 club goals

I couldn’t include Messi and not Ronaldo in this list, and since Leeds last played in the Premier League, the Man United and Real Madrid legend has scored a whopping 622 goals in club football.

Cristiano Ronaldo has dominated World Football since 2004

He has won just the five Ballon D’ors and 28 major trophies. This means that Ronaldo and Messi have won 62 trophies and 11 Ballon D’ors between them since Leeds were in the PL.

8- The World transfer record has been broken five times

To be honest I thought this number would be higher, but the World transfer record has been broken five times since Leeds were last in the Premier League, but the transfer landscape is a world away.

When Leeds were relegated, the record transfer fee was £46 million for Zinedine Zidane, but today it stands at £198 Million for Neymar, which is a 330% increase.

9- Henrikh Mkhitaryan has won the Armenian player of the year nine times

Not really a surprise this one, but yes, Mkhitaryan has won the Armenian player of the year nine times in the 16 years since Leeds played PL football. To be fair he only made his debut in 2006, so really it is nine out of about 12 years.

Mkhitaryan, the Armenian Messi…

10- Jermaine Pennant has played for 11 different clubs… and appeared on Jeremy Kyle

Jermaine Pennant played 36 times for Leeds in the 2003-04 Premier League campaign. He was on loan at Elland Road and was in the infancy of what turned out to be a very underwhelming career.

Pennant on his ITV 2 debut

Since Leeds were in the Premier League he has played for 11 different clubs, including Billericay, and also had time to appear on the Jeremy Kyle show!

11- Eight different British clubs have played in European finals

Can you name the eight clubs? Since the 2003-04 season three British clubs have won a European trophy, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United but a further five have made a final of the Champions League or Europa League, I won’t spoil it though!

Manchester United have won one Champions League since Leeds were in the Premier League.

12- Salford City have played in seven different divisions (at least)

It has been a meteoric rise for Salford City, who now reside in League Two, but when Leeds got relegated from the Premier League they were in the North West Counties League.

16 years later and seven divisions later, they have completed a wonderful rise through the pyramid, with a little bit of help from the class of 92….

13- Kylian Mbappé has started Middle School, and won the World Cup

Kylian Mbappé was five when Leeds last played in the Premier League, and since then he has started Middle School in France (at age 11) and then won the World Cup in 2018!

Mbappé with his World Cup medal

He has also had time to cement himself as one of the most explosive attackers in World Football, and also become the most expensive teenager in football history.

14- Zinedine Zidane has won the World Cup golden ball, been sent off in the World Cup final, retired and won three Champions Leagues as a manager

It has been an eventful 16 years for Zinedine Zidane, who is currently celebrating his second La Liga title as manager of Real Madrid. Just two years after Leeds played their last game Zidane’s reputation was in tatters after head butting Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final.

But since that moment he has started his managerial career, and won the Champions League three times!

15- Gianluigi Buffon has played 697 games

Gigi Buffon has played nearly 700 games for clubs and country since the 2003-04 season, including a World Cup win and seven Serie A titles.

The Italian keeper has been an absolute stalwart and he is somehow still going at Juventus, just as he was when Leeds were last in the Premier League.

16- Cesc Fabregas has won 15 major trophies.

Cesc Fabregas made his professional debut in the 2003-04 season, and he has built quite the career since then. His triumphs have included a World a cup, two European Championships and a Premier League title with Chelsea.

So that is 16 things that have happened since Leeds were last in the Premier League, but they have made it now, and they will hope that they never have to look back.

Congratulations to Marcelo Bielsa’s men who now have the opportunity to win the Championship title against Derby on Sunday, or if Brentford slip up tomorrow.

What else has happened in football since the 2003-04 season? There has been a lot…

That’s all for today, enjoy your weekend!

Make sure you follow us on Twitter @GroundhoppersG1


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