Premier League title holders Leicester City sacked manager Claudio Ranieri as the side slipped into the relegation zone with several losses in the recent past. The unexpected decision was made after Leicester’s recent 2-1 defeat to Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League-Round of 16. However, Jamie Vardy’s late away goal left the Foxes in an excellent position to counter at the King Power stadium.
In early 2016, Claudio Ranieri was praised for achieving the impossible with an under underperforming team initially incapable of competing against teams in the top division. Ranieri slowly but steadily built an excellent team with destructive instinct, underestimated by none including Mourinho’s force Chelsea.
With Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy, N’Golo Kante and Peter Drinkwater in the side, the Foxes were well away in an extra-ordinary winning spree matched by none. The Spurs were their only rivals as the top guns weren’t even in the picture.
Therefore, Ranieri’s unbelievable achievement will certainly go down as the most inspiring turn-around in the world of football.
“Yesterday my dream died. After the euphoria of last season and being crowned Premier League champions all I dreamt of was staying with Leicester City, the club I love, for always. Sadly this was not to be. I wish to thank my wife Rosanna and all my family for their never ending support during my time at Leicester. Mostly I have to thank Leicester City Football Club. The adventure was amazing and will live with me forever. Thank you to all the journalists and the media who came with us and enjoyed reporting on the greatest story in football,” said Ranieri during his emotional gesture to Leicester City.
Many world class players and managers paid tribute to Ranieri remembering his recent achievement with Leicester City Football Club. Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was among the managers who paid tribute with an extra-ordinary gesture. He wore a specially printed “Claudio Ranieri” t-shirt on Friday’s press conference at Old Trafford.
“When I was sacked as a champion [by Chelsea], it was a giant negative thing. But now I know it was peanuts in comparison. Nobody can delete what Claudio did. If some of the stories [about the players] are true, or just a little bit true, it is difficult to find words to justify that. Probably the season started with a typical selfishness of others — people thinking of new contracts, leaving, more money, forgetting who helped them reach a certain level. This is not just football. It is part of the world. Some principles are going away. I lived a similar experience, but peanuts compared to Claudio’s. But maybe it is Claudio’s fault. He is paying for his success,” said Mourinho.
In Ranieri’s absence, caretaker manager Craig Shakespeare will take over on Monday’s game against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
“My relationship always has and always will be fine with Claudio. I’ve never had a problem with him and he’s never had a problem with me. I spoke to him on the phone after the news broke and he actually thanked me for my support,” said Shakespeare.
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