Claudio Ranieri’s iconic moments for Leicester City, Chelsea, Valencia and more

Premier League-winning manager Claudio Ranieri has been named as Watford’s new boss, becoming the 15th man to take the job in just over 10 years.

As one of only 10 managers to have won the Premier League, Ranieri is part of an exclusive club. The Italian legend and his Leicester City team defied odds of 5,000/1 to win England's top division in 2016.

His managerial career has seen him take charge of clubs in England, Spain, Italy and France, as well as the Greek national team. 

Most recently he was in charge of Sampdoria in Serie A, leading them to a ninth-place finish in the 2020/21 season before announcing he would not be renewing his contract.

Ranieri has been in soccer management for over 35 years and is known for his charisma and one-liners. Planet Sport takes a look at some of his best moments in the hot seat.

From Serie B to Coppa Italia winners

Fiorentina had been well backed by owners in the early 1990s but after a lack of stability at the club, they suffered a shock relegation 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 and 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 under Ranieri in the next two years and in 1996, Fiorentina won both the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana.

His time in charge came to an end in 1997 but it turned out to be his second longest stint at one club - only behind his spell at Chelsea.

Success abroad

Following almost 10 years of managing in his native Italy, Ranieri embarked on an adventure in Spain with Valencia in 1997.

His first spell abroad was a successful one, leading the team to Champions League qualification in 1999. Ranieri also won the Intertoto Cup in 1998 before famously claiming the Copa del Rey in 1999.

Valencia's Manager Claudio Ranieri is all smiles before the match

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 fellow big-hitters, Atletico Madrid.

Valencia ended their superb cup run with a 3-0 victory in the final, courtesy of two goals from Lopez and one from midfielder Mendieta. Their performance in the Copa del Rey that year has gone down in history after defeating the three biggest sides in Spain.

Premier League debut

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 against none other than the reigning Premier League champions, and the side that had won the treble in the previous season, Manchester United.

Chelsea's Manager Claudio Ranieri screams at his players

Still yet to grasp the English language, Ranieri's introduction to Premier League soccer could not have begun with a harder match. Nevertheless, the Italian tactician helped his side to a memorable 3-3 draw.

His men were 3-1 down before half time as Man United seemed to have the match wrapped up. However, star of the show Tore Andre Flo was able to grab two goals and rescue a point on Ranieri's debut.

The inception of 'The Tinkerman'

During his near four-year stay at Stamford Bridge, Ranieri earned the nickname 'Tinkerman' for his constant changing of tactics and personnel.

However, as he adopted this nickname, he was able to get the most of his players as the sport became much more of a squad game than it had been in the past.

Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri standing in front of a customised St. George's flag. Ranieri has taken Chelsea to their first FA Cup final since they won the competition at Wembley under manager Gianluca Vialli in 2000

He had recruited wisely in his first couple of seasons, bringing in plenty of top talents such as Emmanuel Petit, Frank Lampard and William Gallas. His large squad size allowed him to rotate and keep his side fresh.

Chelsea duly went on to finish fourth before current billionaire owner Roman Abramovich took over in 2003. This allowed 'The Tinkerman' to change his squad even more.

Another quick transformation

Ranieri's time in charge of AS Monaco was fairly similar to his time at Fiorentina 20 years prior.

As with the Italian outfit, he took over a club with rich history which was looking to bounce back to the top flight.

Monaco's newly appointed coach, Italy's Claudio Ranieri presents a jersey bearing his name during a press conference at the AS Monaco football club headquarters in Monaco, following his official presentation on May 31, 2012

Ranieri duly delivered. He led Monaco to the Ligue 2 title for the first time in their history with the minimum of fuss. The following season, in their first year back in Ligue 1, he helped the principality club to a second-place finish, 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 in their attempt to win Ligue 1 and did not renew his contract in 2014.

Pizza promise

Ranieri's appointment as manager of Leicester City was somewhat of a shock. Firstly, many felt that the sacking of Nigel Pearson was unjustified following his guidance of the club away from what seemed like nailed-on relegation in the previous season.

Secondly, Ranieri's most recent managerial job was a hugely unsuccessful one as he got his first taste of the international scene with Greece.

Leicester City Manager Claudio Ranieri during a press conference at the King Power Stadium

What no one expected was Leicester to start the season so well. Tipped by many for relegation, they flew out the blocks and couldn't stop scoring goals.

Their issue, though, was keeping clean sheets and so Ranieri - in his wonderful ways - announced that after conceding 17 goals in the early part of the season, he would buy his players pizza's when they finally managed to keep a clean sheet.

His team soon obliged and following a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, Ranieri treated the players and staff to a pizza making lesson at a local restaurant as a reward. Management at its finest.

Christmas number one

Leicester City's incredible season continued as they found themselves top of the league by Christmas.

The Foxes had scored in each of their first 17 league matches. During this impressive run, one of their star players, Jamie Vardy, went on to beat Ruud van Nistelrooy's record of scoring in 10 consecutive matches by going one better than the Dutchman.

Jamie Vardy, Leicester City, Premier League, 2020

Ranieri was capturing the hearts of neutral soccer fans, with an exciting style of play and competing with a squad that financially shouldn't have been able to challenge at the high end of the table.

Premier League Champions

We've undoubtedly saved the best until last. Despite the odds of 5,000/1, Leicester City won the Premier League title and the mastermind behind it all was none other than Mr Ranieri.

Individual awards are important to managers, and Ranieri did win the LMA Manager of the Year award for 2016. But, he will have been even more delighted at the season-long collective effort made by his Leicester City players.

His infectious humour and positivity was reflected in the way his team played and his return to the Premier League brought with it a breath of fresh air.

Leicester City Premier League title May16

This was aided by the fact that there was no pressure on Leicester to win the Premier League, allowing his team to play with a freedom and enjoyment and captured the hearts of millions around the world.

Ranieri had helped Leicester win their first-ever top flight championship in their 132nd year of existence. The achievement has been heralded as a 'fairytale' and the 'most unlikely triumph in the history of team sport'.

The 2015/16 season will forever be remembered by fans across the world as Ranieri became only the eighth manager to win the Premier League.

READ MORE: Watford fans hoping Ranieri can work another miracle - but it doesn't have to be 5000/1 this time

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