I’ll be the boss with a walking stick – Claudio Ranieri won’t quit until he’s 80

New Watford boss Claudio Ranieri says he wants to carry on managing until he is 80.

The Italian turns 70 next week and is preparing for a fourth stint in the Premier League when his Vicarage Road reign starts against Liverpool on Saturday.

If it is longevity he is craving he probably chose the wrong club as Watford’s trigger-happy method of working saw Xisco Munoz become the seventh manager sacked in five years.

Still he has no plans to call time on his career even if things do not work out at Watford.

Asked why he is not enjoying the later years of his life by relaxing, he replied: “Because I’m very boring if I don’t stay in football. I love football, I love the life, and then why not?

“Seventy or 80, maybe, why not? The oldest manager in England, maybe with a walking stick. But the brain is important, and the brain is very young.

“I put all my energy, all my spirit, in my job, and I’m so happy. The chairman knows me very, very well.”

It was 20 years ago that Ranieri got the moniker of the ‘Tinkerman’ for his constant changing of his Chelsea team and tactics.

The Italian can laugh about it now and insists he was a flagbearer for the current crop of managers.

Claudio Ranieri was known as the ‘Tinkerman’ during his time at Chelsea (Phil Noble/PA)

(PA Archive)

“A long time ago a lot of other people tell me I was a ‘Tinkerman’ because I changed so many times the team, the system,” he said.

“After 20 years a lot of managers are ‘Tinkermen’. Yeah, unbelievable. I created the flag. I have the flag and they are all behind.”

Ranieri was last in the Premier League in 2019 when he was brought in to try and save Fulham but his most memorable achievement was winning the title with Leicester in 2016.

Keeping the Hornets up would be a much more straightforward task and Ranieri says he no longer thinks about what he achieved at the King Power Stadium.

“I want to be safe, and if I will be safe it’s no fairy tale in Watford,” he said. “For us it’s very, very important, the chairman has an idea to improve everything every year.

“I hope I will be here each year he wants to improve.

Claudio Ranieri led Leicester to a barely believable Premier League title in 2016 (Nick Potts/PA)

(PA Wire)

“The day after we won the title it was in the past for me. I forgot everything. I look always forward. What happens tomorrow, what happens Saturday. That’s everything for me, important.”

Since Ranieri last worked in this country Newcastle have become the richest club in the Premier League following their takeover last week.

Ranieri knows exactly what it is like being in situ at a club when they are taken over.

“I was sacked. That’s what happens straight away,” he said.

“I arrived second behind the unbeaten Arsenal. I arrived in the semi-final of the Champions League, and I was sacked. That is the life. Now you tell me Watford change a lot. it’s unbelievable.”

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