Football: Claudio Ranieri still shocked by Leicester City sacking, but holds no grudges

Claudio Ranieri (right) hugging Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy during a match against FC Copenhagen on Oct 18, 2016.
Claudio Ranieri (right) hugging Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy during a match against FC Copenhagen on Oct 18, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

ROME (REUTERS) - Former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri, who defied 5,000-1 odds to lead the team to a fairytale Premier League title last year, has said he is still stunned by his sacking last month.

The 65-year-old Italian lost his job after a nine-game losing streak that left the club hanging one point above the relegation zone.

Since his departure, Leicester have won all four of their matches to move six points above the bottom three and reached Europe's Champions League quarter-finals.

"Thinking of Leicester the first thing that comes to mind is the sense of surprise more than bitterness," British media quoted Ranieri as saying at an event in Rome on Tuesday (March 28).

"The biggest thing is I'm just a coach who has had the joy of winning a championship with a fantastic adventure and then to experience the sorrow of what happened next.

"I had been through a lot in my long career, but never anything like this. It was a shock. Even if in the end, these things are part of football."

He has rejected offers from Italian Serie A team Palermo and German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg, as well as offers from Chinese and Dubai teams in the past few weeks, with the hopes of making a swift return to England's top-flight, according to the Times.