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Tuesday, 30 April, 2002, 09:33 GMT 10:33 UK
Profile: Claudio Ranieri
Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri directs his players
Ranieri has proved a success in Italy and Spain
BBC Sport Online profiles Chelsea's Italian manager Claudio Ranieri.

  Sports Talk: Chelsea for the Cup?

Victory over Arsenal would see Claudio Ranieri add an English Cup triumph to those he has already won in Italy and Spain.

But it would also bring a first notable reward for the gamble Chelsea took in appointing the Italian in September 2000.

His predecessor Gianluca Vialli was popular with Blues fans, and could hardly be labelled a failure having delivered five trophies during his tenure.

But the Premiership title, and the attendant glamour of the Champions League, are what Chelsea crave, and chairman Ken Bates demands.

  Ranieri's previous jobs
1987: Becomes manager of Campania
1989: Takes over at Cagliari and wins two promotions
1991: Takes over as manager of Napoli
1993: Moves to Serie B club Fiorentina; guides them to promotion to Serie A
1996: Wins the Copa Italia and Supercopa with the Florence club
1999: Lured to Atletico Madrid and signs Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink for 12m
Mar 2000: Quits as manager before the Madrid club are relegated from the Primera Liga
Sep 2000: Takes over at Stamford Bridge

It was perhaps a surprise then to see Ranieri pledging his future to the club by signing a new five-year deal recently.

After all, it was only last November that fans responded to a dismal goalless draw with Blackburn by chanting Vialli's name.

Ranieri's early inability to communicate effectively in English hinted at problems in the dressing room.

And on the pitch, his penchant for rotating players and making half-time substitutions was questioned in some quarters.

But while inconsistency may have cost them a Champions League spot this season, the Blues have proved a match for anyone on their day.

A 3-0 demolition of Manchester United at Old Trafford before Christmas was a case in point.

And with Barcelona publicly expressing their interest in the studious Ranieri, Bates acted swiftly to secure his man.

"We have a good squad and I hope to give everyone some trophies," the manager said on signing his new deal. "I know it's very difficult but I like difficulties."

Chelsea chairman Ken Bates
Bates craves championship success

His managerial CV certainly suggests a man capable of turning under-achievers into trophy winners.

Ranieri arrived in west London after a six-month spell out of the game.

He had resigned his post at Atletico Madrid with the club in serious financial trouble and struggling in the league.

But his previous job in Spain proved his credentials, winning the Spanish Cup with Valencia and earning qualification for the Champions League.

Good enough to play for Roma as a player, Ranieri made his name as a coach with Sardinian side Cagliari, taking them from Serie C to Serie A.

Right direction

He then moved on to Napoli for two seasons, a period where current Chelsea striker Gianfranco Zola played under him.

Ranieri joined Fiorentina in 1993, winning promotion to Serie A and then guiding the Florence giants to the Italian Cup and the Italian Super Cup in 1996.

The Premiership title may be the long-term goal in England, but an FA Cup would be a step in the right direction.

See also:

04 May 02 |  Chelsea
Ranieri signs new deal
09 Apr 02 |  Chelsea
Bates: Ranieri staying put
18 Mar 01 |  Chelsea
Ranieri's title pledge
06 Nov 00 |  Football
Claudio's cloudy communication
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