Claudio Ranieri released an emotional statement on Friday after being sacked by Leicester, the club he guided to an improbable Premier League victory just nine months ago.
The Italian expressed his disappointment at the loss of his Leicester dream but was never less than gracious, thanking Leicester for providing him with an incredible adventure.
It is understood that he did not wish to leave, and that he had hoped to be given longer to try and turn things around at the King Power Stadium.
“Yesterday my dream died,” said Ranieri.
“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.
“I wish to thank my wife Rosanna and all my family for their never ending support during my time at Leicester.
“My thanks go to Paolo and Andrea who accompanied me on this wonderful journey. To Steve Kutner and Franco Granello for bringing me the opportunity to become a champion.
“Mostly I have to thank Leicester City Football Club. The adventure was amazing and will live with me forever.”
There are rumours of a playing revolt leading to Ranieri’s sacking, but sources report that while there were issues with a couple of players, the Italian still had the majority of the dressing room behind him.
Ranieri also does not appear to hold any ill will towards his assistant Craig Shakespeare, who has taken over as caretaker manager at Leicester, although he did not mention him in the statement.
Ranieri expressed his gratitude for those who had helped make last season such a fairytale experience – especially Leicester supporters.
“Thank you to all the journalists and the media who came with us and enjoyed reporting on the greatest story in football,” he said.
“My heartfelt thanks to everybody at the club, all the players, the staff, everybody who was there and was part of what we achieved – but mostly to the supporters.
“You took me into your hearts from day one and loved me. I love you too. No one can ever take away what we together have achieved.
“I hope you think about it and smile every day the way I always will. It was a time of wonderfulness and happiness that I will never forget. It’s been a pleasure and an honour to be a champion with all of you.”