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Abramovich knows nothing about soccer: Ranieri

April 20, 2004 16:15 IST

Manager Claudio Ranieri has launched a strong attack on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, saying the Russian tycoon knows nothing about football and wanted to sack him from the moment he took control.

In an interview in Spanish sports daily Marca on Tuesday, the 52-year-old Italian said Abramovich had wanted to appoint England manager Sven Goran Eriksson.

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"Ever since he arrived at the club Abramovich wanted Eriksson," Ranieri told Marca. "From the very start. They even met in the summer.

"But Eriksson said he couldn't leave the England team and so the next day Abramovich met me and told me: 'OK, you've done a good job these last few years and you are going to carry on.'"

Chelsea play Monaco in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final later on Tuesday. Ranieri said even victory in the Champions League would not persuade the club to keep him on.

"Look I already have the Abramovich sword embedded in me. I'm convinced that even if I win the Champions League I will be sacked." Marca said the interview was carried out on April 8.

Ranieri said Abramovich, who took over in July, had little understanding of the work he had done the previous season when he steered Chelsea to fourth place in the English premier league.

"Abramovich knows nothing about football," said Ranieri. "That's the real shame. If he had understood what my side had achieved that season he would have valued me more highly. We did it all without any money."

Abramovich spent some 110 million pounds ($197.1 million) on new players this season. Ranieri said Abramovich had no appreciation of how difficult it would be to make the team gel.

"It was a very tough job to sign so many players and get them to play together. Abramovich didn't realise that. He thought I'll sign that one and that one and then we will win."


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