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Cisse: A return to football possible

By ESPN Staff

Ranieri appointed coach of struggling Parma

Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri has been charged with leading a revolution at Parma after the Serie A club passed into new hands.

New owner Enrico Bondi won an auction to take over the club last month and yesterday he fired coach Stefano Pioli before naming Ranieri as his replacement.

The reaction came after a 3-0 defeat by Roma left the club in grave danger of relegation to Serie B.

After 22 games of the season, Parma lie 19th in the table with just 15 points, three less than Chievo, who sit just above the relegation zone.

Ranieri will be expected to lead the club away from danger and guarantee their future in Serie A after making a return to Italy following a decade abroad.

And he arrived with a warning to his players that they must all pull together with him, or not play again this season.

'Whoever pulls along is with us, who doesn't is against us,' he said.

'The team has got to change its ways and think only of avoiding relegation.

'This club has a clear project and it is vital that we stay in Serie A.'

The former Atletico Madrid, Chelsea and Valencia boss last coached in Italy in the 1996/97 season, when he was in charge of Fiorentina.

A lot has changed in Italian football in the last decade, although it is the events of the last 10 days which Ranieri is hoping never to witness again.

Following the death of a police officer during violence at Catania's match with Palermo on February 2, the majority of stadia in the country have been closed.

Ranieri believes the only way to restore calm is to follow the example set by England.

'I hope that the tragedy in Catania is the last straw,' he said.

'We need to do like they do in England and send down anybody who breaks the law.

'When I was coach of Chelsea, I would take the (London) Underground to go and watch Arsenal play, together with the Gunners' fans, and without ever encountering any problems.

'Do you think that would be possible in Italy?'

His first view of Italian football will come on Sunday in front of an empty Stadio Tardini in Parma when Sampdoria come to town.

That will be the start of 16 crucial games between now and the end of the season, and Ranieri will be treating each one like the final of the FA Cup.

'I will have to teach the players what I learned in England,' he added.

'You give everything you have got for 90 minutes where winning or losing is secondary - you just never give up until the very last second.'