Italian coach Claudio Ranieri made history with Leicester City by winning the first Premier League title of the club, at the end of a season that was started by the Foxes with the objective of avoiding relegation; however, the manager from Rome keeps his feet on the ground and said that he doesn't believe in fairy tales but never stopped hoping. In an interview with Italian newspaper La Stampa, Ranieri said that he "didn't believe in fairy tales before what happened with Leicester. I've never believed in them, but I never gave up hope". The Foxes won their first title on Monday night, after a draw at Stamford Bridge between Chelsea and Tottenham. Leicester "was like Cinderella, a club that was about to win the richest league in the world", Ranieri added, in an attempt to explain why so many people, not only in England, developed such a passion for his team.
"This is what pushed football fans to get into the team: we weren't the strongest, but all the players run and fight. How could you not get excited?", Ranieri then added. The former manager of Juventus and Inter then highlighted that the Premier League title clinched on Monday by Leicester is the first championship he has ever won in his managing career, that spanned 30 years. "It was something that was missing. If I had won at the beginning of my career, I might have forgotten it. But now that I'm old, I can remember it very well", Ranieri said.
I have always fought: I started from the amateurs league and nobody ever gave me anything for free. I fell and I got back up", he then added. The manager of the Foxes then tried to compare Leicester's triumph to Italian football. "It is like my Catanzaro or today's Sassuolo won the Scudetto. You choose", he said, in a reference to Catanzaro FC, the club he played for from 1974 to 1982, with which he won two Serie A promotions and clinched the eight place in the 1981-1982 season.
Leicester "is a team that before last season, when they avoided relegation only in the late stages of the year, spent seven seasons in the Championship and one in League One", Ranieri then recalled. Asked about what message the unexpected title won by the Foxes might convey, Ranieri answered: "It tells us to keep believing and to keep trying, always". "It also tells us not to get tired of bettering ourselves and to look ahead. I am 64 years old, and I am not stopping doing this", he concluded.