Call him a realist or call him a Debbie-Downer, but Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri is content to celebrate their title win now and get back to work without setting his sights any higher.
On Tuesday following Leicester City’s monumental Premier League title win by virtue of Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-2 draw against Chelsea, Ranieri was asked by Sky Sports whether he believed the Foxes could repeat as Champions of the Premier League next season, to which he bluntly replied, “No.”
Ranieri stated that the plan for the club remained the same: to build on the foundation into a contender for European football.
“We want to continue to build,” Ranieri told Rob Dorsett, per NBC Sports.
“When I came here, the project was to build a very good foundation and slowly, slowly to grow up together in three to four years to fight for the Europa League and slowly come to fight for the Champions League.
“Now the season is out of our project but of course, the foundation is very solid. We know very well we have to fight for the position but we want to do our best. I’m positive and I want to fight.
“I don’t want to sell anybody though, but of course if some players don’t want to stay with us because they are unhappy to continue with us, then I don’t want unhappy people.
“We are looking to reinforce the team but with the same mentality, because this is my mentality and this is their mentality. We all linked very well together. Whoever comes in must know we are working hard.”
Well, whether it was a part of the plan or not, Leicester City will be in the Champions League next year as a Pot 1 team. While that will undoubtedly save them from having to take on the champions of the other top-five leagues, it still opens the door for such European superpowers as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli and Roma to visit the King Power Stadium in autumn.
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