Premier League winner Claudio Ranieri has revealed he was prepared to move to the Championship last summer before Leicester convinced him to move to the King Power.
The 64-year-old former Chelsea manager arrived on a three-year deal in July 2015 after an ill-fated short spell in charge of the Greece national team. His appointment was met with much scepticism, but a year on and those detractors have disappeared after Leicester charged to their first top-flight title with two games to spare.
It could have been a different story though for Ranieri, who has admitted he was pondering a move to the Championship after being snubbed by two other Premier League clubs,
Ranieri told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I was happy when I was called to go to England. I wanted to go back s”o bad, that I would have accepted a team from the Football League.
“Two other Premier clubs had contacted me, but then they made other choices. Leicester convinced me because of their sense of leadership, their programs, and their facilities. They are perfectly organised.
“When I met the players I told them: ”I’ll take a bit of time to know you all because you are so many, but you will need to know a single person: me. I ask only one thing: that you give all you can for each other’. And they did.”
The President of the Italian Football Federation, Carlo Tavecchio suggested that Ranieri is on their manager shortlist: “I hope Ranieri can win a World Cup with Italy, that would be the best.
“I’m speaking in an abstract way, of course, and not necessarily about the next World Cup. Claudio is still young and will have time on his side.”
Christian Fuchs drenching @LCFC boss Claudio Ranieri in champagne in his presser!
Zero Fuchs given ? pic.twitter.com/bWqMQrd5ik
— Dream Team (@dreamteamfc) May 9, 2016
Ranieri has refused to rule out one day managing the Azzurri, although his difficult spell in international football with Greece has left some scars.
A 2-1 defeat Euro 2016 in qualifying defeat to the Faroe Islands in June last year spelled the end of Ranieri’s disastrous five-game spell, of which he lost four in what was his first job in international football.
“I’ll admit I was curious about coaching a national team, but my experience with Greece was sufficient.
“Of course, leading Italy would be something else. I’d never rule that out, and I’d like that very much. And Leicester, after all, have blue shirts just like the Azzurri,” added Ranieri.