Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has no plans to retire
Published 20/10/2016 | 15:16
Claudio Ranieri reached retirement age on Thursday but the Leicester boss has no plans to relax just yet.
The affable Italian, now 65, has seen his career reinvigorated since his surprise appointment by the Foxes in July 2015, which came on the back of a disastrous spell in charge of Greece.
However, he and his Leicester squad defied odds of 5000/1 last season to deliver the Premier League title and Ranieri's team go into their home game against Crystal Palace on Saturday top of their Champions League group with three wins from as many matches in the competition.
Ranieri, who was recently rewarded with a new contract until 2020, admits he has assessed his future as a manager at times in the past but the former Chelsea boss plans to carry on what he is building at Leicester and hopes to go on until he is 70.
Asked if he planned to retire, he said: "No, why? Until I feel an old man, I keep going, I continue. As long as I enjoy and feel good. For me it is my life, my job. I want to continue for (a) long (time).
"At 35 I said, 'At 50 I finish'. But then at 50 I said 'Why now? 55'. Then five by five, step by step. I am 65, now I continue until 70.
"The life is fantastic, every job is difficult, but it is important to be strong inside because you don't know what happens in life. You can go down but if you are strong you can wake up again.
"When I came to Leicester I came with the priority to build a squad to achieve Europe and then the Champions League - the project of my owner. Now we have won but I've forgot, for me we don't win. I continue to build what the chairman asked me the first night."
Ranieri will check on the fitness of captain Wes Morgan (hip), midfielder Andy King (shin) and striker Jamie Vardy (groin) before finalising his plans for the visit of Palace.
All three players are nursing knocks following the Champions League victory against Copenhagen on Tuesday night but Ranieri thinks they should all be available.
Meanwhile, midfielder Matty James continues to make progress in his recovery from the anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered in May 2015 and can see light at the end of the tunnel as regards his first-team return.
Ranieri said: "For the first time since I was here he trained for seven days without pain. It's fantastic. I will need a player like him. He is not ready (to play) but he is ready to keep training and maybe next week he can play with the youth team."