Claudio Ranieri has in typical understated fashion said “it’s a good story” that he returns to Chelsea as a Premier League champion with Leicester City.
Leicester are 10 points clear at the top of the table and are expected to receive a guard of honour from Chelsea’s player before Sunday’s season-finale at Stamford Bridge.
It will be an emotional return for Ranieri.
“It’s amazing,” the 64-year-old said. “I have been there with Juventus in the Champions League, but this time it is different because I am manager of Leicester, another English club. It is emotional. I hope my older fans are happy with me.
“When I think of something special I think of Nessun Dorma and when I came here I saw the last match is at Chelsea, wow, and now I came back as a champion. It’s a good story.”
Ranieri, meanwhile, believes Jamie Vardy will be fit for the start of next season despite the striker having an operation on his wrist this summer.
Vardy is expected to be included in Roy Hodgson’s England squad for the upcoming European Championship but will undergo surgery in July after the showpiece tournament in France.
The Foxes’ 24-goal top scorer, who picked up the Football Writers’ Player of the Season award on Thursday, broke his wrist against Aston Villa in September and has worn a blue cast on his right arm during games to avoid any further damage.
But Ranieri expects the 29-year-old to be available for the Community Shield against the FA Cup winners – either Manchester United or Crystal Palace – in August.
The Italian said: “I think it’s a little operation, then I think he’ll be ready for the Community Shield. I think now (he will be fine). Afterwards I will speak to the surgery and we will see.”
Ranieri added of the former non-league player: “He has been amazing. It tells all the other non-league players, ‘hey, come on, this is a good sport, good publicity for everyone. Everyone can make mistakes but if you want to do something you must believe and something can happen’.”