Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has been named the winner of the Best FIFA Men’s Coach award for 2016.
Ranieri beat off competition from Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane and Portugal boss Fernando Santos to win the award.
The Italian led Leicester City to a historic Premier League triumph in 2015-16 season, leading a team that had narrowly escaped relegation a season prior to the first top-flight title in their history.
While Leicester’s title defence has been largely disappointing, the Foxes sit 15th in the table and just six points clear of the relegation zone after 20 matches, their form in their maiden Champions League campaign has been impressive.
Leicester conceded just one goal in their opening five group matches, four of which they won, to advance to the last 16 where they will face LaLiga side Sevilla.
“It’s a fantastic evening for me, to be here with a lot of legends and now to win this award, I’m crazy now, very crazy, thank you so much for voting for me,” said Ranieri upon being presented with the award.
“I want to thank my family, my wife, my agent, my players – without them it is difficult for the manager to win something – and also our fans.
“I think what happened in England last season was amazing, something strange. The God of football said, ‘Leicester must win’.”
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) January 9, 2017
Zidane was only appointed at the Santiago Bernabeu last January, but has enjoyed a dream first year having led Madrid to Champions League and Club World Cup glory as part of an unbeaten run that now stands at 39 matches.
Santos, meanwhile, guided Portugal to their first senior international trophy at Euro 2016, where they defeated hosts France in the final.
Silvia Neid was named The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2016.
Neid led Germany to Olympic gold at Rio 2016 before stepping down from the position to work within the German Football Association (DFB).
She has received the accolade in its previous guise twice before, in 2010 and 2013.
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