As we all know, last season Leicester City defied 5000-1 odds to win the Premier League title and as with many fans, it still hasn’t sunk in for Claudio Ranieri.
It was incredible. Parades in the street, a whole city singing his name, fans traveling from Italy to spend the weekend in Leicester. It’s been a mad year for Leicester City fans and it still hasn’t sunk in for boss Claudio Ranieri.
Ranieri accepted his ‘Mecenate dello Sport’ award in Rome. ‘Mecenate dello Sport’ translates to ‘Patron of Sport’ and is given out in honour of the late AC Milan legend Nils Leidholm who sadly passed away in 2007.
Nils played over 350 games for the Italian giants and coached Claudio Ranieri during his time at Roma.
Despite only spending 8 months at the club, the time he spent with Nils stuck with him.
Previous winners of ‘Mecenate dello Sport’ include Carlo Ancelotti, Vincente Del Bosque, Michael Platini and Paulo Maldini. It’s fair to say that Ranieri is in good company.
The Leicester City manager was extremely moved when accepting his awward, almost breaking into tears when recalling the events of the past year.
As quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport Ranieri said:
"“You won’t believe it, but it’s only listening to all that you’ve said about me that I realised how big a thing we did with Leicester, because credit must go to everybody for it.”"
Ranieri was almost brought to tears as he listened to a tribute to Nils Leidholm, after which he said:
"“He was my coach at Roma for eight months and that was enough for me to appreciate his elegance and his style,”"
"“Nowadays, with this sport entering into everybody’s homes, we would need somebody like him to make people understand that football is also a game.”"
"“So I am proud and honoured to receive this award, which remembers a great coach and a great man.”"