Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has praised Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri and credited the Italian with bringing out the best in him at Stamford Bridge.
The former England international ranks his former manager among the best coaches in the world and says it would be an incredible achievement for his Leicester side to play Champions League football next season.
Ranieri was responsible for bringing Lampard to Chelsea from West Ham in 2001, the midfielder becoming one of the Blues' greatest players during his time at the Bridge.
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Lampard remains indebted to the 64-year-old for the confidence instilled in him upon his arrival in west London and owes his achievements largely to 'The Tinkerman's' influence.
According to the Mirror, he said: "I owe him everything. If it wasn’t for Claudio, I wouldn’t have had the career I had. I wouldn’t still be playing, probably.
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"He changed my career. I was at West Ham and I was a youngster who didn’t know the continental style and the way to live my life.
"I remember going to his house and signing for Chelsea. He took me in and told me how he could improve my game and how I’d fit in at a club the size of Chelsea."
The 37-year-old continued to reveal just how big an impact Ranieri made on the Chelsea squad during his four years in west London.
"He helped me improve, especially defensively. I love him.
"He made John Terry captain at a young age. No one had a bad word to say about Claudio at Chelsea. He carries himself really well - the way he speaks, the way he deals with situations."
Ranieri's influence has persisted with every managerial path taken since his days at Stamford Bridge, but none more so than at the King Power Stadium. After taking over last summer, the Italian has steered Leicester to top of the Premier League and looks set to claim his first winner's medal in the English top-flight.
And none more so than Lampard is happier for Ranieri.
"They [Leicester] are on the brink of something special. Even if they don’t win the league, but get in the Champions League, that’s an incredible achievement in itself.
"It’s great for the Premier League. It couldn’t happen in Spain, Germany or Italy. No disrespect to Leicester, but if he takes a team like them into the Champions League, with the players they have, he deserves incredible praise."
"I’m delighted for Claudio."
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