Ranieri recalls 'dead man walking' Chelsea experience

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri has recalled his emotional departure from Chelsea almost five years ago.

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri has recalled his emotional departure from Chelsea almost five years ago.

Ranieri told The Sun: “I knew from the start, from the very beginning, I was just a dead man walking.

“(Roman) Abramovich tried to get Sven Goran Eriksson but he was tied up with the England national team — and for that reason he left me in my job.

“When they want to get a manager to replace you but they can’t — and that’s the reason they just give you a chance — then you know it will be impossible.

“I was thinking ‘Even if I win everything I will still get the sack’.

“I knew that my time was up. For the first seven or 10 days I didn’t speak to Abramovich. Then I spoke to him and he explained what his vision was and asked me ‘What do you need to build this team?’

“I said ‘I need to buy 11 players’ because I needed to have two players for each position. But most pre-seasons had already started.

“The Champions League qualifiers had already started and it wasn’t easy to take every player I wanted.”

Ranieri added: “It all became clear once Peter Kenyon arrived. With Abramovich we knew we had to build a team to be able to start winning.

“Kenyon arrived in February and started saying that if I didn’t win a trophy it would be a disaster.

“The things didn’t add up. I was thinking to myself ‘The owner tells me to build a team and Kenyon says I have to win’. So at that point I understood everything.” It was pointless to take it up with the owner.

Ranieri added: “I didn’t speak to Roman about that. Kenyon was a person Abramovich brought to the club. I was someone Abramovich had found at Chelsea. Between the two of us, Kenyon would always have more credibility.”

Chelsea finished that season runners-up in the league and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League.

Ranieri begged Red Rom to let him stay on.

The Italian added: “I spoke to Abramovich before he let me go and said ‘I’m sorry you’re new at the club because an owner who’s been in football for some time and sees what I have done for this club would never sack me — NEVER.

“He would give me the opportunity to complete my work. To do what I’ve done is incredible’. At the end of the season there were about 10 days that Abramovich was thinking about it before deciding to get Jose Mourinho.

“It saddens me that I was unable to finish my work.”

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