Claudio Ranieri Profile
|Born||Oct 20, 1951|
Italian Claudio Ranieri has managed top-flight clubs across Europe but will be best remembered for his 5000/1 miracle, the season he won the Premier with Leicester City.
Claudio Ranieri has managed top-flight sides in Italy, England, Spain and France including Inter Milan, Roma, Chelsea, Valencia and Leicester.
His greatest achievement as a manager was in 2015 when he led Leicester City to the Premier League title at odds of 5000/1.
Cladio Ranieri's playing days
Ranieri signed a contract with his local club and the team he supported, AS Roma, in 1973. However, Ranieri would only go on to make six appearances before departing for the club he spent the majority of his playing career with, Catanzaro.
The defender made 226 appearances for Catanzaro and was promoted twice with the Calabria-based club. Ranieri also experienced two more promotions as a player, with Catania and Palermo.
Claudio Ranieri's first steps in management
Following a short but successful spell at amateur club Vigor Lamezia, Ranieri took over at Campania Puteolana in 1987. However, it was at Cagliari where he started to make a name for himself, earning a reputation as a master tactician.
He took the team, based on the island of Sardinia, from relegation escapees in Italy's third tier to Serie A in two years.
He took over at Napoli in 1991, shortly after Diego Maradona had left the club, and led the financially-troubled club to fourth place and UEFA Cup qualification.
He was dismissed in his second season after Napoli were knocked out of European competition in the second round. This was despite overseeing a 6-1 aggregate victory over Valencia in the previous round. During his time at Napoli, he introduced both Gianfranco Zola and Daniel Fonseca to the first team.
Next club Fiorentina had been well backed by owners in the early 1990s but financial instability saw them suffer a shock relegation from Serie A in 1993.
Ranieri was brought in at the start of the next campaign and worked his magic, getting the 'Viola' promoted at the first time of asking, winning Serie B in the process.
With world-class players such as Rui Costa and club legend Gabriel Batistuta purchased on their return to the top division, it was clear that Ranieri and Fiorentina meant business. The club continued on an upward curve in the next two years and in 1996 won both the Supercoppa Italiano and the Coppa Italia.
His time in charge of Fiorentina would come to an end in 1997 after an under-par ninth-placed finish, but it was the club where he spent the most time in Italy.
Claudio Ranieri and Copa del Rey success
Following almost ten years of managing in his native Italy, Ranieri took his first overseas job in 1997, taking over the reins of La Liga side Valencia.
His first spell in Spain was a successful one, with the Italian guiding Valencia to Champions League qualification in 1999. Ranieri also won the Intertoto Cup in 1998 but perhaps his best achievement with Valencia was their 1999 Copa del Rey success.
En route to the final, Ranieri's team which featured Santiago Canizares, Gaizka Mendieta and Claudio Lopez, defeated both Barcelona and Real Madrid over two legs, teeing up a final with another big-hitting side in Atletico Madrid.
Valencia capped their superb cup run with a 3-0 victory in the final courtesy of two goals from Lopez and one from midfielder Mendieta.
The rise of 'The Tinkerman'
Ranieri was appointed as Chelsea manager in September 2000, taking over from fellow Italian Gianluca Vialli.
His first match in charge of the Blues was at the reigning Premier League champions Manchester United who were coming into the season on the back of an unprecedented treble. Still to grasp the English language, Ranieri's Premier League introduction could not have been tougher. Nevertheless, the Italian tactician was able to help his new team come away with a point courtesy of a thrilling 3-3 draw.
Trailing 3-1 before half-time, Chelsea responded with two goals from Tore Andre Flo to add to his earlier assist.
During his near-four year stay at Stamford Bridge, Ranieri earned the nickname 'The Tinkerman' for his constant changing of tactics and personnel. However, despite his nickname, he was able to get the most of his players and squad.
He had recruited wisely in his first couple of seasons, bringing in Emmanuel Petit, Frank Lampard and William Gallas and his large squad size allowed him to rotate his side and keep it fresh.
Chelsea duly went on to finish in fourth place, an improvement on the previous season.
Billionaire owner Roman Abramovich took over in 2003 and this allowed Ranieri to change his squad even more before leaving in 2004, paving the way for Jose Mourinho to come to Stamford Bridge from Porto.
Ranieri briefly returned to Valencia but it proved an unsuccessful spell. He lasted less than a season and was criticised for not playing key player Pablo Aimar and for the consistent changes to his tactics. He was replaced by Quique Sanchez Flores in June 2005.
