Premier League-winning manager Claudio Ranieri revealed a tough start to his career almost led him to quit coaching.
Ranieri secured his first top-tier title this season after Leicester City’s remarkable campaign saw them crowned champions of England.
However, the Italian admitted he came close to giving up early in his career following tough stints with amateur sides Vigor Lamezia and then Puteolana.
“At the beginning at Puteolana and Lamezia, I was top of the league without losing any matches but there was something strange that I didn’t like – I don’t want to tell you what – and I said: ‘Bye bye, I’m going home.’ And I left,” Ranieri said.
“The second year started more or less the same. I took a little team [Puteolana] in Serie C without players: I played one match with 10 players, if I remember well, not 11.
“But you know, something strange arrived and they sacked me. And I said: ‘This is not my job, I love the pitch, I love football but there is so much politics and I am not a politics man. I’m a clear man.’ So I said: ‘It’s not my job.’
“Then they sacked again the other two coaches. And they also changed the owner. And the owner called me back to finish the season.
“They were already relegated but the players said: ‘We want Claudio again.’ And then I was waiting and suddenly I received a call from Cagliari because we beat Cagliari – it as a little team against a giant because Cagliari was a big team for Serie C – and from that, easy!”
Ranieri arrived at Leicester in the off-season after a disappointing stint in Greece, where he was sacked as national team boss following a home loss to the Faroe Islands.
But the 64-year-old admits the lowest point of his managerial career came when he took over at Valencia for the second time in 2004, who had just been crowned La Liga champions and UEFA Cup winners under Rafael Benitez.
“Somebody said to me ‘the worst moment was Greece’ but no, the worst moment was the second year in Valencia,” Ranieri said.
“I said to [the] owner and sporting director: ‘This will be a hard, hard season because this season achieved something more than is possible.’ They won the title in Spain, the UEFA Cup under Benitez and now it will be a very difficult season.
“They said: ‘Now we bring you back to Valencia because everyone loves you.’ And I said: ‘Yes but you have help me.’
“[They said:] ‘Yes Claudio, yes Claudio.’ Then [they] sack Claudio.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!