• Raffaele Tomarchio

Is Claudio Ranieri the Man of The Year?

It’s tough to deny that Leicester City’s Premier League Champions’ manager Claudio Ranieri is a breath of fresh air to reporters who cover sports. Whether you win or lose, or coach soccer, football, hockey, baseball, or any other sport, the typical press conference from the coach or manager is always predictable. But Ranieri, Leicester’s Italian manager, is different.

Ranieri speaks with that Italian enthusiasm and passion that makes him likable. In the end everyone was cheering for Ranieri’s underdogs, Leicester City, to win the Premier League title. And after Chelsea tied Tottenham with a late goal, the impossible feat that no one had anticipated had been accomplished. Starting at 5000-1 odds, Leicester did the impossible. But somehow, although Ranieri did his best to take the spotlight away from him and asked people to praise his players, owners, club staff, and fans, he stole the show. It was his enthusiasm that rubbed off. His positive but cautious press conferences, his smile, his accent, all worked delicately together to leave people wanting nothing but the best for him and his team. His shedding of the spotlight off himself and of course, his exuberance and love of his players, their accomplishment, and the game, also shone through.

That Italian enthusiasm and passion makes him likeable!

Everyone was cheering for the Italian Manager and “his sons”, as he called his players in one interview. It was very similar to when his fellow countryman won the 1999 Oscar at the Academy Awards for the movie, Life is Beautiful. When Benigni won his Oscar, he was so excited he could not hold it in, just like when Ranieri’s team secured a spot in next year’s Champions League. When Benigni won the Oscar he jumped for joy and stood on his chair before racing to the stage to accept his award. He was overjoyed and gave a memorable speech filled with love and passion while praising his fans, fellow actors, directors, producers and film staff. (click below to watch)

“We are in Champions League, man!

Dilly dang, dilly dong, come on!!”

It was a most memorable moment for the Italian actor just like Ranieri's press conference with his words, "hey man, we are in Champions League, man! Dilly dang,dong,come on!! We are in Champions League man!!!!!!!! (click below to watch his interview)

The love affair with Leicester and Ranieri is being felt around the soccer world. Here are just a few quotes from fans around the world. As you can tell, Ranieri gets high praise. Is he up for “Man of the Year?”

William Willberforce said, “Mr. Ranieri for the Nobel Prize.”

Robin LaBoucheI said, “loved the way that he said "My Sons" at the end .... what a wonderful man he is !!!!!

Click below to see that interview and check out the great things people said about Ranieri and his reaction.

Ed Mears had this to say, “What a very Humble Gentleman. Well done Mr Ranieri.”

Scotti Pippen said, “Great, passionate, genuine guy! Congrats to the Championship, Leicester! Great job, Greets from a Bayern Munich Supporter!"

Santi Cazorla said, “There's no way someone else than Claudio Ranieri will be Manager of the Year!!”

Alan Graydon said, “Heart warming story. Taking into account the hype that surrounds our beautiful national game - both on and off the pitch? For once a nice person comes to the fore and he gets what he truly deserves! So you see everyone, NICE THINGS REALLY CAN HAPPEN TO NICE PEOPLE!!!! CLAUDIO RANIERI"

Troy Robinson from Liverpool said, “Well done Claudio, this coming from a Liverpool fan. You are indeed the people's champion. You made dreams come true. A true gentleman of the game .......Forza Leicester !!!!!”

What can you say? With comments like these all over Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube just to name a few social media outlets, you can clearly see that Leicester and Ranieri have made an impact this season leaving everyone with a pretty good feeling. Even Tottenham fans probably took their inability to overtake Leicester for the Championship with less pain.

It’s all good and Life is Beautiful in the soccer world right about now thanks to Claudio and Leicester and...

...thank you for reading my article,

John DeBenedictis

(author of The Last 9 Seconds)


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