Affectionately known in English football as the Tinkerman, Claudio Ranieri is back in Italy after a short stint with struggling Fulham. We look over the Italian’s long career so far starting with his…..
Born in 1951 in Rome, Claudio Ranieri signed his first professional playing contract with Roma but only made six appearances in two years at the club and even had a one-month loan stint at Siracusa before signing for Catanzaro in 1974 where he would go on to spend the next eight years.
Ranieri the player
As a player, Claudio Ranieri earned promotions with Palermo, Catania and Catanzaro twice. He made the most appearances for Catanzaro between 1974 and 1982 (225) before making 92 appearances for Catania between 1982 and 1984, and 40 for Palermo whilst scoring a total of nine League goals.
First coaching role
Ranieri’s first job in management was at Campania Puteolana in 1987, however a year later he was in charge of Cagliari and took the club to two successive promotions, going from Serie C to Serie A whilst also winning the Coppa Italia Serie C title in 1989.
Ranieri’s first major trophy came whilst in charge of Italian side Fiorentina, who he joined in July 1993 after being dismissed by a Napoli side facing financial difficulties. He guided the Viola to the final of the 1995-96 Coppa Italia and defeated Atalanta 3-0 on aggregate over two legs.
Reign in Spain
After success in Italy, Ranieri moved to Spain and guided Valencia to the Copa Del Rey trophy in his second season in charge thumping, Atletico Madrid 3-0 in the final. He also won the Intertoto Cup in 1998 and during a second stint with Los Che, won the UEFA Super Cup in 2004.
Blue is the colour
Ranieri next headed to England for a four-year stint at Chelsea in which he became a popular figure but was sacked for rival Jose Mourinho. The axe fell in May 2004 despite Ranieri guiding the club to the semi-final of the Champions League and runners-up spot in the Premier League.
Following his dismissal by Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, Ranieri wrote a book called ‘Proud Man Walking’ and donated the proceeds to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital. To this day is considered a fan favourite who was harshly sacked by the ruthless owner. He also returned to Spain with Valencia and Italy, with Parma, Juventus, Roma and Inter, after he left Stamford Bridge, and spent time in charge of Monaco.
Ranieri seriously hampered his reputation in 2014 when he took over as head Coach of the Greece national team. Three defeats and a draw in just four games meant that Ranieri was sacked only four months after taking the job, a European qualifying defeat to the Faroe Islands proving to be the last straw.
A surprise appointment in the summer of 2015, Ranieri and Leicester did the unthinkable by winning the 2015-16 Premier League title at odds of 5000/1. He was sacked nine months later after a difficult start to the season but remained close to the club, donating half of his £3m payoff to the club’s charitable foundation, and attending a memorial service for Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died in a helicopter crash in October 2018.
Back to England
After a season in France with Nantes, Ranieri replaced Slavisa Jokanovic at Fulham, with a brief to keep the Cottagers in the Premier League. Ironically, Jokanovic was Ranieri’s first signing as Chelsea manager.