Ranieri speaks of shock but plans return to EPL

Claudio Ranieri opened up about his sacking again, saying: "I had gone through a lot in my long career, but I'd never experienced anything like that."
Claudio Ranieri opened up about his sacking again, saying: "I had gone through a lot in my long career, but I'd never experienced anything like that."PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

LONDON • Claudio Ranieri has admitted that he is still stunned by his sacking by Leicester City last month.

The Italian manager, who took the English football minnows to the Premier League title last season, told the inmates of Rebibbia during a visit to the Rome prison on Tuesday: "It was a shock. I'd never experienced anything like that.

"Thinking of the dismissal by Leicester, the first thing that comes to mind is a sense of surprise even more than of bitterness.

"I had gone through a lot in my long career, but I'd never experienced anything like that. It was a shock. Even though, at the end of the day, these things happen in football.

"This is my world. I started coaching in the Interregionale league in Catanzaro. There were pitches with no grass, at times we had no water, no training equipment. I had to do it all myself.

"I never hitched my wagon to anyone, so what I achieved over the years was done with only my results on the field."

Leicester have started winning again after Ranieri was sacked, but the 65-year-old refused to answer questions about that, reported Football Italia.

"Sky Sports in England asked me to commentate on a game on April 10 and I accepted. I don't want to talk about it until then," he said. "It all started in England, so it seems right to resume in England."

According to The Times of London, Ranieri is targeting a return to the Premier League next season after turning down four managerial offers since being sacked by Leicester.

He is understood to have rejected offers from Palermo, Wolfsburg and clubs in Dubai and China in the last few weeks in favour of taking a break from the game with a view to putting himself back on the market in the summer.

He has no intention of retiring despite his bruising experience at Leicester and after a period of rest, will be seeking opportunities for next season.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2017, with the headline 'Ranieri speaks of shock but plans return to EPL'. Print Edition | Subscribe