Claudio Ranieri claims he knew at Christmas that Leicester would win the league

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All season, Claudio Ranieri had dismissed talks of winning the Premier League.

Despite the Foxes sitting top of the table for the majority of the campaign, their manager, whenever asked by reporters, played down any title ambition claiming that it was their aim to just survive relegation.

To be fair, many people believed that Leicester were bound to fall away and they didn’t think they were good enough to maintain their incredible form.


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But the match that changed everything was their 3-1 victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium at the beginning of February. This win saw them go five points clear of Tottenham in second-place, making them title favourites amongst bookmakers.

But, after the match, Ranieri dismissed any talk about winning the league.

Ranieri played down title talk

"I don't believe them," he said, per the BBC, when asked about being favourites with the bookies.

"They said I was first to be sacked!

"I hope my players didn't feel pressure because our pressure was to save the team from relegation," he added.

However, it’s now been revealed that Ranieri was lying all along.

That’s because, after winning the title, he believed his side were going to be crowned as champions the whole time.

He knew all along

“Now I can say it, I always knew we'd win," Ranieri told Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano, per Eurosport.

“That's just the way I am made, I have always preferred doing things rather than talking about them.”

But when was the precise moment that Ranieri starting thinking about the possibility of winning the top-flight? It was, actually, long before that win against City on February 6.

"It was at Christmas. Relegation had been avoided and we gathered together to talk in the changing rooms and we said to each other, 'Let's go for it, we've got nothing to lose,’” he admitted.

Essential qualities 

But the 64-year-old has refused to accept any credit for the incredible feat. The likes of Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kante have received all the plaudits for their performances this season and Ranieri believes that they needed the talents of these players to triumph.

"I don't think it's possible to win without the essential qualities, and the team that I led had all the essential qualities,” he said.

Since that victory against City, Leicester lost just once in their next 11 matches - a 2-1 loss to Arsenal - to leave the chasing pack trailing in their wake.

Throughout that run, Ranieri convinced us that he, and his players, weren’t thinking about the trophy. However, all along, he knew they would win it.

Let that be a lesson to you folks, don't believe anything Ranieri says.

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Leicester City
Premier League
Manchester City
Manchester United
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