POST MATCH | Coach Ranieri’s words

First Team - 23/05/2024

At the end of the match against Fiorentina, his last on Cagliari’s bench, after being paid tribute at length by the red-blue people who packed the Unipol Domus, coach Ranieri appeared in front of the media microphones to tell all his emotions.

“The greeting of the public was something incredible, wonderful from start to finish. Also unexpected: the referee did not whistle to start the match, I did not expect that long applause from my boys, from Fiorentina, from all the fans. Then when the game was over, I was able to thank on the microphone the audience that filled the stadium, it was beautiful. It was a wonderful day already from this morning, from as soon as I woke up, a special day that I will carry in my heart forever.”

“I thank all the fans, I thank my boys: we did not deserve to lose this match today. They played a beautiful, intense game. We created a lot, scoring four goals, although two were disallowed for offside. The boys gave everything, they fought until the end.”

“I will always be grateful to the Sardinian people, the people are wonderful, they loved me from the beginning: this is where my career began, this is where it all started 35 years ago. Here you represent a whole Island, our fans have always supported us, followed us wherever we went. And we know very well how difficult because of transportation it is, unfortunately, to travel from Sardinia. Our fans make huge sacrifices. Away we would have liked to give them a few more smiles, but fortunately we won against Empoli and then in Reggio Emilia: there it was the most beautiful moment of the season, salvation for me means so much, it means giving joy to the whole Island. For me this is worth so much.”

“President Giulini asked me to reconsider, he was the first; then the team. But there is a beginning and an end to everything. It is only fair: to close the circle in this way, where I had started, is something I dreamed of and the dream was wonderful. This was my last club team. There will come a time when I will miss it all: getting on the field, the examination of the game. Now, however, I will try to enjoy life more: I have traveled a lot but seen little. Hotels, stadiums. Now that I will have more time, I will go around and enjoy the beauty of the world and spend more time with my family: my wife Rosanna, my daughter Claudia, my two grandchildren Orlando and Dorotea. And I will also, of course, reverberate here in Cagliari. Should a tempting proposal of a national team come? I will think about it. Otherwise, with soccer it’s over here.”

“In order to try to compete, the president puts a lot of money, but there are properties-I’m not just talking about the big ones, now Parma and Como will also go up to A-who really have a lot of money at their disposal. Serie A has become very difficult: the fans then must stay close to the club, to the team, Cagliari is too precious an asset and must be safeguarded like a relic. The team must give everything, the fans must support them, regardless of the result. This is the most important thing. Did the fans write that salvation is not enough? I repeat, Serie A is complicated, you have to weigh the other teams as well. Serie A is an asset and if you relegate then to rise again is very hard. I always told fans from day one to blow behind us to get through the difficult times together. That is how it has been. They will have to continue to do so. There’s no worse thing than playing at home and hearing your own public rumbling, booing: it gets heavy, you risk getting stuck. The whole environment has to lend a hand and stand by the team: the Serie A is too important an asset, let’s always remember that.”

“Among the players who arrived, there are those who adapted earlier, those who adapted later. Who made more, who made less. It’s normal, it would be too good to guess all the signings when you change so much. Have there been mistakes? It will mean that the Society will treasure them for the future. Then there are also many youngsters in the squad who have made great strides, like Kingstone for example: I’m glad he found the goal today, his first in Serie A. He’s like a colt in the wild, he needs to be helped to grow, but when he sees the goal he hurts you, he showed that tonight.”

“I have always told my players that those who bend in soccer are destined to bend in life as well: in sports you need to be loyal, tenacious, you must not give up, you need to learn from your mistakes, without looking for excuses. When I have made mistakes, I have always said in front of my boys, ‘Sorry, I screwed up this one, I failed to help you.’ I never hid, never gave up. The error lies with those who work, and I have never been afraid to take responsibility, without blaming anyone. I hope that these aspects, combined with the fact that one should never give up, have become part of the baggage of every one of my players.”

“Luck doesn’t fall on you, it has to be sought. I was a lucky man: I wanted to be a footballer, I succeeded. Then when I was 30 I tried to understand if I understood soccer, I tried and I succeeded. As a soccer player I was not a great champion, but as a coach I had a lot of fun. For me it was an honor to be in the world of soccer. I won a championship with Leicester, it was a feat: but Cagliari is Cagliari.”

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