Saturday August 22 2015
Ranieri: 'Roma for the Scudetto'

Claudio Ranieri tips Rudi Garcia’s Roma for the Scudetto, is intrigued by Milan and doesn’t envy Antonio Conte.

The former Juventus, Inter and Roma Coach is back on a bench at Leicester City in the Premier League after a disastrous spell in charge of Greece.

“I must admit four games and 16 days were enough to understand leading a national team is not for me,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I have to experience the work on the field on a daily basis, as I cannot live this job in fits and starts. I am sorry that it went badly, because I adore Greece and its people.

“I do not envy Antonio Conte the Italy job, as it’s very difficult. I think 20 teams are too many for Serie A and going down to 18 would also help give more breathing room to the Nazionale.

“I am happy in England, as there’s a different atmosphere to the poisonous debate you get in Serie A. Here there is respect for work and for people.

“I love Italy, I am proud to represent my country, but in football terms there is an ugly atmosphere there. It’s one scandal after another and the Parma situation is emblematic. How could such a thing happen? Are those who got it wrong really paying a price?”

The Serie A season kicks off today and Ranieri has clear ideas for his former clubs.

“In my view Roma and Juventus are ahead of everyone else. Roma are potentially the strongest team of them all now they have a real centre-forward like Edin Dzeko, a talent like Mohamed Salah and goalkeeper like Wojciech Szczesny.

“Juve are facing a renewal period, but how can you not tip a team that has won four titles in a row?

“As for the third side, Sinisa Mihajlovic’s Milan really intrigues me. Silvio Berlsuconi got back to spending and you can tell.

“Inter’s pre-season results shouldn’t be a warning. I trust Roberto Mancini and his experience. When you change a side that much, you cannot be impatient too.

“Napoli are another team to watch out for. Maurizio Sarri deserved a Serie A job a lot earlier, as his Empoli played really well. If the players put themselves at Sarri’s disposal and absorb his ideas, then Napoli can go far.

“Fiorentina have Paulo Sousa. His Basel was at times spectacular, but also solid.”

Lazio finished third last season and reached the Coppa Italia Final, but Ranieri doesn’t see great things for them.

“Participating in the Champions League will be the key to the season. Playing on two fronts is not easy.

“Torino will have something good too this term, as Giampiero Ventura is their real star man. Frosinone and Carpi prove that passion and planning can get you places.”

Ranieri revealed he still has an excellent rapport with Chelsea patron Roman Abramovich.

“He was always a gentleman to me. Whenever we meet up, he always says ‘Chelsea is your home.’ That’s not true, but it’s nice to hear anyway.”

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