Leicester: New English Premier League champions Leicester City’s coach Claudio Ranieri has revealed that a tough start to his career almost led him to quit coaching because of too much politics.
Ranieri secured his first top-tier title this season after Leicester City’s remarkable campaign saw them crowned football champions of England.
However, the Italian admitted he came close to giving up early in his career following tough stints with Italian football clubs Vigor Lamezia and then Puteolana.
“At the beginning at Puteolana and Lamezia, I was top of the league without losing any matches but there was something strange that I didn’t like – I don’t want to tell you what – and I said: ‘Bye bye, I’m going home.’ And I left,” Ranieri was quoted as saying by goal.com on Saturday.
“The second year started more or less the same. I took a little team Puteolana in Serie C without players: I played one match with 10 players, if I remember well, not 11.”
“But you know, something strange arrived and they sacked me. And I said: ‘This is not my job, I love the pitch, I love football but there is so much politics and I am not a politics man. I’m a clear man.’ So I said: ‘It’s not my job.”
Ranieri arrived at Leicester in summer 2015 after a disappointing stint in Greece, where he was sacked as national team boss after just four months, following a home loss to the lowly Faroe Islands.
But the 64-year-old admitted the lowest point of his managerial career came when he took over at Valencia for the second time in 2004, who had just been crowned La Liga champions and UEFA Cup winners under Rafael Benitez.
“Somebody said to me ‘the worst moment was Greece’ but no, the worst moment was the second year in Valencia,” Ranieri said.
“I said to the owner and sporting director: ‘This will be a hard, hard season because last season we achieved something more than should have been possible.’ They won the title in Spain and the UEFA Cup under Benitez, and now it will be a very difficult season,” the 64-year-old concluded.