Italy bestows honor on Leicester manager Ranieri

Reuters News
Posted: May 20, 2016 8:53 AM

ROME (Reuters) - Claudio Ranieri has received an honor from the Italian president after the soccer manager led rank outsiders Leicester City to the top of the English Premier League.

Ranieri, a native of Rome, was made a "Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Republic", a spokeswoman for the presidency said on Friday.

Leicester, 5,000-1 outsiders at the start of the season, beat the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal to a win that stunned fans of the sport around the world.

When the English club sealed their victory, fans in Rome displayed a banner in Ranieri's honor in the neighborhood where his parents once ran a butcher's shop.

The 64 year-old has also managed Italian teams Fiorentina, Napoli and Roma, Spain's Atletico Madrid and Chelsea in England.

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Other Grand Officers named on the same honors list include "Cinema Paradiso" director Giuseppe Tornatore, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and businessman Alessandro Benetton.

(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)