Ranieri with Inter Milan in 2011
|Full name||Claudio Ranieri|
|Date of birth||20 October 1951|
|Place of birth||Rome, Italy|
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Claudio Ranieri (born 20 October 1951 in Rome, Italy) is an Italian football manager and former defender. He has previously managed many well-known European clubs, namely Cagliari, Napoli, Fiorentina, Valencia, Atlético Madrid, Chelsea, Parma, Juventus, Roma, Inter Milan and lastly Monaco. Following the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Ranieri was appointed as manager of the Greek National Team.
Ranieri first signed as a professional football player with Roma, though in his two seasons with the club he only made six appearances; he also had a one-month loan spell with Siracusa. As a player, Ranieri played most of his career as a defender for Catanzaro (1974–1982), Catania (1982–1984), and Palermo (1984–1986). He was involved in four successful promotion campaigns (two with Catanzaro and one each with Catania and Palermo).
After amateur side Vigor Lamezia, his first managerial position was at Campania Puteolana, a small team in Pozzuoli. He took charge there in 1987. However, it was at Cagliari that he made his name, getting them promoted to Serie A from the third division Serie C1 in successive seasons. He moved to manage at Napoli for two seasons. Despite finishing in fourth place in Serie A, he won no silverware. He did, however, introduce Gianfranco Zola to the first team to replace Diego Maradona. He joined Fiorentina in 1993, gaining promotion from Serie B in his first season. He subsequently had success in Serie A, winning the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana in 1996. In 1997, Ranieri moved to Spain to take over at Valencia. He was the coach from 1997 to 1999 and guided Valencia to UEFA Champions League qualification and the Copa del Rey in 1999.
After his first spell, Ranieri left a popular man and has been credited for putting Valencia on the track to subsequent success in the Champions League and La Liga. He was responsible for the development of several youth players at the club, among them Gaizka Mendieta, Miguel Ángel Angulo, and Javier Farinós. Ranieri also signed some players who would become highly successful at Mestalla, among them goalkeeper Santiago Cañizares. Ranieri departed the club in 1999. During his time as manager at Atlético Madrid, the club went into administration and the team struggled on the pitch. Nearing the brink of relegation, Ranieri resigned before he could be sacked by the Atlético chairman Jesús Gil, who was well known for sacking managers. Atlético would indeed go on to be relegated.
As head coach of Chelsea from 18 September 2000 to 30 May 2004, Ranieri worked hard to overcome the language barrier. When he arrived at the London club, he could speak only limited English; fortunately, the club had a few players who could speak Italian and Spanish and could help translate for him on the training pitch. Ranieri's first season consisted of inconsistent results, with Chelsea reaching sixth place and a UEFA Cup spot. Ranieri had been instructed to reduce the average age of the squad, and worked to rebuild Chelsea in the summer of 2001, essentially creating a brand new midfield by signing Frank Lampard from West Ham United, Emmanuel Petit and Boudewijn Zenden from Barcelona, and Jesper Grønkjær from Ajax. He also signed defender William Gallas from Olympique Marseille, spending in total over £30 million.
He was criticised, however, for both selling fan favourite Dennis Wise and the fact that Chelsea's league performance did not improve much on the previous season. They finished 6th once again but did reach the FA Cup Final, losing 2–0 to Arsenal. During the 2002–03 season and throughout his Chelsea days Ranieri was accused of over-rotating his squad, picking up the nickname of "the Tinkerman" from the British media. Chelsea finished the season on a high, qualifying for the Champions League after beating Liverpool 2–1 on the last day of the season. Ranieri's achievement, coming after a close season where the club were in a difficult financial situation and the only arrival was Enrique de Lucas from Espanyol on a free transfer, was greatly appreciated by fans and the media alike. In addition, Ranieri succeeded in getting the best out of players like Samuele Dalla Bona and Mario Stanić and nurtured emerging talents in John Terry, Robert Huth, and Carlton Cole.
