De Laet spoke about his relationship with the Thai business man who died in a helicopter crash last week, uniting the football world in mourning.
Wearing his heart on his back, the defender ran onto the pitch. "Thank you, Vichai. Thoughts and prayers with your family. RIP boss," the shirt read.
De Laet was at Leicester from 2012 to 2016 and was involved with the squad which defied all odds and won the Premier League two years ago.
Many saw Srivaddhanaprabha as the key instigator behind Leicester’s fairy-tale run and de Laet said the bonds created showed how powerful football is.
“Just look at the messages on Twitter and Instagram from players who aren’t even at the club anymore doing stuff for him,” de Laet said. “It shows you what type of guy he was.
“I had a great four years at the club, I spoke to him plenty of times and he was a real gentleman. Everything the club has done in recent years is because of him and (the pre-match tribute) it’s only a small thing I can do to pay my condolences to his family.
“I’ve been talking to some of the players, but maybe it doesn’t affect me the same way it does to them because they’re still there and everything is going on over there.
“It’s still something that hurts because I had a brilliant four years there and he was great.”
De Laet played the full 90 minutes last night as City succumbed to a 3-0 loss to the Sky Blues at home.
City registered two shots on goal, while Sydney converted three out of the four they had on target.
The 29-year-old added they did not deserve anything from the game, but was positive moving forward.
“We can’t keep giving away the first goal and it was the same last week,” he said.
“We can’t keep giving teams a head start. We need to keep it 0-0 as long as possible and then go from strength to strength and score ourselves.
“We just weren’t good enough on the night. I don’t think we had a shot on goal to be honest.
“Sydney were really professional in their performance. It’s not easy going to a derby, then a cup final, then coming here in the space of a week.”