Like any good Italian “mamma”, Renata Ranieri said she was careful to take care of her son’s dietary needs in the weeks leading up to his historic achievement in winning the Premier League title for the East Midlands club.
“My son needs to stay fit, so he almost never opts for a ‘primo’ (the plate of pasta that traditionally kicks off an Italian meal),” the pensioner toldLa Repubblica newspaper. “Instead he has green beans or a salad.”
On Monday, when Mr Ranieri flew back to Rome for lunch with his mother, he ate “a steak and a bit of cicoria ripassata” – a popular spinach-like vegetable tossed in olive oil and peperoncino.
That was followed by a bowl of strawberries with lemon juice and a dusting of sugar.
Mrs Ranieri, who lives in Rome, said she was moved to tears when her son phoned her on Monday night to say that Leicester had secured the title after Spurs failed to beat Chelsea in an ill-tempered 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.
She said she was immensely proud. “All the newspapers [in Italy] are calling him the King of England, just imagine that. Claudio was so happy when I spoke to him on the phone. Now we can all relax a bit.”
In truth, she had never expected her son to take Leicester so far. “He told me he had found a good bunch of players…but that he certainly wasn’t training a great team.”
Her son had been undervalued in Italy, she said, but appreciated much more in England.
Mr Ranieri had a brief spell as manager of AS Roma after managing Valencia in Spain.
“I know that he settled in well [at Leicester], and that they have always treated him well. In Rome, he was not treated with respect. I was sorry about how it ended. I think he could have won the championship in Italy too. He came very close.”
Mr Ranieri was born in the San Saba neighbourhood of Rome, close to the Circus Maximus, the ancient Roman chariot racing stadium. He has been a lifelong supporter of AS Roma.
Mrs Ranieri hopes to be able to see her son soon. “We are so happy. The whole world is paying him compliments, and I thank everyone,” she said.


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