When Leicester appointed Claudio Ranieri in the summer, some considered it to be a bad move.
The Italian had just been sacked from the Greece national side after four months in charge, despite signing a two-year contract.
Upon his appointment, former Leicester player and supporter Gary Lineker said in an interview with BreathSport: “Claudio Ranieri is clearly experienced, but this is an uninspired choice by Leicester.
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“It's amazing how the same old names keep getting a go on the managerial merry-go-round.”
While he tweeted: “Claudio Ranieri? Really?"
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But he wasn’t the only one. Former Liverpool player Didi Hamann tweeted: “Can’t believe Leicester appointed Ranieri…Great club, great fanbase but I’m afraid MK rather than Old Trafford season after next.”
You get the message, his appointment didn’t excite everyone.
Leicester's sensational season
Fast forward nine incredible months and Ranieri is on the brink of leading the Foxes to the Premier League title. Before a ball was kicked, Leicester were 5000/1 shots of tasting glory. They now need just one more win.
Leicester’s remarkable campaign has not only inspired the entire city, but also football fans from around the world. While the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante may have hit the headlines, the orchestrator has been the loveable Ranieri.
His happy-go-lucky attitude has seen almost everyone fall in love with the manager and Leicester fans are extremely grateful for what he’s done for the club this season. So grateful, in fact, that they made a compilation video thanking him for giving them such an amazing season.
“I just want to say how fabulous you are. What you’ve done for the city, it’s amazing. We all love you,” said one fan.
While another said: “We’d like to thank you very much for all that you’ve done for Leicester City Football Club since you came.”
“For this city, what you’ve created, for the families, the atmosphere of the stadium - it’s fantastic,” said another.
Ranieri was clearly moved whilst watching this, seemingly close to tears.
At the end, he said: “I’m very, very happy when the other people, the other fans are happy. All my sacrifice is for this. And I love this.”
The Foxes are seven points clear of Spurs with just three matches remaining and they know they could become champions if they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Even the most heart-hearted of people wouldn’t begrudge Ranieri and his players the chance to deservedly lift the Premier League, making it one of the most astonishing sporting stories ever.