Ranieri keeps calm

Le­ices­ter boss claims his feud with Mour­inho is ‘pre-his­toric’

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports International - BY LAU­RIE WHITWELL AND JACK GAUGHAN /

Clau­dio Ranieri has be­come the lat­est Premier League man­ager to bury the hatchet with Jose Mour­inho, with the Ital­ian de­scrib­ing his feud with the Manch­ester United boss as “pre­his­toric” ahead of Le­ices­ter City’s trip to Old Traf­ford to­day.

The Por­tuguese called Ranieri “a loser” when he re­placed him at Chelsea dur­ing his first stint in Eng­land, and their re­la­tion­ship de­te­ri­o­rated fur­ther when they were both man­ag­ing in Serie A.

Ranieri, who led rank out­siders Le­ices­ter to a ti­tle tri­umph last sea­son, in­sisted the past was dead and buried and he was will­ing to share a glass of wine with Mour­inho af­ter the game.

“It’s pre­his­toric,” said Ranieri. “It was a long time ago. It’s nor­mal (now)... I love red wine, and if he of­fers I will go and drink it with him.”

Mour­inho’s third stint in the English top flight has al­ready seen a ces­sa­tion of per­sonal hos­til­i­ties with Manch­ester City’s Pep Guardi­ola and Wat­ford’s Wal­ter Maz­zarri.

Guardi­ola and Mour­inho’s re­la­tion­ship stretched to break­ing point when they were in charge of Barcelona and Real Madrid re­spec­tively, while the Por­tuguese de­scribed Maz­zarri as a hard-work­ing don­key when the two were ri­vals in Italy.

United go into the Le­ices­ter game af­ter suf­fer­ing con­sec­u­tive league de­feats by City and Wat­ford, but beat Ranieri’s team the last time they met -- in the Com­mu­nity Shield in Au­gust.

Ranieri, whose team trail sev­enth-placed United by two points, also de­fended Mour­inho’s pub­lic crit­i­cism of his play­ers in the wake of United’s 3-1 de­feat at Wat­ford last Sun­day.

“He is a great man­ager, in­tel­li­gent and a fan­tas­tic per­son,” Ranieri added. “Ev­ery man­ager has his (rule) book and some­times you need to do this (crit­i­cise),” he said.

“Some­times, maybe not here, but at an­other team, also I push to pro­voke the re­ac­tion of the player. There’s al­ways a psy­chol­ogy.”

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