As he accepts his new job as head coach of French club Nantes, Claudio Ranieri accepts it is now time for him to move on from Leicester City.
The Italian was a surprise choice to succeed Nigel Pearson as manager at the King Power Stadium back in the summer of 2015, just weeks after they had avoided relegation to the Championship. Against all odds he pulled off one of the greatest stories in the history of English football, when he led the Foxes to their first ever league title in his debut season at the club.
Ranieri struggled to repeat anything like this success last season, and he was controversially sacked at the end of February when, with just 13 matches left to play, they were just one point above the drop zone. Craig Shakespeare was appointed as his successor on a temporary basis, but results improved immediately and he was handed the job on a permanent contract this summer.
A little more than four months after he was shown the exit door by Leicester Ranieri is back in management after accepting the head coach position at Nantes. The French club finished seventh in Ligue 1 last season, and won the last of their eight titles in 2001. This will be a challenge for the 65-year-old, but one he feels will allow him an opportunity to put his former club to the back of his mind.
“It was fantastic to win the title with Leicester,” Ranieri told fcnantes.com. “The love that people showed me was fantastic. The motivation is always very strong. My love for football and the players are always very strong. The ground I miss a lot. But we must forget Leicester and work with humility. Leicester remains something unique. I arrive in a club that has eight titles. I am honoured to be here.”