William Gallas has hailed his former manager Claudio Ranieri and feels “very proud” of the Leicester City boss’ stunning Premier League title success.
Ranieri and Leicester confounded all expectations by winning the English top flight for the first time in their history in 2015-16.
Leicester only narrowly avoided relegation 12 months previously, but ended this season some 10 points clear of second-placed Arsenal.
Ranieri signed Gallas for Chelsea in 2001, before getting the sack at Stamford Bridge three years later when Roman Abramovich hired Jose Mourinho.
And the ex-France defender, who went on to play for Arsenal and Tottenham, told Omnisport of his affection for the man who brought him to England.
“I was very happy for him because I knew him from Chelsea, we were together for two to three years. I wanted to thank him. I had the opportunity to thank him today,” Gallas said, after playing in a charity match in Monaco in which Ranieri was involved as a manager.
“I was very proud for him because he had not won anything for a long time. I think he did a great job at Leicester, especially with the team he had, it was not obvious.
“He put a lot of rigour in this team and at the end of the championship, they won.”
Offering more detail on Ranieri’s methods, Gallas continued: “He is someone who was close to his players, who liked to discuss with his players. Someone who loves winning, perfection.
“Unfortunately he failed to win with clubs he had before. He has not given up. It shows that we must always believe.”