Football: Ranieri axe baffles Klopp

Klopp (above, in a file photo) said Ranieri's sacking was a stunning move by Leicester's Thai owners.
Klopp (above, in a file photo) said Ranieri's sacking was a stunning move by Leicester's Thai owners.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp believes Claudio Ranieri's sacking by Leicester is a seismic shock on the same level as Brexit and Donald Trump's election as US president.

Ranieri was kicked out by Leicester on Thursday (Feb 23) less than nine months after masterminding their Premier League title victory.

The Italian's departure has been met with sadness by many of his managerial peers and Klopp, whose side travel to Leicester for a crucial Premier League clash on Monday, admitted it was a stunning move by the champions' Thai owners.

 
 
 

"For me there have been a few strange decisions in 16/17: Brexit, Trump, Ranieri. Do I have to understand it all the time - obviously not. I have no idea why Leicester did this," he told reporters on Friday.

"He is a really special person in this business, a really nice guy. I met him before when he visited me at Dortmund and we had a nice talk. He is a wonderful person."

Klopp understands what Ranieri had to deal with at Leicester this season because he experienced a testing period immediately after Borussia Dortmund won the Bundesliga in 2011.

Asked whether it was difficult to motivate players once they had tasted success, he said: "No, I don't think so, but it depends on the players.

"If I think back to 2011, we became champions and we had not the best start in the next season.

"I am pretty sure Ranieri didn't change. He is too experienced for this.

"He found a perfect clue for this team last year - how to give them a plan - but I can't say what happened there."