Four more Italian clubs on the Claudio Ranieri's CV
Ranieri added even more Italian clubs to his already impressive list, starting with Parma, who he joined midway through the 2006/07 campaign. Despite the club looking doomed to relegation in February, Ranieri proved the catalyst for a dramatic transformation, lifting them to 13th at the close of the season.
His success at Parma led to him being strongly linked with the Manchester City job, with bookmakers even suspending betting on him after a wave of money came in for the Italian.
However, the Italian stayed in Serie A to manage Juventus, where he would spend almost two seasons at the helm. In his first season he guided them to a third-placed finish, considered a success by fans and the board.
The following season, they improved to finish the season in second but Ranieri was no longer in charge come the end of the campaign having been relieved of his duties when Inter were confirmed as league champions. A round-of-16 exit in the Champions League and a seven-match winless spell had put Ranieri under pressure and with the fans turning on him his fate was sealed.
He didn't have to wait long to get back into management, though, taking over at Roma three games into the 2009/10 campaign. Awarded a two-year contract, it was considered a huge honour for the locally-born manager and he transformed the fortunes of the club he supported. With four games remaining, Roma topped the table on the back of a 24-match unbeaten run.
Roma, though, would forfeit their lead to title rivals Inter and would also lose in the Coppa Italia final to Jose Mourinho's outfit.
The rivalry with Inter continued into the next season, with Ranieri's side losing to them in the Supercoppa Italiana.
The season didn't begin well and after an argument with club icon Francesco Totti, players lost faith in his tactics and by February 2011, Ranieri had resigned. His last match was a 4-3 loss to Genoa, a match which Roma had led 3-0.
Ironically, after missing out on a number of titles to Inter, Ranieri was named boss of the Milan side in September 2011, replacing Gian Piero Gasperini.
Under Ranieri, Inter went on an unbeaten run between December and January, sparking talk of a title challenge. However, their form soon dipped and, following a run of just two wins in 13 matches, Ranieri's time in Milan was over.
Ranieri produces another quick transformation, this time at Monaco
The Italian's time in charge of AS Monaco bore more than a passing resemblance to his spell in charge of Fiorentina 20 years previously. As with Fiorentina, he took over a proud team looking to bounce back to the top flight at the first attempt and succeeded.
He led Monaco to the Ligue 2 title for the first time in their history with the minimum of fuss and the following season, their first year back in Ligue 1, helped the principality club to second place, nine points behind powerhouses PSG.
Although Ranieri had clearly overachieved, the new billionaire owners did not see the experienced manager as the right man to lead them forward and did not renew his contract.
Ranieri then took over as manager of Greece on a two-year contract but only lasted four matches, losing his job after a 1-0 defeat to the Faroe Islands. Greece lost three games and drew one under his stewardship.
The 5000/1 miracle with Leicester City
Ranieri's appointment as manager of Leicester City was something of a shock. Many felt the sacking of Nigel Pearson was harsh after he had steered the club away from what looked almost certain relegation the previous season.
Leicester City made an incredible start to the season despite being unable to keep clean sheets.
He promised he would buy his players pizzas when they finally managed to keep a clean sheet and they obliged with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in their tenth game.
A pizza-making lesson at a local restaurant duly followed and it seemed the Italian's laidback style was having a remarkable effect on his Leicester side.
Top of the league at Christmas, the Foxes scored in each of their first 17 league matches, with Vardy bettering Ruud van Nistelrooy's record of scoring in ten consecutive matches.
Ranieri was capturing the hearts of neutrals with an exciting style of play married to a squad lacking any real big-name, or big-money, players.
Leicester were expected to falter as the big names gathered at the top of the table but in the end it was nearest-challengers Tottenham who blinked first. Needing to beat Chelsea to maintain their interest in the title race, Spurs let slip a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2, handing the Foxes their first-ever top-flight championship.
Heralded as a fairy tale and the "most unlikely triumph in the history of team sport", winning the Premier League afforded Ranieri little leeway when it came to the following season.
Ranieri was sacked with 13 games remaining and Leicester hovering dangerously above the relegation zone.
Claudio Ranieri post-Leicester City
Ranieri returned to management in June 2017 with French club Nantes. His season-long spell there produced a top-half finish which was deemed a success. He then went on to manage Fulham and returned to Roma, but was only in charge for 17 and 12 matches, respectively.
After leaving Roma, Ranieri once again opted to stay in Italy and took over at Sampdoria. At the time of his appointment, the club found themselves rock bottom in Serie A.
Like at Parma, Ranieri steered them away from relegation danger. He followed up by leading them to ninth the following season but his contract was not renewed.
In October 2021, Watford announced that Ranieri would take over from Xisco Munoz on a two-year contract.