Claudio Ranieri

London, Feb 25 (IANS) Veteran football manager Claudio Ranieri has lamented that his dream of staying with Leicester City died after the reigning English Premier League (EPL) champions sacked him earlier this week.

Leicester enjoyed a dream run under Ranieri’s guidance last season and stunned the football world by winning the EPL title.

But the club have not been able to replicate the same magic this season, wining just five of their 25 matches to be at the 17th spot with 21 points.

The 1-2 loss to Spanish outfit Sevilla FC in the first leg of the last-16 stage of the Champions League on Thursday night proved to be the final nail in the coffin as the experience Italian was removed as Leicester manager soon after.

“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,” the 65-year-old said in a statement on Saturday.

Lamenting the nature of his departure, Raneiri thanked the Leicester fans for their support during his tenure at the club.

“The adventure was amazing and will live with me forever. My heartfelt thanks to everybody at the club, everybody who was part of what we achieved, but mostly to the supporters. No-one can ever take away what we achieved together and 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,” he added.

“You took me into your hearts from day one and loved me. I love you too.”

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