Claudio Ranieri has been named the top Italian coach of the season

Claudio Ranieri collects the Enzo Bearzot Award 2016 in Rome on Monday
Image: Claudio Ranieri collects the Enzo Bearzot Award 2016 in Rome on Monday

Title-winning Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has collected another prize after being named the winner of the Enzo Bearzot award for the best Italian coach of the season.

The award was founded in 2011 to honour the man who coached Italy to World Cup glory in 1982 and died in 2010.

And Ranieri has been named the 2016 winner after guiding Leicester, who battled relegation for much of last season, to an improbable Premier League title success.

The 64-year-old Ranieri has emerged as one of the most popular figures in British football over the course of the season, his calmness and good humour a constant, despite the pressure of a title race.

And the experienced boss flew to Rome on Monday to collect the Bearzot award in person.

"Honestly, I still haven't realized what we've done," said Ranieri. "We started off just trying to avoid relegation and you saw what happened.

Ranieri has enjoyed an amazing season in charge of Premier League winners Leicester
Image: Ranieri has enjoyed an amazing season in charge of Premier League winners Leicester

"I never met Bearzot but I've been told by people that they see his spirit in me and that fills me with pride."

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Italian FA chief Carlo Tavecchio said: "Of all the titles won by Italians, Claudio's achievement is something unparalleled.

He added that he would like to see Ranieri coaching the Italian national team one day.

"I'm talking in an abstract manner, not about the next World Cups," he said. "Claudio is young and he has time. In his second sports homeland [England] he still has a lot to achieve. And I don't think it would be easy to deprive him of that opportunity."

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