Milan - Claudio Ranieri's triumph with
Leicester City in England has more than made amends for being sacked by Roma,
according to the Italian's 96-year-old mother.
"I'm sorry about how it finished for
him at Roma: we've always been a big Roma-supporting family," Renata
Ranieri told La Repubblica newspaper on Wednesday.
"He took over (at Roma) when the
season had already started. He didn't earn the respect of his own city... and
I'm disappointed it finished like that for him.
"But now, he's the king of England and
he's getting compliments from all around the world."
Ranieri went to Rome to have lunch with his
elderly mother on the day Leicester clinched their historic Premier League
title when Tottenham failed to beat his former club Chelsea on Monday.
It was only two hours, but it gave her
64-year-old son "time to relax" and reflect on an unforgettable
season at the tail end of what has been a storied, and not always successful,
career for the coach known as the "Tinkerman".
Ranieri's achievements with Leicester have
resonated around the world, especially in his native Italy.
Sacked by Juventus before the end of the
season in 2009, Ranieri was appointed Roma coach months later after Luciano
Spalletti quit after two opening defeats.
It looked a dream appointment for the man
who grew up supporting Roma while working as a butcher's boy before embarking
on a modest playing career.
But despite Roma going 24 games unbeaten,
Ranieri's popularity plummeted when they lost the title and the Italian Cup
final to Jose Mourinho's treble-winning Inter Milan.
After a 1-0 Cup final defeat to Inter,
Mourinho mocked Ranieri for showing his players the 'Gladiator' film in a bid
to inspire them to victory.
Defeat to Inter in the Italian Super Cup
final the following season preceded a negative series of results and Ranieri
quit Roma in February 2011.
Five years after the bittersweet
experience, Ranieri's coaching acumen is now being applauded around the world.
"I started crying at the end of
game," his mother said of Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Tottenham.
Although Ranieri was scheduled to be flying
while Monday's Premier League game was underway, the Italian reportedly watched
the game live after Leicester president Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha laid on a
"I only heard from Claudio later on
because I was busy taking calls from grandsons and cousins. He was very happy,
like everyone was: now we can all relax," added Renata.
Defying odds of 5 000-1 to prevail ahead of
England's glamour clubs in a way that turned Leicester's unheralded players
into household names, even Ranieri's mother had doubts.
"I didn't expect him to win, but the
players he had under him are all good lads. It wasn't a little team he was in
charge of, but they trained like true professionals," she said.
Considered a relative failure in Italy
after being sacked by Inter and Juventus, Ranieri's biggest achievement in his
homeland was steering Fiorentina to the Serie B championship in 1994 and the
Italian Cup and Super Cup two years later.
Ranieri's appointment as Leicester manager
followed a disastrous spell with Greece that raised the doubts of Leicester
fans, including former Foxes striker Gary Lineker.
His mother added: "In England, he is
in his element, they treat him perfectly and allowed him to get back on his
feet. And I want to say thanks to them all."