Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Tinkerman Ranieri to battle O'Neill

New job: Ranieri’s Greece will play Northern Ireland in October
New job: Ranieri’s Greece will play Northern Ireland in October

Northern Ireland will come up against the manager who was known as 'The Tinkerman' while manager of Chelsea when the Euro 2016 qualifiers get under way.

Claudio Ranieri has been appointed as the new boss of Greece, after Fernando Santos' contract came to an end following their run to the last 16 of the World Cup.

The 62-year-old Italian, who spent the last two years with Monaco before he was sacked at the end of last season, has been handed a two-year deal.

"Claudio Ranieri has signed a two-year contract with the Greek Football Federation and is the new coach of the national team," read a statement.

"The Italian coach, with service at many major European clubs, is expected to lead our group to new successes with Euro 2016 on the horizon."

Ranieri's first match in charge will be a European Championship qualifier against Romania on September 7 and he will take on Michael O'Neill's Northern Ireland in Athens in October.

Ranieri made his name in his native Italy winning the Coppa Italia with Fiorentina before moving to Valencia where he won the Copa del Rey.

Four seasons at Chelsea followed before a brief return to Valencia and spells at Parma, Juventus, Roma and Inter Milan.

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