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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 October, 2004, 10:15 GMT 11:15 UK
Ranieri anticipated his own exit
Former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri
I had two ways - follow all the rumours and get crazy or work, work and work
Claudio Ranieri
Valencia boss Claudio Ranieri believed his old job at Chelsea was under threat as early as July 2003 - when Roman Abramovich took over the club.

The Italian left Chelsea at the end of last season after a four-year reign.

He told BBC Five Live that he expected to be replaced by current England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson "in 2003 - at the start of the Roman Abramovich era".

He added: "When you see Sven with Mr Abramovich and all the rumours, it was very difficult to maintain my job."

Now back in Spain for a second spell as Valencia boss, Ranieri says focusing on his job helped him block out all the speculation at Chelsea.

"From the beginning I understood very clearly that I had two ways - follow all the rumours and get crazy or work, work and work. I followed the second," he revealed.

Ranieri, who was succeeded by Jose Mourinho and not Eriksson, insists he feels no bitterness towards Abramovich and has not ruled out making a return to England.

"I like the atmosphere, the ambience. A lot of children come to the stadiums and I like English football.

"I have my home here in London and life is very long, so why not?" Ranieri added on the Sportsweek programme.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri




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