The Journey of Claudio Ranieri's Magnificent 30 Year Managerial Career

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23 Sep 2000:  Portrait of Chelsea Manager Claudio Ranieri during the FA Carling Premiership match against Manchester United at Old Trafford, in Manchester, England. The match ended in a 3-3 draw. \ Mandatory Credit: Ben Radford /Allsport

​The Tinkerman has done it, Claudio Ranieri has won the Premier League title with Leicester City just 30 years after embarking on his managerial career. 


The 64-year-old has earned his first top-flight trophy and undoubtedly the biggest achievement in his footballing career.


From a humble beginning in football management, taking charge in Italy's Serie D, Ranieri was often stumped with the job to save sides out of financial ruin and impending relegation.


And that was the also aim when the Italian was drafted in to Leicester City in July of 2015.


However, quite unbelievably, despite being 5000/1 rank outsiders, Leicester have gone from relegation-candidates to Premier League winners in less than ten months since the Tinkerman's arrival in the East Midlands.


Here is a comprehensive run-down of Claudio Ranieri's 30 year managerial career.

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10. Consecutive Promotions With Cagliari - 1988 to 1991

​After two short seasons from 1986 to 1988 managing at Lametini and Puteolana in Italy's Serie D, Ranieri was drafted in by Cagliari with the aim to get promotion from Serie C1, the third tier in Italian football.


Ranieri went on better, not only did he earn promotion to Serie B in his first season but he also guided his side to consecutive promotions, bringing Cagliari to Italy's top tier within two seasons.


Along the way Ranieri's side picked up trophy glory in the form of the Coppa Italia Lega Pro.


This was the birthplace of Claudio Ranieri's managerial career and it was the first time the World stoop up and noticed Ranieri's sublime tactical knowledge and man-management skills.

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9. The Naples Experience - 1991 to 1993

After a magnificent achievement at Cagliari, ​Italy's top clubs came sniffing for the Tinkerman's expertise. 


​One of those clubs were Napoli, who had let go of their talisman Diego Maradona just the season before.


In order to 'replace' the Argentine, Ranieiri made a young Gianfranco Zola the focal point of Napoli's team, guiding them to a 4th place finish in his first season.


At the time, Napoli were undergoing huge stints of financial insecurity, however, their qualification to the UEFA Cup did alleviate the concerns, albeit temporarily.


Ranieri was outrageously sacked as Napoli owner Corrado Ferlaino after crashing out of the competition in the 2nd round to Paris Saint Germain, despite hammering Valencia 5-1 in the first leg.


His unceremonious exit was lifted by Gianfranco Zola and Daniel Fonseca's emergence in the first-team, both of which went on to have succesful careers in Italy and Europe.


​Since Ranieri's sacking a staggering 29 managers have come and gone at Napoli, which more suggests the owner's fickle philosophy as opposed to managerial shortcomings.

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8. Success at Fiorentina - 1993 to 1997

​After an abrupt conclusion to Ranieri's tenure at Napoli, he was drafted in as Fiorentina's manger in 1993.


The Viola were relegated to Italy's Serie B despite boasting an unrivalled side of players including the likes of Gabriel Batistuta Stefan Effenberg.


It was the Tinkerman's job to get Fiorentina back to Serie A, which was by no means a formality in a tough division. However, Ranieri worked his magic and his side were back in the Italian top-flight at the first time of asking after winning the Serie B title in the Italian's first season as manager.


Ranieri went on to win the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana in 1996 in the same season as guiding Fiorentina to a 4th place finish, fighting it out with AC Milan at the top of the table for much of the season after an impressive 15-match unbeaten run.


The league performance dropped in the following season, Fiorentina finished in 9th and were denied a spot in the Cup Winners' Cup final after losing to Barcelona in the semi's.

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7. Valencia and the First Taste of European Success - 1997 to 2000

​Ranieri left his homeland in 1997 to manage a faltering Valencia in Spain.


​Despite back-to-back 9th and 10th place finishes before Ranieri's arrival, the Tinkerman guided the Los Che to a 4th place finish during his first season in La Liga, earning Champions League qualification. 


He also won the Intertoto Cup in 1998 before lifting the Copa del Rey one year later.


Ranieri's success at Valencia translated in to him becoming one of the most admired manager's in European football, subsequently moving to Atletico Madrid.


However, he time in the Spanish capital was tainted by a club undergoing major financial instability and eventual administration. Ranieri resigned before Atletico owner had the chance to sack him, the Red and Whites were relegated after the Italian manager's departure.

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6. Ranieri's First Taste of Premier League Football at Chelsea - 2000 to 2004

​Following an uninspiring period at Atletico Madrid, Ranieri was drafted in by Chelsea owner Ken Bates in 2000.


​Despite knowing limited English, Ranieri overcame the language barrier and quickly adjusted to life in West London.


​His first season ended in a 6th place finish, before the signings of Frank Lampard, Emmanuel Petit and William Gallas among others rejuvenated the Blues. 


Chelsea finished in 6th again in Ranieri's second season, also losing in the FA Cup final to Arsenal. Ranieri was accused of 'over-rotating' his squad, thus coining the nickname 'The Tinkerman'.


The 2002/2003 season ended on an emphatic high for Chelsea, a last gap win against Liverpool on the last day of the season ensured a 4th place finish and Champions League football at Stamford Bridge the following season. 


This marked the start of the Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea, the Russian billionaire that plucked Chelsea away from a difficult financial situation.


