Monday 26 February 2018

'I want to achieve more if possible'

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri (Reuters)
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri (Reuters)

John Percy

Claudio Ranieri revealed he was "on the ceiling" of his London apartment celebrating Eden Hazard's wonderful equaliser against Tottenham Hotspur, the goal which handed Leicester the first top-flight title in their 132-year history.

But an emotional Ranieri was clearly struggling to comprehend how the unthinkable had become a reality in just nine months.

"All the people around the world are asking for Leicester, what happened, and this is a moment you have to leave for a little more time and taste slowly, like a good wine. Savour it," he said.

"Maybe now it is too early to think about what we have done. Maybe one or two years could be better to understand, but now it is important to stay high in the world.

"The circumstances are very, very special. Without this, it is not possible to win the Premier League. When we beat Manchester City I started to believe something fantastic could happen. When we won there, maybe my players believed in something.

"Watching Chelsea on Monday I was at first on the armchair but after (the Hazard goal) on the ceiling!

"I am very happy to win because when you start as a manager you hope you can win some league. I won the most important league in Europe, I think, not just Europe but the world, the Premier League. It is a fantastic achievement, my career is fantastic but I want to achieve a little more if possible."

Ranieri is already preparing for next season in the Champions League and is expected to sign a new contract which will double his money to £3m-a-year. He has made good players into superstars, including Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy and N'Golo Kante, but has insisted his title-winning squad will not be broken up over the summer.

"My phone will ring this summer but I will say: 'Do you have enough money to buy my players?' I would like to maintain all of them," he said.

"But if one of my players says to me I want to go there, I try to keep him." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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