Claudio Ranieri believes people will view him differently now that he has guided Leicester City to a remarkable Premier League triumph.
The Italian’s jovial public persona had led some to underestimate his managerial abilities, but he has disproved his doubters by guiding the 5,000-1 outsiders to the top-flight title.
Next season will bring added expectation as Leicester seek to defend their title and compete in the Champions League, and Ranieri is likely to be given greater respect from the outset.
“Now I won the Premier League and maybe everybody looks positively at what I did,” he said ahead of his return Stamford Bridge in Sunday’s final league match. “It changed not my mind, but maybe the other minds have changed.
“I was so happy also before because I know very well how I worked and how I achieved.
“It’s not important to have credit or no credit. I love my job. For me it was so important to take another team – show my passion on the team. Life is full of opportunity, it’s important to take the right opportunity.”
The Foxes beat Chelsea in December’s reverse fixture in what proved to be Jose Mourinho’s last game in charge.
It was the Portuguese who replaced Ranieri at Stamford Bridge in 2004.