The Premier League is soon to be back in action and so is Claudio Ranieri. The former Chelsea Manager joins Leicester City as they hope to stay clear off the drop zone. The news, coming after the unwanted sacking of fan-favourite Nigel Pearson by the club owners, gave away mixed feelings. Not only the City fans, the entire Premier League fans were somewhat baffled when Pearson was told to leave the club months after overcoming a great relegation battle. To top it off, the arrival of Ranieri as the new coach has sent shockwaves to Leicester fans who were expecting a better manager.
The 63 year old Italian joins the club after a disappointing campaign as the head coach of Greece. During his stint, the 2004 Euro Champions failed to even qualify for the championship and saw a plummeting decline in FIFA World Rankings. He was rightfully shown the door, taking majority of the $1.6 million he was offered in salary. To add further worry on Leicester Fans, this was Ranieri’s 9th job in 11 years- the longest being his four year stay at Chelsea.
Ranieri was quick to announce, “I’m so glad to be here in this club with such a great tradition as Leicester City. I have worked at many great clubs and after Chelsea, I always wished to be back in the greatest league of the world.”
The announcement came as a shocker to many managers and football pundits as well, with polarising views as to why Ranieri was chosen. Harry Redknapp went a step further to express his shock, particularly after leading Greece to one of its worst campaign. Many pundits were sceptical as to how Ranieri lacked the ability to connect with players and act as team, a trait essential for a team looking to survive relegation.
Nonetheless, the new manager does have some proud achievements in his bio, some of which include managing clubs such as Napoli, Fiorentina, Valencia, Chelsea, Parma, Juventus, Internazionale and Monaco. He led Valencia to UEFA Europa Cup and also produced the best finish in history of Chelsea as they finished 2nd, only behind Arsenal who set an undefeated record. He is mostly noted for bringing out players like Frank Lampard, John Terry and Cole. He also led Monaco to Ligue 1 and in his second season with the club, they finished 2nd. He was sacked however.
Ranieri is married to wife Dr. Rosanna Ranieri and has a daughter named Claudia. Now, at the height of his manager career, Leicester may be his last chance to manage in a league of such calibre as the Premier League. Although fans have been sceptical in twitter regarding his hire, Ranieri does have the knowledge to mount an easy mid table finish. Coming as a successor of Pearson, a manager who was an Instagram sensation amongst his players and children is difficult. Yet, as they say, nothing is predictable in the game of football.