Former Juventus manager Claudio Ranieri has said “I am cheering on Juve in the Champions League”, but “watch out for Atletico Madrid and Monaco, as they are not to be taken for granted”
The 65-year-old who was relieved of his duty as Leicester City manager nine months after leading the Foxes to a fairy Premier League title in 2016, backs Juventus but tips Real Madrid as potential winners.
“I think Real Madrid are the favourites for the Champions League, but watch out for Atletico Madrid and Monaco, as they are not to be taken for granted.
“Juventus are having some spectacular years, growing season on season thanks to the club planning. As an Italian, of course I am cheering on Juve in the Champions League.
“The Bianconeri are determined and that is already an important element. It will be fundamental they reach the showdowns in the best physical shape and maintain the same wonderful spirit of sacrifice seen so far.”
Ranieri wants coaching return
The out-of-job Italian tactician said he longs to return to managerial role as soon as feasible, saying he would not rule out a return to work in Europe, his preferred destination.
“I want to get back to work and I do feel more of a European Coach,” he told reporters.
“I have received some proposals already, including from national teams, but I’d prefer to work at a club so I could spend every day with the lads.
“I am waiting for a good project. I have to feel that it’s something I believe in so that I can give 100 per cent, otherwise I would not accept.
“I’d come back to train in Italy, yes, but not for Lazio… I am towards the end of my career now. If it had happened at the start then I would’ve accepted, but today, as a Roma fan, it couldn’t be for Lazio.
“Having said that, I do like the way they are playing this season.”
The soft-spoken Ranieri was Juventus boss for two years between 2007 and 2009, said before being axed and took over in Roma.