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Claudio Ranieri

Nationality: Italian
Date of Birth: 20/10/1951


Over the past decade, Ranieri has built up a burgeoning reputation as one of the continent's most astute coaches, having plied his trade in two of Europe's most demanding Leagues.

In his homeland, the Italian began his managerial career with Campania before guiding Cagliari from the Third Division into the top flight between 1989 and 1991. His next move was to Napoli, where he was unable to bring success, but did work with a talented young Italian played named Gianfranco Zola.

Ranieri was then appointed as Fiorentina's manager, and again led the club into Serie A in 1994, tasting double cup glory with the Viola the following year.

Ranieri then moved to Spain with Valencia, and as well as adding the 1999 Spanish Cup to his honours list, he was credited with laying the foundations for the side that reached the 2000 Champions League final.

Ranieri had left Valencia before seeing his seeds come to fruition and took on the onerous task of managing Atletico Madrid in the summer of 1999. Despite signing Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for 12million from Leeds United - the Dutchman went on to be the league's top scorer - in March, Ranieri departed from the Vicente Calderon stadium with the club staring relegation from the Primera Liga in the face, a fate that evetually befell them.

In September 2000, Ranieri was viewed as the ideal replacement for compatriot, Gianluca Vialli, as Chelsea sought to end their championship drought stretching back to 1955.

Speaking little English when he arrived, Ranieri struggled to instill any consistency into a team that was renowned for blowing hot and cold but his experience helped him to build a team capable of challenging for a place in Europe.

With new strikers Eidur Gujohnsen and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink - reunited with his former boss - to spearhead Chelsea's attack, and Chris Sutton's departure to Celtic, Ranieri managed to guide The Blues into 6th place in the league in his first season at the helm, qualifying them once again for the UEFA Cup.

With mastering the English language added to his list of achievements, Ranieri invested heavily prior to the beginning of the 2001-02 season, bringing Frank Lampard, Emannuel Petit, William Gallas and Boudewijn Zended to Stamford Bridge in place of the departing Frank Leboeuf, Bernard Lambourde, John Harley, Dennis Wise and Gustavo Poyet.

Again Chelsea could not find the consistency to challenge for the league title and finished in 6th place once again. Having disappointed in Europe they earned another shot for the following season, but with Italian keeper Carlo Cudicini looking like one of the best finds of the year, they look well placed to challenge in Ranieri's third season at the Bridge.

With transfer funds somewhat limited, the Italian off-loaded the promising Sam Dalla Bona and brought in young players Enrique De Lucas and Filipe Oliveira to strengthen the squad. He is also hoping some of the homegrown youngsters will assert their claims for a place in the starting line-up in the 2002-03 season.

With Abramovich's riches arriving at the Bridge, millions were spent by the Italian and although popular with players and fans, the Russian owner replaced Ranieri with Jose Mourinho in June 2004

Previous Clubs

Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Fiorentina, Napoli, Cagliari, Campania

Reproduced under permission from the League Managers Association.
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