Gianluigi Buffon was one of the first to congratulate Leicester City after they qualified for the 2016-17 Champions League campaign last month.
The legendary Italian goalkeeper welcomed the Foxes to Europe’s premier club competition by tweeting: “#Leicester @lcfc is no more a fairy tale, now is reality. Welcome in Europe Mr. Claudio Ranieri!”.
Several weeks later, following Leicester’s remarkable Premier League triumph, the newly-crowned English champions have thanked Buffon for his kind words by sending him a signed shirt. (Scroll down this page to see Buffon’s tweet).
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“A day of special signatures,” Buffon tweeted. “Mine with Juve until 2018 and then those of #Leicester. Thanks Mister #Ranieri!”.
Buffon put pen-to-paper on a new contract extension with Juventus on Thursday after helping the Old Lady win a fifth consecutive Serie A title.
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Buffon happy to sign new Juventus deal
"I hope my fantastic story with this club will go on and bring even further success," Buffon was quoted as saying by BBC Sport. "I'm immensely proud in the faith Juventus have placed in me once more.”
Leicester finish season against Chelsea
As for Leicester, they finish their season with a tough away match against last year’s Premier League champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The Foxes were absolutely superb in their first match since becoming champions - during last weekend’s 3-1 win over Everton at the King Power Stadium - and will be desperate to end their extraordinary campaign on a high this weekend.
Homecoming of sorts for Ranieri
For Ranieri, it will be something of a homecoming.
The 64-year-old spent four years at Stamford Bridge in the early 2000s before being replaced by Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho famously took a dig at Ranieri for his lack of success - in terms of winning league titles - back in 2008.
Ranieri antagonised the fiery Portuguese coach after telling reporters: "I am not like Mourinho. I don't have to win things to be sure of myself."
But Mourinho, not one to let things lie, bit back by saying: “Ranieri? I guess he’s right with what he said I am very demanding of myself and I have to win to be sure of things,” the former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss was quoted as saying by the Telegraph. “This is why I have won so many trophies in my career.
“Ranieri on the other hand has the mentality of someone who doesn’t need to win. He is almost 70 years old. He has won a Supercup and another small trophy and he is too old to change his mentality.
“He’s old and he hasn’t won anything. I studied Italian five hours a day for many months to ensure I could communicate with the players, media and fans. Ranieri had been in England for five years and still struggled to say ‘good morning’ and ‘good afternoon.'"
Water under the bridge?
However, after Ranieri won the Premier League title this month, Mourinho released a statement congratulating the Italian tactician.
"I want to congratulate everyone connected to @LCFC; players, staff, owners and fans,” Mourinho was quoted as saying. “I lost my title to Claudio Ranieri and it is with incredible emotion that I live this magic moment in his career."
Where will Leicester City finish in the Premier League next season? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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