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26th Dec 2015

Claudio Ranieri reveals how a classy gesture from Jurgen Klopp helped his career

Football friends

Robert Redmond

Leicester City’s meteoric rise has been mirrored by their manager.

The Foxes were many people’s tips for the drop this year, while Claudio Ranieri – sacked from his last post as Greece manager – was expected to be the first Premier League boss to get the chop this season.

The Italian’s last job was a disaster, and many felt he was yesterday’s man.

However, both Leicester and Ranieri have defied the doubters, and began Christmas Day top of the Premier League.

The Italian has revealed though, it may not have happened had Jurgen Klopp not invited him to view Borussia Dortmund training last season.Leicester City v Chelsea - Premier LeagueRanieri said it was a “great experience” to watch Klopp at work, and credited it with lifting his spirit at a dark time in his career.

“They were in La Manga in Spain, I went there. I had my Greece player there (Sokratis Papastathopoulos) I called him and asked if Klopp would agree.

“I watched Pep Guardiola, I watched Bayer Leverkusen last winter, I was in Germany three times.

“I have a lot of spirit for this, for this reason, it’s a great experience, I want to see and I want to learn.

“The football is always the same, but if you have an open mind you take. Dortmund were in a bad position but it was unbelievable as they played so well.

‘They created five or six chances but didn’t score.

“For me it’s not important what a manager is doing in a little period, it’s about the big period.”