Zenit St Petersburg coach Luciano Spalletti has heaped praise on former club Roma for last season's turnaround.

After replacing Spalletti, Claudio Ranieri led Roma to the Coppa Italia final and second-place in the league.

"The Giallorossi deserve the critics' prize for what they have achieved this year," said Spalletti.

"Roma had an exceptional campaign and Ranieri, who we already knew to be a great professional, managed to put the team back on track starting from solid foundations.

"Roma remains in my heart and only those who lived and worked there can understand how special this rapport truly is."