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Vardy is an inspiration – Ranieri

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri praised star striker Jamie Vardy and labelled the 29-year-old as an inspiration. 

Vardy has hit 24 Premier League goals so far in 2015-16 as title-winning Leicester completed one of the most unlikely sporting triumphs.

The forward’s campaign, which including being named the Premier League Player of the Season, is made all the more remarkable by the fact he was playing non-league football for Fleetwood Town just four years ago. 

Ranieri praised the talisman and believes Vardy’s story can be used as an inspiration to other players in a similar situation.

Speaking after Vardy was crowned the player of the year, Ranieri said: “That is amazing. It tells to all the other non-league players that this is a good sport, and good publicity for everybody. 

“Everybody can make mistakes but if you want to do something you must believe and something can happen.”

Ranieri also praised Japan international Shinji Okazaki but admitted he was sad he could not give him more full games this season.

Despite making 35 appearances in the Premier League in 2015-16, Okazaki only played 90 minutes on three ocassions – two of those coming in the first three rounds.

“I’m very happy with Shinji’s performances,” Ranieri said. “He is a hard worker and plays well. The team scored a lot of goals. I understand the strikers want to score always more and that is right but I’m happy. 

“I’m a little sad because I wanted to give to him maybe one full match. I know when arrive one hour, Shinji comes [off] and he’s not so happy, but that’s normal. 

“He understood we are a team and the manager needs something difference during the match. My confidence with him is full. I’m happy if he repeats this season.”

Sun 15 May, 2016
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