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Jose Mourinho Eats Humble Pie As Ranieri Quote Comes Back To Bite Him On The Arse

Jose Mourinho Eats Humble Pie As Ranieri Quote Comes Back To Bite Him On The Arse
By Gary Reilly Updated

Claudio Ranieri is quite possibly the nicest man in football. If you don't believe us then we'd like to point you to this extract from the Guardian's inside look at an extraordinary season.

It emerged that Ranieri decided to decorate his office at the King Power Stadium at the start of the season with an individual photograph of every other Premier League manager (he wanted to make them feel welcome after a match).

If we're being honest, if we'd heard about that at the start of the season, it would have been used as an example of why Ranieri was going to fail. A delicate soul that didn't have the fight for the Premier League, his time had come and gone and, having lost to the Faroe Islands, it was time to leave the Premier League dogfight to the next generation.

A team like Leicester needed an Eddie Howe figure who could implement new ideas and set the club up on a long term basis. Ranieri's appointment looked for all the world to be a fallacy of the highest order. Bring in an experienced name to 'steady the ship' when really it would have the opposite effect.

Or not as the case may be.

It feels incredibly clichéd to say but Ranieri has proved his doubters wrong to an extent that's unmatched in football history and one man who may well be regretting his decision to verbalise a fairly common thought about the 64 year old is Jose Mourinho.

Back in 2008, with Ranieri in charge of Juventus and Mourinho having taken the reigns at Inter Milan, the elder statesman (who was only 56 at the time) stated that, unlike Mourinho, 'I don’t have to win things to be sure of myself'.

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It's certainly interesting to see how that criticism of Mourinho's character has come to the fore in recent years but at the time, it was just another example of why Ranieri was the meek loser to Mourinho's confident winner. And the then Inter boss delivered a stunning rebuke that's been referenced once or twice this season.

Ranieri? I guess he’s right with what he said I am very demanding of myself and I have to win to be sure of things. This is why I have won so many trophies in my career. Ranieri on the other hand has the mentality of someone who doesn’t need to win. He is almost 70 years old.

He has won a Supercup and another small trophy and he is too old to change his mentality. He’s old and he hasn’t won anything. I studied Italian five hours a day for many months to ensure I could communicate with the players, media and fans. Ranieri had been in England for five years and still struggled to say ‘good morning’ and ‘good afternoon.'

Well dilly ding, dilly dong to that. In truth, it's perhaps a bit unfair to drag up past quotes like that and use them as criticism eight years later. Who's to say that Mourinho's recent experiences haven't changed his viewpoint and shaped his outlook for the better?

Learning from one's experiences after all is a crucial part of life and in his 'almost 70 years', Ranieri has had that opportunity more than most current managers. Judging by his response to Leicester's title win, you'd like to think that Mourinho has certainly gained a bit of humility in in recent months.

I want to congratulate everyone connected to Leicester; players, staff, owners and fans. I lost my title to Claudio Ranieri and it is with incredible emotion that I live this magic moment in his career.

Now we can all look forward to the former Chelsea boss desperately trying to get his hands on the Man United job so that humility can be thrown out the window and winning at all costs can come rushing back in. Until next season Claudio.

See also: The Very Best Of 'If Leicester Win The League, I'll...'

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