Claudio Ranieri pulled another moment of brilliance as he led Cagliari to promotion to Serie A. Thanks to a 94th-minute winner from Leonardo Pavoletti, the Serie B club powered themselves back to promotion in style. This was another time that Ranieri made history at the club, having done it first in 1988. The late goal sealed a 2-1 aggregate win for the club as they joined the elites for the 2023/24 Serie A season.
The six-month Italian job
When Claudio Ranieri took over Cagliari in December, they languished in 14th place in Serie B. He had the arduous task of trying to salvage the sinking ship. He was the manager of Cagliari when they gained two successive promotions from Serie C to Serie A in 1988. This meant he was not unfamiliar with the job and the club’s expectations.
The gaffer proved equal to the task as he led the club to some impressive feats en route to gaining promotion. In the 24 games that he managed, Ranieri lost only two of them. During that period, he went on an impressive ten games unbeaten streak. These results were crucial in moving the club from 14th to finishing 5th in the Serie B final table.
Ranieri saw off Venezia in the playoffs, then eliminated Parma before their thrilling finals against Bari. Having drawn 1-1 in the first leg meant that a goal for any would have been enough to seal the win. That late Pavolleti winner brought Ranieri to tears. Once again, he had caught the eyes of European football lovers uniquely. In six months, he had the job done expertly like the professor he is.
- Arsenal did not bungle their season
- Furious Mourinho charged with hurling abuses at referee Anthony Taylor
- How foreign players adapt. The Premier League edition.
- How good was Arsene Wenger?
Ranieri: The underrated specialist
When some claim that Ranieri is massively underrated, we mean it. Taking Cagliari from 14th to Serie A is a feat only a few have imitated. He only lost two games out of a massive 24 in the run. This is proof enough as to how properly he ran his business.
At Leicester City, he achieved what many will forever dream of, winning the Premier League title with proper underdogs. He took a club that had avoided relegation by a whisker the previous season to mounting the unforgettable title challenge. He mounted the Premier League title challenge with little-known stars and impressively won it. This man Ranieri perhaps deserves more respect for the feats he has been achieving with limited resources and average clubs.