Zaniolo struck twice for Italy in their Euros qualifying victory over Armenia - making him the youngest Roma player to do so.
“Zaniolo is not heir to Totti," Ranieri told the Corriere dello Sport. “But he is a great player and might grow into a champion."
“I was waiting for him last year," the former Giallorossi coach added. “But I had him in the worst period. He has got this natural talent and is improving game after game."