Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri believes he is a major factor in the club’s success over the last decade.
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In an interview with Gazzetta Dello Sport, Ranieri, now manager of Monaco, says that his legacy put the foundations in place for Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and others to win trophies at Stamford Bridge as well as attracting Roman Abramovich’s interest in buying the club in the first place.
“Without spending a pound, I took Chelsea into the Champions League,” he said. “Abramovich would not have invested in Chelsea otherwise and they would not be where they are now. Some of it is my merit.”
Ranieri is expected to challenge for the Ligue 1 title with Monaco this season after heavy investment over the summer saw the arrival of Radamel Falcao, Joao Moutinho, Ricardo Carvalho and Eric Abidal.
But he has attempted to relieve some of the expectation on the newly promoted side by claiming they are no match for last season’s champions Paris Saint-Germain.
“We cannot compare ourselves with the side who won Ligue 1 last year and lost in the Champions League to Barca,” Ranieri said. “We’ll face [PSG] in Paris on September 22 and who knows, but our aim is at least third place.
Ranieri managed hometown side Roma between 2009 and 2011 and believes the appointment of former Lille coach Rudi Garcia could see the Giallorossi cause an upset in Serie A this season.
“Garcia’s a good coach,” Ranieri said. “Maybe nobody thinks it, but Roma could be the surprise this season.”
For that to happen, they would have to get the better of a Juventus side strengthened with the addition of a striker Ranieri was also keen on.
“Tevez -- I had asked for him to partner Falcao,” he said. “He’s a goalscorer and he plays for the team, pressing the opponents even when he’s sat in the stands. He’s the perfect machine for Conte; he’s the Conte among the players.
“Conte and his club are a role model. If only I had had a club like that behind me…”