Massimiliano Allegri and Roberto Mancini have hailed Claudio Ranieri’s achievements with Leicester City as their fellow Italian coach stands on the brink of an astonishing Premier League title triumph.
Leicester, 5,000-1 outsiders at the start of the season having recovered to a late escape from relegation last term, will be English champions for the first time in their history if they beat Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Even if they fail to beat Louis van Gaal’s men, defeat for nearest rivals Tottenham at Chelsea on Monday would hand glory to Leicester.
“I offer my congratulations to Ranieri. I wish him good luck, because he deserves it,” said Allegri, whose Juventus won Serie A for a fifth consecutive season earlier this week.
“I think Leicester could do something momentous. It’s proof that Italians are good coaches.”
Inter coach Mancini, who followed ex-Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti as the second Italian to win the Premier League with Manchester City in 2011-12, echoed Allegri’s thoughts and hopes Ranieiri’s exploits will – literally – put him on the map.
“I think it’s done now, whether tomorrow or next week,” Mancini said. “It’s good for Italian coaches as it’s not easy to win the Premier League, especially at Leicester. I hope they dedicate a street to Ranieri.”
On Friday, Crotone won a place in Serie A for the first time in their history – matching the exploits of fellow minnows Frosinone in achieving promotion last year.
But Mancini feels it is unlikely that Serie A will witness an unlikely title charge on a par with Leicester’s and cites a lack of tactical sophistication in England’s top flight as a contributing factor.
“These things can happen in England, but not in Italy today,” added the former Italy international, who closed his playing career with a brief playing spell at Leicester.
“Leicester have seven or eight teams clearly stronger. It’s a tactical issue, I feel, as all the teams in England play in a similar way and it is hard to find sides who take a different approach.
“Leicester have been fortunate to get several players having the season of their lives when they weren’t so well known.
“I was at Leicester for a little while and they have an Italian coach now, so I am happy for them.”
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