Claudio Ranieri insists Leicester City’s sensational Premier League success story is not as great an achievement as those achieved by the legendary Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest in the 1970s and 80s.
Leicester were 5,000-1 outsiders to win the league at the start of the season, but they defied the odds to secure an unlikely title under the stewardship of amiable Italian Ranieri.
Many have described their success as the greatest story in football history due to the financial gulf between Leicester and the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.
However, Ranieri disagrees and pointed to Forest clinching the top-flight title in 1978, just a year after winning promotion, before going on to claim back-to-back European Cups.
And Ranieri hopes Leicester can emulate the achievements of their rivals.
“No [our achievement is not the greatest],” he told Gazzetta World. “Nottingham Forest was the greatest because they won the title and the European Cup after being promoted.
“I hope to hit those same heights in a few years.”
Ranieri’s achievements have seen him linked with the Italy national team job this season, and Italian Football Federation president Carlo Tavecchio said this week that he would love to see the former Chelsea boss lead the Azzurri to World Cup glory.
“I admit I was curious to coach a national team, but my time with Greece was enough,” Ranieri added. “However, taking over Italy would be different. I won’t exclude that it could happen one day.”
Leicester’s title win means they will play in the Champions League next season, but Ranieri has already stated that he does not want to fill his squad with big-name stars that could disrupt the team.
One player that has been linked, though, is Pescara forward Gianluca Lapadula, who has 24 goals in Serie B this season.
Ranieri said: “We’re looking at players in Italy. Lapadula is a good player. We’ve been following him for some time.”