One day after firing Eusebio Di Francesco as first team manager, officials at AS Roma have hired longtime manager Claudio Ranieri for the rest of the 2018-19 season. The 67-year-old most recently managed Fulham FC and was fired by the English club on February 28th after only three months back in Premier League. In all, this is Ranieri's 17th tenure at a football club and the second time he will lead Roma, the first being from 2009 to 2011.
AS Roma president Jim Pallotta expressed that with Ranieri back with the club, they have one goal set in mind, "To finish in the highest possible position and secure qualification for the Champions League."
Pallotta added soon after that "It was important to bring in a coach who knows the club, understands the environment, can speak the language, and is able to motivate the players. Claudio ticks all of those boxes and he's very excited to take on this challenge."
Ranieri's relationship extends far longer than when he almost lead the Giallorossi to a Serie A league title during the 2009-10 season. The former Valencia gaffer was born and raised in Rome and started his career with Roma after graduating from the team's youth academy in 1973. He would later return to lead La Lupa from the sideline around the turn of the latest decade before eventually moving on to his greatest success when he brought Premier League glory for Leicester City in 2016.
The man known as The Tinkerman was jubilant when initially introduced to the press in Rome. "I'm delighted to be coming back home," he said. He added that his decision to come to return to the Yellow and Red was easy. "When Roma call you, it's impossible to say no."
Roma currently sit fifth in the Serie A table, which means that they would not be playing in the Champions League if the season were to end today. Luckily, Ranieri has 12 more matches to fulfill the board's chief concern and possibly earn a long-term deal by June.