claudio ranieri delighted to be back with roma

16:00    09 Mar 2019

Claudio Ranieri
Claudio Ranieri says he is delighted to be back with Roma, after being confirmed as the replacement for Eusebio di Francesco.

The latter was axed by the Italian giants following a week in which his side lost the Rome derby against Lazio 3-0 and suffered elimination from the UEFA Champions League at the hands of Porto.

The 67-year-old Ranieri has a strong emotional connection with the club: he was born in Rome, started his professional playing career with the Giallorossi in the 1970s and managed the team from 2009 to 2011.

“It means so much for me to return to Roma, it means everything," Ranieri, who was recently dismissed by Premier League club Fulham, told Roma TV.

“I have always been a fan, I've been a player and a coach here. It had been a long time since I've been unable to sleep, but last night after finding out it could be me, I couldn't sleep. That's a good sign. I was too happy.

“My Romanness ties me to Roma, from San Saba to Testaccio and playing in the streets. Roma was in my DNA. My whole football life is tied to Roma.

“When I was a player at Catania, we had the play-off in Rome, so before stepping out into the stadium, I made them play Antonello Venditti's club anthem to fire up the team. Everything ties me to Roma."

He continued: “It was a long, but wonderful day. When you do things with pleasure, you don't feel pain. I found that many things have changed at Trigoria.

“I have certainly changed too. When I started out 32 years ago, football was a different sport. If I have been called in by Roma, it means I've kept up to date. I never lose the desire to improve and I am a better coach now than I was two years ago.”

Ranieri’s first match in charge will be a Serie A clash at home to Empoli on Monday night.

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