PRESS CONFERENCE | Coach Ranieri’s words

First Team - 19/05/2024

Coach Ranieri spoke to the media at the end of the match against Sassuolo: the two-nil victory against the Emilian side means mathematical salvation for Cagliari, with one day to go before the end of the championship.

‘I thank our fans, they were wonderful, there is an incredible relationship between Sardinia and the team: I am really happy for them, I know what Serie A represents for our people. There were 3,500 of them at the stadium today and there was a whole island behind us. That’s what I reminded the lads of today, that’s what I told the team just before the final in Bari, repeating the words of our Gigi Riva on the phone. Today history is repeating itself: exactly 33 years ago, on 19 May 1991, when I coached Cagliari for the first time, we were saved right here in Emilia’.

‘After that Cagliari-Lazio there was a very important reaction from the boys, it was the decisive moment of the season: an electric shock was needed, but usually when a coach says he’s ready to take a step back, a team accepts in silence: with them it wasn’t like that, they responded to my words by saying that we would all fight together to come out of that situation and save ourselves. They surprised me: at that point I told the boys to prove it to me on the pitch, to play in the game the way I saw them train – great, always at 3,000 per hour – otherwise we wouldn’t have made it, we would have been relegated. From there we started to play as we should have always played: these guys, the way they worked all year, deserved this salvation. They never gave up. I also applaud those who played less: they ran and fought harder than the others.’

‘This salvation is not a miracle, there is a lot of work behind it: I take this opportunity to thank everyone, from the warehouse workers to the physiotherapists, from the doctors to the chefs, from the waiters to the tactical analysts. All the people who work at the CRAI Sport Center. Everyone with their work gives their best to make the coach and the team comfortable. We are a family, Cagliari is a big family: this is our strength. And with us there are the fans, we have always felt them close, they have supported us even in difficult times. In away matches they have always made us feel at home. They were there everywhere: unfortunately we have only won two away matches, we were sorry not to be able to repay them with a few more victories. This match, however, was too important and we did not miss it. All the components were always rowing in the same direction.’

‘Cagliari is my home. I have a contract for another year and I thank the President for his words of esteem and gratitude. Let’s enjoy this salvation, the last feat is always the most beautiful, but I have always said that the victories with Cagliari have deeply marked me, it was in Sardinia that my career began. The successes with Cagliari – three promotions and two salvations – for me are above everything. I had said that we would be saved at the last second of the last game, we have moved up a day, now we are celebrating with our fans’.

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