Ranieri spent £120m on players in Abramovich's first season in West London and helped Chelsea earn a 2nd place finish behind Arsenal, who staggeringly went the entire Premier League season unbeaten.


However, with the new Russian ownership Ranieri's position as manager came under wide-spread speculation, he was eventually relinquished of his duties in 2004, paving the way for the 'Special One', Jose Mourinho.

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5. Return to Italy With Parma - 2007

​After a brief return stint at Valencia following his exit from Stamford Bridge, Ranieri returned to his homeland of Italy ten years after leaving his last Serie A job.


Ranieri was drafted in after the sacking of Stefano Pioli in February of 2007. The Tinkerman earned 17 points from Parma's final ten games, saving the club from seemingly inevitable relegation and guiding them to a 12th place finish.


Despite a wealth of interest from Premier League clubs, Ranieri left Parma to join Italian giants Juventus in the summer of 2007. 

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4. Clashes With Jose Mourinho as Juventus Manager - 2007 to 2009

​Ranieri signed a three-year deal with Juventus in 2007 and guided the Old Lady to a third place finish in his first season, just one year after Juve were competing in Serie B following Italy's match-fixing scandal.


The year after Ranieri entered a war of words with Inter Milan manager Jose Mourinho, four years after Mourinho replaced Ranieri at Chelsea.


Ranieri highlighted Inter as Juve's biggest threat and was eventually proved correct, as Mourinho guided Inter to the Serie A title after a dip in form for Juventus following an injury crisis.


Upon Inter and Mourinho's title victory, Ranieri was subsequently sacked as Juventus manager, despite the club finishing 2nd in Serie A that season.

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3. Managing His Boyhood Club AS Roma - 2009 to 2011

​Hailing from the Italian capital, Ranieri is a self-proclaimed AS Roma fan. Which is why he grasped the opportunity to manage his boyhood club in 2009.


He replaced the sacked Luciano Spalletti in September after Roma had lost their first two league games.


Ranieri started well, dramatically improving the performances of his side and lifting them back into the title race. The gap to Jose Mourinho's league-leading Inter Milan was cut to just one point with seven games left to play after Roma beat Inter on the 31st match day.


Roma went on an unprecedented 24-match unbeaten streak, beating city-rivals Lazio at the end of the run. With the title in Ranieri and AS Roma's hands, an Antonio Cassano inspired Sampdoria side beat Roma at the Stadio Olympico to prevent Ranieri from lifting the title.


Roma also lost in the Coppa Italia final to Jose Mourinho's Inter, who also regained league glory thanks to Roma's end of season slip-up. 


Mourinho mocked Ranieri, reigniting the feud between the pair. The following season was more disappointing for Ranieri, he resigned after a string of poor results in 2011, his last game was a 4-3 defeat to Genoa where he side collapsed after taking a 3-0 first-half lead.

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2. Inter Milan to AS Monaco to the Greek National Team - 2011 to 2014

​Ranieri became Inter manager after Jose Mourinho made the switch to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

​However, following a less than successful tenure at Inter, Ranieri lasted just six months before being dismissed in March 2012.


Two months later and Ranieri was applying his trade in France's Ligue 2 for up and coming AS Monaco. With the financial backing of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, Monaco earned promotion in Ranieri's first season, winning the Ligue 2 title for the first time in the club's history.


The following season Monaco ended worthy runners-up to Paris Saint Germain, finishing 2nd on 80 points with a stylish team including the likes of Layvin Kurzawa and Ferreira Carrasco.


​Despite an incredible achievement at Monaco, Ranieri's contract was not extended past 2014 causing the Italian to step down.


Following his departure, Greece's international team recruited Ranieri, paying him €1.6 million over two years. However, after a succession of poor results, notably a home defeat to the Faroe Islands, the Tinkerman was sacked in November of 2014.

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1. From Relegation Candidates To Premier League Success at Leicester City - 2015 ongoing

​Instead of rushing back into a management job like he has done in the past, Ranieri took an eight month break away from football following his dismissal from the Greek national side.


The time away and sense of perspective seemingly gave Ranieri a new-found belief, the 64-year old was brought in as relegation-candidates Leicester City manager in the summer of 2015.


After starting the season as 5000/1 rank outsider to win the Premier League, the Foxes went on a superb opening run, beating West Ham and Sunderland in their opening two fixtures.


Their run continued with thanks to the prolific Jamie Vardy, who scored in a record-breaking 11 consecutive Premier League ties. Ranieri compared the former Fleetwood Town man to Gabriel Batistuta from his days at Fiorentina in the early 90's.


Critics, supporters and near enough everyone following Premier League football in the 2015/2016 season were waiting for the Foxes to slip up. However, a Robert Huth header against Tottenham at White Hart Lane gave Ranieri's side the much-needed belief to be on an unbelievable run of form.


Since that header in January, Leicester beat Manchester City at the Etihad in February with PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez scoring the pick of the bunch.


After a small blip, losing to Arsenal at the Emirates, Ranieri's side went on a run of ten games unbeaten, including five 1-0 wins. 


​The run extended the Foxes lead at the top of the table and when Tottenham failed to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at the start of May, the trophy was Leicester City's.


It is the first top-flight trophy for Ranieri in his illustrious 30 years of football management, while it is the first Premier League crown in Leicester's proud 132 year history. 


The Foxes have lost just three league games this season in a year that is widely described as a "fairytale" and the "most unlikely triumph in the history of team sport".


Congratulations to the Tinkerman! 

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