Ten Times We Fell In Love With Claudio Ranieri
Since Claudio unveiled his favourite saying in a press conference earlier this year, it’s been a familiar shout around King Power Stadium.
What’s the saying? It’s ‘dilly-ding, dilly-dong'.
What does it mean? The gaffer shouts it in training when his players are ‘sleeping’.
Why do we love it? It’s ridiculous and genius in equal measure.
We’re in the Champions League, man!
In front of a packed pre-match press conference ahead of the Swansea City game, Claudio faced a barrage of questions about the suspension of top scorer Jamie Vardy and how his team would cope.
In response, he had a little reminder for the media, who he affectionately calls his ‘sharks’. “Hey man. We are in the Champions League, man! Dilly-ding, dilly-dong, come on! You forget, you speak about blah, blah blah but we are in the Champions League, man! It’s fantastic. It’s terrific. Well done to everybody.”
The height of fashion in a cap
It’s not often that football managers make the headlines for their choice of clothing, but when Claudio donned a fetching Leicester City baseball cap for a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth early in the season, it proved to be quite a talking point.
The stylish Italian has gone on to make plenty more headlines for things on the pitch this season, but curiously, the cap has not made another appearance since…
The Twitter Q&A
We invited the manager to join us for a special Twitter Q&A in his office not long after joining and he certainly didn’t disappoint. Not only did he reveal exclusively that Riyad Mahrez had signed a new four-year deal, but there were plenty of other Ranieri-facts to Foxes fans to digest.
For example, did you know that the manager’s favourite film is Ghost? Or a ‘cob’ is called a ‘rossetta’ in Rome? Or that he had a German Shepherd called Shark?
Clean sheet pizza
If you enjoy food puns, you’re welcome, if you don’t, we’re sorry. That’s because when Claudio Ranieri promised to buy his team pizza for their first clean sheet of the season, that’s what we got, and then some.
Rarely have pizzas hit the headlines in such a way. But when that clean sheet did arrive against Crystal Palace, Claudio was as good as his word as he took his players to local restaurant Peter Pizzeria.
The Rattan furniture deal
As Claudio Ranieri was unveiled as the Leicester City manager in July, for some people there was only one question to answer – had the Club signed some kind of partnership with Rattan furniture?
As the manager flew out to Austria to watch his team train for the first time, it seems some of you were particularly taken by the prominence of a lovely garden chair in his signing shot. The rumours are not true!
Claudio’s Kasabian warriors
Leicester rock band Kasabian’s ‘Fire’ track is a familiar sound at King Power Stadium as it blasts out of the speakers to celebrate the goals as they go in, but when Claudio heard it, he wanted his players to use it to turn themselves into ‘warriors’.
In a 4-2 win over Sunderland on the opening weekend, that’s just what happened. Claudio said: "I think I know the Leicester fans very well. They are [passionate] supporters and I told my players ‘when you go on the pitch and you hear the song from Kasabian, that means they want warriors.’ I want to see them as warriors for the fans.”
The caged animal
The manager often speaks of a connection between the players, the fans and the staff. In fact he’s described it as electricity. Aside from goals, there have been few more electrifying moments at King Power Stadium than when Claudio waves his arms on the touchline in an effort to connect with the crowd.
After a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, Jamie Vardy described the scene as follows: “I had to have a little chuckle to be fair at the end. I didn’t know why the crowd were getting so hectic and then I looked at the boss and he looked like a caged animal!
“He was going absolutely crackers. But he’s got the fans absolutely booming after that and you could hear from their roar that they wanted us to see it through and they’ve helped us get the three points.”
I want to kill him
Current Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores replaced Claudio in 2005 as Valencia boss and some members media began to speculate that the City boss might harbour some bitterness towards his counterpart.
He didn’t, of course. But that didn’t stop the Italian from having some fun with his reply.
“Yes, big revenge. I want to kill him!”
With the Foxes riding high at the top of the Premier League, there were calls from some MPs to grant Claudio a Honorary Knighthood from the Queen. His reaction was very Claudio, and we all loved it.
“Sir Claudio? Unbelievable! Has somebody called me? No, nobody, but I like it! Don’t joke, please!”
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