When the decade started in 2010 with Jamie Vardy plying his trade at FC Halifax Town in the Northern Premier Division, not many people would have backed him to end it in 2020 with 100 Premier League goals and a title to match it.
Two goals for the 33-year-old in Leicester’s 3-0 win against Crystal Palace on Saturday meant that Vardy surpassed the 100-goal mark in England’s top division, becoming just the 29th player in history to do so.
His name now sits alongside the likes of Didier Drogba, Matthew Le Tissier and Michael Owen. A list that even the most optimistic people in Vardy’s life would not have put him in a few years ago.
But what makes this story different to others in the prestigious club he has now joined is the journey he has made to reach this incredible milestone.
From making the £1 million from Fleetwood Town to, at the time, Championship side Leicester where his first season was less than inspiring with just four goals in 26 appearances.
Nigel Pearson continued to put faith in him and it paid off when Vardy scored 16 goals as the Foxes were crowned champions.
Vardy first step foot in the Premier League in 2014, coming on as a substitute in a draw against Arsenal with his first goal not following far behind when he found the net in Leicester’s remarkable 5-3 win against Manchester United.
Then came the story that every football fan knows, Leicester City were Premier League champions. A season in which Jamie Vardy introduced himself as a top striker scoring 24 goals, the same total as Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero, and was named Premier League player of the season.
His heroics also saw him win his first international cap and was later selected for the England squad at Euro 2016, although rarely featured despite scoring an equaliser in the Three Lions group stage win against Wales.
Vardy has continued to have successful seasons with the Foxes which has now seen him reach a century of goals in the Premier League.
But where does he rank amongst his fellow 100 goal club members?
Whilst he may not be talked about in the same breath as people like Alan Shearer, Thierry Henry or Robbie Fowler, Vardy deserves his place amongst the best strikers the Premier League has seen.
To reach 100 goals against some of the best defenders in the world when you didn’t play in the top flight until you were 27-years-old is an incredible achievement.
With a Premier League title and no signs of him losing his goal-scoring touch, I’m confident that he will continue to be a success for the Foxes until the day he retires. 200 goals might be a stretch too far but I believe 150 league goals is a realistic target if he continues his form.
This article was written exclusively for golear.co.uk.