Claudio Ranieri Hints at Reasons Behind Leicester City Sacking, Doesn't Blame Players

Former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri.
Former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri in Rome, Italy, March 30. Ranieri was sacked by Leicester in February. Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

Claudio Ranieri believes "someone behind" him was responsible for his dismissal from Leicester City —but the Italian does not blame his former players for his fate.

Ranieri, 65, shocked the world when he led Leicester to the English Premier League title in 2016-17.

But despite progress into the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League this season, Ranieri was sacked in February as Leicester lurched towards the Premier League relegation zone.

Appearing on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football show to act as pundit for Crystal Palace's 3-0 victory over Arsenal, Ranieri hinted that figures other than the players could have criticized him.

"I listened to a lot of stories about this," Ranieri said. "Maybe it could be somebody behind me, but also the little problem I had the year before and we won the title.

"Maybe these people, this year, when we lose they push a little more. That's it.

"I don't want to tell. I am a serious man, a loyal man. What I have to say, I say face-to-face."

Since Ranieri's dismissal Leicester has motored away from relegation trouble, winning its first six games in all competitions under Craig Shakespeare, Ranieri's former assistant.

It faces Atletico Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final at Vicente Calderón Stadium in the Spanish capital on Wednesday evening.