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By ESPN Staff
Feb 21, 2009

Juve boss Ranieri keen on Premier League return

Former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri would relish a return to England and the chance to build another title-winning side.

The Italian takes his current team, Juventus, to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday for the first leg of the clubs' Champions League last-16 clash.

Ranieri was in charge of the Londoners for almost four years until the end of the 2003-04 season, leading them to second place in the Premier League - behind Arsenal's 'Invincibles' - and the Champions League semi-finals in his final campaign.

The Italian benefited from the arrival of Roman Abramovich as club owner in 2003 and used his millions to bring in the likes of Damien Duff, Joe Cole and Claude Makelele.

He had earlier signed William Gallas and Frank Lampard, also nurturing the early career of youth product John Terry, and it was largely the squad that he built which went on to dominate English football for two years after Jose Mourinho was brought in, following Ranieri's controversial sacking, in 2004.

Ranieri swapped Chelsea for an unsuccessful stint with Valencia in Spain, but he admits he saw Mourinho's subsequent success as partly his own work.

''I didn't win anything but the crowd knew very well that I built a good team,'' he told Football Focus.

''(Did I get enough) credit? No. I wanted to finish my job but it was impossible. Whoever arrived after me could win because I bought a lot of strong players.''

Ranieri added: ''I was very proud that John Terry, Frank Lampard, all the other of my players won something.

''That was important for them and also for me, because I could say I started to build that Chelsea.''

The Juve manager freely admits he would love another chance to work in the Premier League.

''Never say never. Now I want to finish here, but one day I would like to come back to England,'' he said.

''I like the atmosphere in England and the mentality of the supporters. Why not?''

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