Claudio Ranieri says winning the Premier League with Leicester City is not the greatest achievement of his managerial career, instead placing his success with Cagliari above last season’s stunning triumph.
Widely tipped for relegation and given, now infamous, odds of 5000/1 of winning the division, the Foxes ran rampant, beating the country’s heavyweights to a first top-flight title.
It was also the first time Ranieri had won a league title in a top division, despite his coaching career taking him to successful clubs such as Juventus, Inter and Atletico Madrid.
Nevertheless, Ranieri concedes that he would not have had the chance to lead such distinguished outfits without a three-season stint in Sardinia from 1988 to 1991, where he took Cagliari from Italy’s third tier to Serie A in consecutive campaigns.
He told The Telegraph: “For me when someone says this [winning the Premier League] is the biggest achievement in my career I say ‘Yes’ because never have I won a [top-flight] title.
“But I think the best achievement is Cagliari, because I started from the amateurs.
“I had jobs at Campania Puteolana and then Vigor Lamezia and then I went to Cagliari when in three years we went from Serie C1, to Serie B and to Serie A.
“From the amateur leagues… Pow!
“We went up. Without that, without Cagliari, I wouldn’t be here.”
Leicester travel to Manchester United on Saturday looking to ignite a league campaign that stalled early on with defeats to Hull City and Liverpool.