Claudio Ranieri said on Friday he had dreamt of staying at Leicester City “for always” before being ruthlessly sacked as manager of the troubled champions on Thursday.
Ranieri was stunningly dismissed by Leicester’s Thai owners less than a year after guiding the 5,000-1 outsiders to the Premier League title.
Leicester are languishing one point above the relegation zone with 13 games remaining amid reports of player unrest at Ranieri’s tactical tinkering.
But Ranieri’s sacking triggered an outpouring of support for the Italian from his fellow managers and the Italian admitted the decision was a brutal blow.
“Yesterday my dream died,” Ranieri said.
“After the euphoria of last season and being crowned Premier League champions all I dreamt of was staying with Leicester City, the club I love, for always. Sadly this was not to be.”