From TheChels.info - The Chelsea Football Club Wiki
Claudio Ranieri (born 20 October 1951 in Rome, Italy) was manager of Chelsea from 2000 to 2004. During his time in west London he led Chelsea to the 2002 FA Cup Final and 2003-04 UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
A defender, Ranieri had a relatively undistinguished playing career, and spent much of it with Catanzaro. He retired in 1986 and two years later took his first managerial role at Cagliari, whom he guided to Serie A after successive promotions from Serie C1. He moved on to Napoli in 1991, where he introduced a young Gianfranco Zola to replace Diego Maradona. He was manager of Fiorentina from 1993-97, leading them to the Coppa Italia and a 3rd place Serie A finish in 1996. Ranieri was manager of Valencia from 1997-99, winning the Copa del Rey in 1999 and taking the club into the Champions League for the first time. He took over as manager of Atlético Madrid in 1999, but resigned a year later with the club destined for relegation.
On 15 September 2000, Ranieri was unveiled as the new Chelsea manager, following Gianluca Vialli's sacking early into the 2000-01 season. His first game in charge ended with a credible 3-3 draw away to Manchester United. In his next Chelsea were knocked out of the UEFA Cup after a 2-0 loss to St Gallen. Ranieri was initially hampered by his limited grasp of the English language, meaning the club's multi-lingual players had to translate the manager's instructions to each other. It also led to some bizarre statements in interviews with the media, who later dubbed him the "Tinkerman" for his habit of rotating his squad. Chelsea were inconsistent throughout the season, failing to register an away win in the league until March, and eventually finished 6th.
Over the summer, Ranieri signed Frank Lampard, William Gallas, Emmanuel Petit, Jesper Gronkjaer and Boudewijn Zenden. At the same time, he oversaw the exit of some of the club's older stars, among them Dennis Wise, Gus Poyet and Frank Leboeuf. Chelsea again finished in 6th place, and were beaten by Arsenal in the FA Cup Final. In 2002-03, Chelsea improved to finish 4th and qualify for the Champions League, thanks to a final day win over Liverpool. In July 2003, Chelsea were taken over by Roman Abramovich, who immediately provided Ranieri with a substantial transfer kitty. Over the next few weeks, Chelsea spent over £100m on new players, recruiting Joe Cole, Juan Veron, Geremi, Claude Makélélé, Glen Johnson, Damien Duff, Hernan Crespo, Adrian Mutu and Wayne Bridge.
The 2003-04 season was dogged by speculation over Ranieri's future, exacerbated when Abramovich and Peter Kenyon were spotted meeting with then-England manager Sven-Göran Eriksson. Chelsea finished 2nd in the Premiership, the club's highest league placing since 1955, and reached the Champions League semi-finals, a run which included a memorable 2-1 win over Arsenal at Highbury in the quarter-finals. However, in the semi-final against Monaco, with the game at 1-1 and Monaco down to ten men, Ranieri made a series of bizarre tactical changes with the intent of winning the match, which saw Scott Parker switched to right-back, Johnson at centre back, and Crespo and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on the wing. The team was left in disarray and went on to lose 3-1, eventually crashing out 5-3 on aggregate. Ranieri's contract was terminated at the end of the season and he was replaced by José Mourinho.
After leaving Chelsea Ranieri had a second stint at Valencia, but was sacked after seven months. He took charge of Parma in 2007, and steered them clear of relegation, before leaving to manage Juventus. He led Juventus to the second round of the Champions League, where they were knocked out by Chelsea. He was sacked at the end of the 2008-09 season, despite Juve finishing 2nd in Serie A. He then managed Roma from September 2009 until February 2011.
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