Leicester have lit up the Premier League after claiming the most unlikely of title triumphs – here we take a look at some of the best quotes from flamboyant manager Claudio Ranieri.
Leicester manager Ranieri guided the Foxes to a stunning Premier League title after taking over from Nigel Pearson last summer.
The enthusiastic Italian was known to be a character after his spell at Chelsea between 2000 and 2004 and here, we look at his most memorable quotes from the season.
Ranieri offers his player the promise of pizza before they finally kept their first clean sheet of the season in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in October.
“I told them, if you keep a clean sheet, I’ll buy pizza for everybody. I think they’re waiting for me to offer a hot dog too.”
Ranieri reacts to being told a Leicester butcher – W Archer & Son – had created a sausage in his honour.
“I pay for pizza, you pay for the sausage. I am the sausageman.”
The Italian gave his squad bells as a Christmas present to remind them not to slip up in training.
“From the beginning when something was wrong I’ve been saying: ‘Dilly-ding, dilly-dong, wake up, wake up!’ So on Christmas Day I bought for all the players and all the staff a little bell. It was just a joke.”
Ranieri describes striker Vardy as a horse in an interview with US website the Players’ Tribune.
“This is not a footballer. This is a fantastic horse.”
Ahead of facing Quique Sanchez Flores’ Watford in November Ranieri jokes he is looking for revenge after the Spaniard replaced him at Valencia in 2009.
“Yes, big revenge… I want to kill him! No, he’s a nice man. It’s just football.”
In December, Ranieri compared his side to Tom Hanks’ film character when they were two points clear at the top.
“Why can’t we continue to run, run, run? We are like Forrest Gump. Leicester is Forrest Gump. I give you the headline there.”
Marc Albrighton, Jamie Vardy and Jeff Schlupp are named as three of the fastest players in the top flight, leading Ranieri to compare them to the RAF.
“I say my team is like the RAF, it’s fantastic – whoosh whoosh! – I love it.”
The Foxes play Leicester rockers Kasabian before their games – with frontman Tom Meighan a regular at the King Power Stadium.
“I told my players ‘when you go on the pitch and you hear the song from Kasabian, that means they want warriors’. I want to see them as warriors for the fans. Kasabian are a fantastic rock band from Leicester and I think the guitar man, Serge, is Italian.”
Ranieri tries to explain his emotions after he sheds a tear following Leicester’s 2-0 win at Sunderland in April which briefly put them 10 points clear.
“It’s fantastic when you see before the match, an old lady with a Leicester shirt outside the stadium. I say: ‘Unbelievable. They come from Leicester to support us.’ This is my emotion.”
Ranieri finally admits, with four games left, Leicester are going for the title after sealing a Champions League group stage spot.
“Now we go straight away to try to win the title. We are in the Champions League, dilly ding, dilly dong – come on. We are in the Champions League, it is fantastic, terrific. Well done to everybody.”