Claudio Ranieri: Leicester sack was the biggest shock of my career

He was speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport

Claudio Ranieri

Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire/PA Images

Claudio Ranieri has spoken for the first time since being sacked as manager of Leicester City and admits the decision came as the biggest shock of his career.

The Italian struggled to halt Leicester City's slide down the table this season and was dismissed just nine months after guiding 5000-1 outsiders to the most unlikely league crown English football's history.

"Thinking of Leicester, the first thing that comes to mind is the sense of surprise, even more than bitterness," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I have been through a lot in my long career, but never anything like this. It was a shock, but in the end these things are part of football."

The 65-year-old has maintained a low profile since the sacking, only releasing a statement shortly after to express his sadness at the decision.

"Yesterday my dream died," he wrote.

"After the euphoria of last season and being crowned Premier League Champions, all I dreamt of was staying with Leicester City, the club I love, for always. Sadly this was not to be."

Ranieri did confirm that he would speak further about his departure for the club on Sky Sports when Crystal Palace face Arsenal on April 10.

"Until that day I will not talk," he added. "Because everything took place in England and it seems fitting to talk in England."

Claudio Ranieri and his Leicester City champions lift the Premier League trophy last summer. Image: Nick Potts/PA Wire/PA Images