When Chelsea were taken over by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich in 2003, Ranieri was given a large transfer fund but also found his job under threat. Days after the takeover, Abramovich was spotted meeting with England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson. Although the club denied Eriksson would be taking over at the time, these rumours would haunt Ranieri's season. Ranieri spent £120 million on players in the summer of 2003. These signings included Irish winger Damien Duff for a then club record £17 million, English youngsters Wayne Bridge, Joe Cole, and Glen Johnson, Argentine pair Juan Sebastián Verón and Hernán Crespo, Frenchman Claude Makélélé and Romanian star Adrian Mutu. The heavy investment bought the best league placing for the club in 49 years, finishing runners-up in the Premier League to Arsenal, the first side in over a century to go an entire league season unbeaten. This position automatically qualified Chelsea for the Champions League. The club also reached the semi-finals of the Champions League; Chelsea knocked out Arsenal en route, although Ranieri's position was weakened by the semi-final loss to AS Monaco, a reverse the manager himself was blamed for due to several bizarre substitutions and tactical changes.
That season saw Chelsea break club records for the fewest goals conceded and highest number of points in a season. Former English footballer and pundit David Platt used the example of Ranieri to illustrate his observation that "building a team that can win the title and actually steering this team to the title are two different matters entirely." On 31 May 2004, after almost a year of speculation, which included the club's well-publicized courting of Eriksson, he was finally relieved of his coaching duties at Chelsea, and his job went to José Mourinho, who had led Porto to successive European triumphs. In Ranieri's four seasons Chelsea improved their points total season on season. The core of the Chelsea team which won two Premier League titles under Mourinho, including John Terry, William Gallas, Claude Makélélé and Frank Lampard were all brought to Chelsea or nurtured by Ranieri. Ranieri published in September 2004 a book named Proud Man Walking chronicling his last year at Chelsea. All proceeds went to London's Great Ormond Street Hospital.
On 8 June 2004, he returned for a second stint as coach of Valencia on a three-year contract. Ranieri took over after Rafael Benítez, the manager who had led Valencia to the UEFA Cup and La Liga double the previous season, resigned and then promptly joined Liverpool. Ranieri made a series of signings from Serie A, including Marco Di Vaio, Stefano Fiore, Bernardo Corradi, and Emiliano Moretti. After a bright start, in which the Mestalla outfit picked up 14 out of a possible 18 points and beat Porto to lift the UEFA Super Cup, Valencia went into a slump starting in October. They won only once in 7 games and were knocked out of the Champions League, partly thanks to a 5–1 defeat to Inter Milan in which midfielder Miguel Ángel Angulo was sent off for spitting. After a brief revival, Valencia went another 6 games without a win beginning mid-January. Apart from the unpopularity of his four Italian signings Ranieri was criticised for not playing Argentine playmaker Pablo Aimar and for persistent changes to formations and tactics, something resembling his Chelsea days. He was sacked on 25 February 2005 after Valencia were knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Steaua Bucureşti. Valencia were sixth in La Liga at the time of Ranieri's sacking. Quique Sánchez Flores was announced by Valencia in June 2005 to be Ranieri's long term successor. Prior to that Ranieri had picked up £3million from Valencia for the premature termination of his contract.
On 12 February 2007, one day after the 23rd Serie A matchday, Ranieri was announced as the new Parma manager following the sacking of Stefano Pioli. He lost his first game in charge against U.C. Sampdoria 1–0, but subsequently managed to make several impressive results to help Parma in the relegation battle, obtaining 17 points in 10 matches (to be compared to his predecessor's 15 points in 23 matches), including a 4–3 unexpected away win at Palermo which caused the rosanero to sack their coach Francesco Guidolin. The impressive results continued in the run up to the end of the season and Parma avoided relegation, ending the season with a 3–1 win over Empoli to finish at 12th position in the Serie A. The team started to hit some impressive goal-scoring form as well, seen in the 4–1 thrashing of Messina in early May. After helping Parma escape from relegation, Ranieri was linked with several managing jobs, including Fulham, Manchester City, and Palermo. On 16 May 2007, William Hill suspended betting on him becoming Manchester City manager following a flurry of betting activity. On 31 May, Parma announced Ranieri would not be the club's manager for the following season.
