Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Claudio Ranieri's time at Leicester in quotes

Claudio Ranieri has left Leicester.

He won the title last season with the 5,000-1 shots and, having already known to be a character after his spell at Chelsea, his phrases enlivened press conferences.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the Italian's most memorable quotes from his time at the King Power Stadium.

Ranieri offers his player the promise of pizza before they finally kept their first clean sheet of the season in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in October.

''I told them, if you keep a clean sheet, I'll buy pizza for everybody. I think they're waiting for me to offer a hot dog too.''

Ranieri reacts to being told a Leicester butcher - W Archer & Son - had created a sausage in his honour.

''I pay for pizza, you pay for the sausage. I am the sausageman.''

The Italian gave his squad bells as a Christmas present in 2015 to remind them not to slip up in training.

''From the beginning when something was wrong I've been saying: 'Dilly-ding, dilly-dong, wake up, wake up!' So on Christmas Day I bought for all the players and all the staff a little bell. It was just a joke.''

Ranieri describes striker Vardy as a horse in an interview with US website the Players' Tribune.

''This is not a footballer. This is a fantastic horse.''

Marc Albrighton, Jamie Vardy and Jeff Schlupp are named as three of the fastest players in the top flight, leading Ranieri to compare them to the RAF.

''I say my team is like the RAF, it's fantastic - whoosh whoosh! - I love it.''

The Foxes play Leicester rockers Kasabian before their games - with frontman Tom Meighan a regular at the King Power Stadium.

''I told my players 'when you go on the pitch and you hear the song from Kasabian, that means they want warriors'. I want to see them as warriors for the fans. Kasabian are a fantastic rock band from Leicester and I think the guitar man, Serge, is Italian.''

Ranieri tries to explain his emotions after he sheds a tear following Leicester's 2-0 win at Sunderland in April 2016 which briefly put them 10 points clear.

''It's fantastic when you see before the match, an old lady with a Leicester shirt outside the stadium. I say: 'Unbelievable. They come from Leicester to support us.' This is my emotion.''

Ranieri finally admitted, with four games left in 2015-16, Leicester were going for the title after sealing a Champions League group stage spot.

''Now we go straight away to try to win the title. We are in the Champions League, dilly ding, dilly dong - come on. We are in the Champions League, it is fantastic, terrific. Well done to everybody.'"

The 65-year-old became less playful as this season wore on and results declined, admitting the Foxes were in a relegation battle in November 2016.

"It was important to keep it going until Christmas, as we are in the relegation battle. For this battle I need warriors, and they showed me what I wanted to see."

In February 2017, Ranieri admitted he could have been too loyal to the misfiring players who won the title.

"I could be (too loyal), could be. It is difficult when you achieve something so good, you want to give them one chance, two chances, three chances. Maybe now, it is too much."

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph