The connection was as obvious as it was immediate. We immediately thought of Claudio Ranieri after Roma brushed aside Bod in the Europa Conference League quarterfinals to book a place in the semifinals against Premier League club Leicester City.
The 70-year-old Roman is possibly the only person on the planet with ties to both clubs, having played for and managed Roma (multiple times) while leading Leicester City to an unlikely Premier League title in 2016.
The fact that this semifinal match pits Ranieri’s boyhood club (Roma) against the source of his greatest professional triumph (Leicester City) demanded a snappy title, and thus the Derby della Ranieri was born.
The Derby della Ranieri, while a clever moniker, was ultimately an oxymoron.
The man loves Roma through and through and will undoubtedly be on the edge of his seat with the rest of us as Roma fights for a spot in the finale.
There’s no denying Ranieri’s passion for all things AS Roma, nor his status among the tifosi, but the connection between Ranieri and Leicester is legendary, so it was reasonable to wonder where his loyalties lay ahead of this match.
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