Ranieri backs the ‘fantastic horse’ at Leicester City

Claudio Ranieri has heaped rather unusual praise on two of his Leicester City players, Jamie Vardy and N’Golo Kanté, describing the former as a “fantastic horse” and the latter as someone who appears to be performing with a “pack full of batteries hidden in his shorts”.

The Italian made the remarks during an interview with US website The Players Tribune. During the discussion, he spoke about how it feels like a “dream” to see Leicester top of the Premier League in early April, particularly given the plan at the start of the season was simply to avoid relegation: “Forty points. That was the goal. That was the total we needed to give our fans another season of Premier League football.”

It is comments regarding Vardy and Kanté which stand out most, however, although they should perhaps not come as a surprise given some of Ranieri’s remarks during this most incredible of campaigns for the east Midlands side. The manager recently described himself as “the sausageman” after discovering a Leicester butcher had named a sausage after him and, prior to that, revealed to journalists that he had bought all of the club’s players and staff little bells for Christmas. “From the beginning when something was wrong I’ve been saying: ‘Dilly-ding, dilly-dong, wake up, wake up!’” he said. “So on Christmas Day I bought for all the players and all the staff a little bell. It was just a joke.”

Speaking about Vardy, who has scored 19 goals for Leicester this season, making him the Premier League’s second-highest scorer, Ranieri said: “This is not a footballer. This is a fantastic horse.”

Moving on to Kanté, who arrived for £5.6m from Caen and has gone on to become a key part of Leicester’s midfield, Ranieri said: “This player, he was running so hard that I thought he must have a pack full of batteries hidden in his shorts. He never stopped running in training.”

Speaking of his squad in general, Ranieri said: “When I arrived and I saw the quality of these players, I knew how good they could be. I knew we had a chance to survive in the Premier League. We are a little team, so we have to fight with all our heart, with all our soul. I don’t care the name of the opponent. All I want is for you to fight. If they are better than us, OK, congratulations. But they have to show us they are better.”

Leicester’s 1-0 victory over Southampton on Sunday extended their lead over second-placed Tottenham Hotspur to seven points and means they are now, at most, four victories away from winning a first ever top-flight title.

“We have six games remaining, and we must continue fighting with our heart and our soul,” said Ranieri. “This is a small club that is showing the world what can be achieved through spirit and determination. Twenty-six players. Twenty-six different brains. But one heart.” – © Guardian News & Media

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.


To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Sachin Nakrani
Sachin Nakrani works from London. Writer & Editor for @guardian_sport I Talk football on @RadioCityTalk every Friday I Man behind @WEULFCbook I Tweeter of random thoughts Sachin Nakrani has over 25765 followers on Twitter.
Advertising

Coalition politics and law: The fight over Tshwane

With coalition politics on the rise, particularly in local government, this kind of court case is likely to become more common

High court declares Dudu Myeni delinquent

Disgraced former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director by the...

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

No back to school for teachers just yet

Last week the basic education minister was adamant that teachers will return to school on May 25, but some provinces say not all Covid-19 measures are in place to prevent its spread
Advertising

Press Releases

Openview, now powered by two million homes

The future of free-to-air satellite TV is celebrating having two million viewers by giving away two homes worth R2-million

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

Call for applications for the position of GCRO executive director

The Gauteng City-Region Observatory is seeking to appoint a high-calibre researcher and manager to be the executive director and to lead it

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday