Claudio Raniero no longer wants to be known as the Tinkerman, but the Thinkerman, after guiding Leicester to an unprecedented Premier League title.
The Italian was given the name ‘Tinkerman’ during his four-year spell at Chelsea between 2000 and 2004 because of his reputation for continuously chopping and changing his team.
But one of the major factors in Leicester’s success this year was Ranieri’s ability to pick a relatively unchanged side.
The Foxes boss made just 27 changes all season – less than any other Premier League manager.
Leicester may have to brace for the added burden of Champions League football next year, but Ranieri was adamant they would not be making wholesale changes to the team.
“I don’t want big names. I don’t want it in my dressing room. My lads are special. Who arrives must have the same spirit,” he said.
“I am the Thinkerman, not Tinkerman!”
Ranieri cut a relaxed figure at his first official press conference since winning the title, frequently joking around with the reporters.
Asked if this was the greatest moment of his life, he said: “Could be, but I’d like to remember because, you say this is a fairy tale – but my fairy tale started in Cagliari a long time ago.
“I came from non-league and I won Serie C, Serie B, Serie A and then from there I flew. That was my first fairy tale and now there is another.
“To win the title in the Premier League is something special and more special in Leicester, more with these fantastic lads. Unbelievable.”
Ranieri said it was karma that his time arrived to be a champion.
“Never could I have imagined this. We work so hard. Everyone does, but only one can win. This year it happened to me!” he said.
“It’s my karma. I’ve fought so hard to achieve so this is special. I want to thank my players, chairman, staff and fans.”
Ranieri also weighed in on the bookmakers, who gave Leicester a 5000/1 chance of winning the title this season.
“I don’t believe the bookmakers anymore. This season they’ve made big mistakes,” he added.