Claudio Ranieri has made it clear this week that his career as a football coach will come to an end after this season. The 72 year-old Italian announced this on Tuesday, May 21, after he managed to avoid relegation with his club Cagliari. A year ago, he ensured the promotion to the Italian Serie A for the football club of Sardinia

Ranieri was the manager for two seasons at AS Monaco in the previous decade. At the time, he was at the forefront of the club’s reconstruction under chairman Dmitri Rybolovlev. Under Ranieri, the club moved from Ligue 2 to the Champions League, finishing second behind PSG in the season of the return to Ligue 1.

The Italian tactician’s coaching career lasted 36 years, during which he experienced several highlights, but the most notable success is winning the Premier League with underdog Leicester City in 2016. Since then, he has been nicknamed ‘Sir Claudio’ in international media.

Ranieri started his coaching career after a creditable career as a player at clubs such as Catanzaro and Catania in the top flight of Italian football, after turning professional in his hometown with AS Roma. Following a run-up at a lower level with clubs in the fourth tier, he became coach of Cagliari in 1988, and went on to take the club from Serie C1 to Serie A and then, just like in this season, managed to maintain the team at the highest level, with players like Enzo Francescoli and Daniel Fonseca.

Best known for his sportsmanship, Ranieri behaved like a gentleman, even in the face of setbacks. In the past season, he could count on applause from the opponent’s crowd at every away game. The former red and white manager no longer has any enemies and has been praised by many colleagues in recent days.

After last Sunday’s victory at Sassuolo, the Sardinian club knew that it had avoided relegation as a promotion candidate. “I believe this is the right time to stop at Cagliari. This hurts my heart, but I think this is the right decision. I think we’ve come full circle. I came here in 1988 and after leaving the club in Serie A, I grew in my job and have had great successes but also bitter defeats. It was great to come back to Cagliari and now it’s come full circle for me.” He will be on the sidelines again on Thursday in his 1400th match as a club coach.

Featured image courtesy of REUTERS/Claudia Greco: Cagliari coach Claudio Ranieri