Rome - Leicester was playing in the second tier only two
years ago, came close to be relegated again last year, and started this season
as a 5,000-1 outsider for the title.
For the first time in its 132-year history, Leicester is
champion of England.
"It's the greatest achievement in the history of
English football, and it was led by an Italian," Matteo Renzi, the Italian
Premier, tweeted, adding a hashtag message of "insane" in Italian.
The 64-year-old Ranieri was known as a journeyman manager
who never won any major titles in a career that saw him bounce from club to
club, rarely staying more than a couple of seasons in one.
Before signing with Leicester, Ranieri had an embarrassingly
short reign as the coach of Greece, and was fired following a loss at home to
the Faroe Islands.
"I always thought that sooner or later I would win a
league title," Ranieri told Italian state TV Rai late Monday. "I'm
the same man who was sent away by Greece.
"The only dedication I want to make to everyone is to
tell them to believe and give things a try, not only in football but in every
area of life."
Also read: Ranieri closes in on Hollywood ending with Leicester
The son of a butcher and raised in Rome's working-class
neighborhood of Testaccio, where the slaughterhouses were, Ranieri played
briefly for his hometown club of Roma before spending most of his career as a
defender for southern club Catanzaro.
As a manager, Ranieri won an Italian Cup at Fiorentina, the
French second division with Monaco, and some other minor titles, but had never
claimed a major domestic championship.
A Gazzetta editorial defined Ranieri as "The Normal
One," a reference to his nemesis Jose Mourinho, the self-proclaimed
"The Special One."
Earlier Monday, Ranieri flew to Rome to have lunch with his
"He's one of us, one of the best of us," the
Ranieri was also praised by his peers.
"It's a masterpiece," said Inter Milan coach
Roberto Mancini, who led Manchester City to the English title in 2012. "An
incredible and probably unrepeatable victory — obtained against actual
Added Massimiliano Allegri, the manager of Italian champion
Juventus: "It shows how much the Italian school of coaches is worth."For
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