LONDON (AP): Claudio Ranieri was fired as the manager of English champion Leicester yesterday, nine months after guiding the club to the most improbable title triumph in Premier League history. Leicester’s Thai owners took the drastic measure with the team just a point above the relegation zone having 13 games remaining in a dreadful title defence. “We are duty-bound to put the club’s long-term interests above all sense of personal sentiment,” Leicester vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said, “no matter how strong that might be.” Leicester, with a team of journeymen, cast-offs and previously unheralded players, won the Premier League last season at odds of 5,000-1, a feat generally viewed as one of the greatest in all sports. Ranieri was last month voted as FIFA coach of the year. However, the Italian manager has come under heavy pressure in recent weeks as Leicester slipped closer to the bottom three in the Premier League and reportedly fell out with some of his players.
IN DEMAND 5 REVEALED 5 Ronaldo is known for his incredible work ethic and his Old Trafford team-mates have been full of praise for him. Writing in his autobiography, The Second Half, Roy Keane explained his attitude was brilliant from the moment he met him.“After the first few days, watching him train, my reaction was, ‘This lad is going to be one of the world’s greatest players.’ I didn’t say it publicly, because I’d always be wary of building a player up too early – or knocking him down,” he said, adding: “He was amazing. He was immediately one of the hardest working players at United. Most of the players I knew worked hard, but Ronaldo had the talent on top of the work rate.” Solskjaer gives Pogba fitness update and calls him world’s best all-round midfielder “So he taught me how to do it. In the Premier League they don’t fall over so easy, they are tough.“As I’ve said many times, he taught me everything. He was like a father to me. He helped me a lot at Manchester United.” Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January boost REVEALED 5 How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures Gary Neville, in an interview with talkSPORT in 2016 revealed by the time he left the club, Ronaldo was setting the standards.“He didn’t arrive at Manchester United as someone who was setting the tone for everybody else. It wasn’t a case of he came in and all of a sudden everyone else upped their game, that’s not how it was,” he said.“He became that out of what was in that dressing room. Cristiano was butchered and battered for two or three years at Manchester United and he has said it made him a man.” gameday cracker Ferguson was a father figure to Ronaldo at Old Trafford 5 Man United news smart causal Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland deals Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade In six years at the club the 33-year-old won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup, two League Cups, the Champions League and the first of his five Ballon d’Or awards.He was eventually sold to Real Madrid for £80m in 2009 and scored 451 goals in 438 games before sealing a £99m transfer to Juve in 2018. possible standings Man United paid £12m for Ronaldo in 2003 Cristiano Ronaldo has revealed the impact Sir Alex Ferguson had on him as a player in the early stages of his career.The Juventus forward arrived at Manchester United from Sporting in 2003 when he was just 18 and admitted he faced a steep learning carve. Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? “Of course, in the beginning of my career he was so important to me because I moved from Sporting to Manchester and had that Portuguese mentality – too many stepovers, decision making was not the best,” Ronaldo told DAZN. Ronaldo celebrates the first of his five Champions League winners medals Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade Keane and Ronaldo played together at Manchester United England’s most successful clubs of the past decade, according to trophies won silverware Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won On the training pitch is where he began to develop into the world’s best player under Fergie’s watchful eye RANKED 5