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Feb 21, 2011

Ranieri 'resigns' after Genoa calamity

Claudio Ranieri has offered his resignation as coach of Roma, following his side's surrendering of a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3 at Genoa, their third straight Serie A defeat.

• Serie A: Roma stunned by comeback

The club are yet to accept Ranieri's resignation, with an announcement expected within the next 24 hours.

"We will pause for reflection," said director Gian Paolo Montali. "We need to examine things carefully, but we will decide everything in between tonight and tomorrow [Monday]."

Recent reports have suggested Ranieri has fallen out with key players amid Roma's lengthy slide, which has left them down in eighth place. Defensive problems have been the key to the Roma collapse this season as they have conceded 11 goals in their last three games, including a 5-3 defeat to Inter Milan.

The latest calamity prompted Ranieri to announce that he has tendered his resignation.

"I've always thought about the good of Roma and after a game such as today's I believe it's right to give a signal," he said. "After the final whistle I went into the changing rooms to thank the team and I decided to hand in my resignation.

"Today we began with the desire to fight for the victory for all those who love this shirt and this city. Every minute of my day is dedicated to Roma and I've always said that for me a defeat is especially painful. But seeing my lads fighting to the end and losing shook me to the core.

"I want to thank all the fans and the president [Rosella] Sensi. Together, despite the difficulties, we did a great job last year and this year.

"I am and always will be a man of the pitch and after a game such as today's I believe it's right to give a signal for the love of these colours and I hope that my decision will help spur on the team. Sport and football have values that for me and for those work hard and with passion are life itself."

If this proves to be the end of Ranieri's reign, it will be a sad finish to something that started so promisingly. Having managed 10 clubs in Italy, Spain, and England, Ranieri returned to his spiritual home - his childhood club and where he began his playing career - in September 2009 and quickly improved their performances.

They got themselves back into the title race and eventually finished only two points behind Jose Mourinho's Inter last season. Hopes were high that Roma could challenge this season with Mourinho gone, but things have rarely gone right for Ranieri second time around.

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has labelled Ranieri's offer to step down as ''an act of great responsibility and dignity''.

''Ranieri's resignation is an act of great responsibility and dignity,'' said Prandelli. ''I don't know the dynamics of the team so I cannot enter into specifics.

''But we all remember last year's Roma that managed to keep up with Inter until the end of the season. The Italian league is very difficult and you have to have the right mentality and continuity in form to do well. I think that when something breaks, the responsibility is not just of one person.''

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