Fiorentina Number 10 legend Giancarlo Antognoni has given his thoughts on the fairytale success of Claudio Ranieri.
Leicester City shocked the sporting world by clinching the English Premier League title for the first time in the club’s history, with Ranieri at the helm.
The victory was also the Italian manager’s first top-flight title after many years of suffering the reputation as a serial runner-up with clubs like Roma, Valencia, Monaco and Chelsea.
Ranieri has tasted victory in cup form however, when in charge of Antognoni’s beloved Fiorentina, and the former Italy playmaker gave his views and memories of the affable manager to Calciomercato.com:
He was there [in Florence] for four years. That shows he did a very good job. In Italy it’s not common to have the same coach for four years. He won the Italian Cup and Italian Super Cup as well as winning promotion from Serie B, which was a given. Florence is not an easy place to coach, but he did well regardless and he was one of the last coaches to bring trophies to the club.
At times he has been also unlucky. Perhaps not at Fiorentina, but at Roma for instance. Ranieri’s ability is in launching young players. If we look at his time at Valencia, Monaco, Chelsea, he has always asked for a 2-3 year plan, and all in all, he has always achieved his goals.
Ranieri’s achievement is a mixture of a fairytale and a miracle. These kind of things only happen once in a lifetime, especially in England, where the economic factor means that it is the same-old teams that win. But that also applies to the other top European leagues. The secret is the motivation that he brings to the squad, he is very ‘Italian’ in his approach, experienced and he knows a lot about the game.
[Diego] Simeone is another one who adopts an Italian playing style, and both him and Ranieri have developed this mentality. It isn’t an out-dated football style, but rather one based on determination, pressing and ensuring that you frustrate your opponents. Claudio often puts his faith in unknown players who then go on to impress, just as he did at Leicester.
It’s very hard to see him repeat the feat, but perhaps next season if Ranieri stays and with a few reinforcements Leicester might go far in the Champions League because they are an established side. Winning again is always the hardest task but the foundations are there.