Claudio Ranieri is loved by both AS Roma and Leicester City fans.
As such, it’s fair to say that the legendary Italian coach was amongst friends when he took to the Stadio Olimpico for the two clubs’ UEFA Europa Conference semi-final second leg on Thursday night.
Truth be told, it’s pretty hard to dislike Ranieri regardless of who you support, but clubs who have had the joy of the ‘Tinkerman’ in their own dugout certainly have an even greater affection for him.
Love from Rome and Leicester
Plus, it just so happened that Ranieri enjoyed successful stints in charge of both Roma and Leicester.
Sure, he might not have secured silverware during his time in the Italian capital, but he nevertheless guided them to a second-place finish in Serie A during the 2009/10 campaign.
And the regard in which Ranieri is held in the ‘Eternal City’ was apparent in their decision to rehire their former coach when they needed a steady hand at the end of the 2018/19 season.
Then, of course, we have Ranieri’s unforgettable stint as Leicester manager, which frankly produced one of the greatest sporting achievements of all time in winning the Premier League.
Sports fans around the world will never forget the moment that the Foxes rose from the threat of relegation to the Championship and 5,000-1 odds to remarkably become champions of England.
Ranieri receives moving reception
So, bearing all of that in mind, close your eyes for a second and just picture the reception that you think Ranieri would receive at a game between both clubs. You got it? Ok, good.
The correct answer, in case you’re wondering, was a ‘bloody good one,’ because Ranieri’s beloved status in both Rome and Leicester meant that the fans were delighted to see him in attendance.
With his face popping up on the screen in the 53rd minute while Roma were leading 1-0, an impassioned applause from both sets of supporters started to break out around the stadium.
Eventually, Ranieri realised that the love and adulation was aimed in his direction, leading to what was clearly an emotional reaction from the man himself who looked as though he could shed a tear.
So, reach for your nearest tissue box and prepare for your heart strings to be pulled as you watch the Roma and Leicester fans showing their love for Ranieri in a touching moment down below:
Ranieri received an applause from Leicester city fans ❤️❤️❤️. pic.twitter.com/0Cd3uaM95x— 𝐄𝐫𝐢𝐤 𝐁𝐚𝐥𝐝 10𝐇𝐚𝐠 (@GreyhedBrrNo) May 5, 2022
We’re not crying, you’re crying.
You’ve got to love Ranieri
If you don’t feel emotional watching Ranieri go from innocently realising that the applause is for him to rising to his feet almost with a tear in his eye, then we’re not sure you’re human.
It really is a testament to Ranieri’s standing in the beautiful game as one of the good guys that two such respectable teams can come together and celebrate him during a European semi-final.
And as the 70-year-old takes a step back from the sport in light of his tough spell at Watford, it must have meant the world for him to see just how loved he remains by so many supporters.
It might have been a dramatic night for Roma in which they booked themselves a place in the UEFA Europa Conference League final, but the true highlight was so most certainly Ranieri’s reception.