On 4 June 2007, it was announced Ranieri would be taking over at Juventus. He signed a 3-year contract with the club. The deal took effect on 1 July 2007. Ranieri signed big names such as Vincenzo Iaquinta from Udinese and Zdeněk Grygera from Ajax. His first season as manager of Juventus was fairly successful, as he guided the team to a 3rd place finish just one season after they had been competing in the Serie B following the match-fixing scandal which rocked Italian football. In August 2008, Ranieri engaged in a war of words with new Inter Milan manager José Mourinho, who had replaced him four years earlier at Chelsea. He highlighted Inter as the strongest threat to Juventus in Serie A. After Juventus failed to register a win in seven matches during a two-month period, he was said to have been under real pressure to maintain his job as head coach with many supporters of the club publicly criticising the team and in particular Ranieri. Speculation ended when, after having an emergency board meeting on 18 May 2009, the board sacked Ranieri after Inter were confirmed Champions. He was replaced by youth system chief Ciro Ferrara. Juventus finished the season 2nd, one place better than the previous season.
On 1 September 2009, Ranieri was signed as the new manager of Roma on a two-year contract, succeeding Luciano Spalletti, who had resigned that day after opening the 2009–10 season with two defeats. Thus, Rome-born Ranieri became head coach of the football club which he had supported since childhood. Under his guidance, Roma dramatically improved their performances and thrust themselves into the championship battle, reducing the gap between themselves and leaders Inter to only one point after Ranieri's team defeated Mourinho's Nerazzurri in Week 31. Roma then went on to win two more games consecutively and overtook Inter by Week 33, thanks to a 2–1 home win against Atalanta and Inter's 2–2 draw against Fiorentina. This left the Giallorossi on the top of the table with five games remaining. Roma then extended its unbeaten run to 23 games and also maintained first place in the league table by winning a heated derby against crosstown rivals Lazio. Ranieri was hailed by the press for substituting local heroes Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi during half-time, while Roma was losing 1–0; the Giallorossi then won the game 2–1 thanks to two second-half goals from Mirko Vučinić. However Roma would surrender their lead in Serie A and also lose the Coppa Italia final, in both cases to treble-winning Inter. Ranieri resigned as manager on 20 February 2011 after a poor run of results. His final game in charge was a 4–3 defeat to Genoa, in which Roma surrendered a 3–0 lead.
On 22 September 2011, Ranieri was named as the new manager of Inter Milan taking the place of Gian Piero Gasperini who was dismissed for poor performances after losing 4 out of 5 matches. He signed a contract with the club until 30 June 2013. The Nerazzurri managed to win 3–1 in Ranieri's debut against Bologna on 24 September; this was the first competitive win for the team in all tournaments since the beginning of the season, and was followed by a 3–2 2011-12 UEFA Champions League away win at CSKA Moscow. A run of seven consecutive Serie A wins in December 2011 and January 2012, including a 1–0 victory over neighbours A.C. Milan, suddenly had them talking of challenging for the title.
Thereafter, Inter Milan suffered a poor run of results (which also saw the departure of Thiago Motta to Paris Saint-Germain F.C.) and their 2011-2012 UEFA Champions League hopes were hanging by a thread after being beaten by Olympique de Marseille 1–0 in the round of 16 first leg match. Speculation was growing that Ranieri would be sacked soon, reaching its peak during half-time of the Serie A match with Catania. However this died down after a 2–0 away win over A.C. ChievoVerona. On 26 March 2012, Ranieri rescinds the contract as Inter manager, by mutual agreement with the company on 26 March 2012 after the defeat with Juventus for 2–0, match that left Inter in eight position in Serie A. A run of just two wins in their last 13 games and elimination by Olympique de Marseille in the last-16 of the 2011–2012 UEFA Champions League eventually led to his dismissal.
On 30 May 2012, Ranieri signed a two-year contract with French Ligue 2 club Monaco. Ranieri led Monaco to promotion to the Ligue 1, with the club winning the Ligue 2 championship title for the first time in its history. Ranieri led Monaco finishing with 80 points, second place in the 2013–14 Ligue 1. On 20 May 2014, he was sacked by AS Monaco FC.Cite error: A
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|url=missing title (help).[dead link]
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