Claudio Ranieri, 70, former Chelsea manager between 2000 and 2004 before José Mourinho joined Stamford Bridge, recalled in an interview with ‘Il Messaggero’ newspaper the arrival of Russian tycoon Roman Abramovich at the London club in 2003 , year he bought it.
“I was young and enthusiastic. He looked like a kid in the playground, he was always very present. He often came to games and sometimes, to speak calmly, returned from games with him in his private plane. I wanted to be informed and understand everything,” recalls the 70-year-old Italian coach, recently sacked from Watford in the Premier League.
“He bought Chelsea because we qualified for the Champions League on the last day, after beating Liverpool. If we hadn’t achieved that, the club’s history could have been completely different,” he said. added Ranieri.