ROME - Claudio Ranieri, who quit as AS
Roma coach last Sunday after four straight defeats and violent
fan protests, likened Italian football to hell on Saturday and
said the English game was preferable.
The former Chelsea coach, sacked by the London club in 2004
and replaced by fellow English football admirer Jose Mourinho
after failing to win a trophy, would be interested in a return
to the Premier League.
"In football there is paradise and there is hell. You can
choose where to be between the two. Here, compared to England,
it's hell," Ranieri told Rai television in his first comments
since taking the unusual step these days of resigning.
"I want to coach again. England fascinates me but I like the
Italian league too."
Roma fans threw flares and firecrackers at the club training
ground gates last week and police had to intervene.
The club's problems this season have been made worse by a
drawn-out sale process which put Ranieri under pressure
irrespective of results with media reports saying prospective
buyers Di Benedetto, a U.S. consortium, wanted to replace him.
"At Roma this year I became the only lightning conductor,"
added Rome-born Ranieri, who led the club he supported as a boy
to second in Serie A last term before their slump to sixth this
Ranieri also felt hard done by when he was surprisingly
sacked by Juventus in 2009 with the club on the cusp of the
Champions League places. Results have since deteriorated.
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