The former coach rules out suggestions that a group of players were pushing against him and performing badly on purpose.
Ranieri said: “I don’t believe that. There are players who give 110 per cent with a Coach, then don’t ‘click’ with another. I think a good Coach should try to make the most of his players’ characteristics, but when I was a player, I also pushed to understand what my Coach wanted from me.
“I was not a champion, but my motto during my playing days was ‘never give in.’ Players should be lions who have to be held back, but this year I was disappointed that at Roma not everyone had that spirit.”